Building to a crescendo

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra builds a free music education program.

Building to a crescendo

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AMPAG believes all school age children should have access to quality arts education and can see how WASO’sCrescendo initiative is a brilliant example of the STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) model of building creative capacity.

WASO’sCrescendo is an El Sistema-inspired music education program, providing free music lessons on a weekly basis to all Pre-primary, Year 1 and Year 2 students at two schools in Perth’s southern suburb of Kwinana. TheEl Sistema model seeks to empower children from disadvantaged backgrounds through music, using it as a tool to help them reach their full potential and learn life values.

WASO initially worked in three schools that had been unable to provide regular music lessons to all of their students because of budget constraints. Beyond the school environment, the community within whichCrescendooperates represents a broader target for the program’s outcomes.

The first two years of the program are vocally based, building musical skills through singing, listening and movement exercises. This has encouraged the students to find their voice and participate in music appreciation and learning in their own way. Guests were amazed at how much the students had learned, their attention in class and their enthusiasm for the program. WASO has been overwhelmed by the sense of community and in-school support for theCrescendoprogram.

Crescendo is now in its second full year of delivery. WASO is building on the momentum and success of the first year of lessons, and strengthening relationships with the school communities, families and local business. In Semester Two 2016, the program will progress to its next important stage, and introduce string instruments to the current Year 2 students.

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Education