The Indonesian trio Makukuhan has taken its mini-Gamelan orchestra to some of the most remote schools in Western Australia. Touring for Musica Viva In Schools, the Indonesian trio is celebrated for its pitch-bending drums, mesmerising masked dance and unbelievably rapid Javanese clapping. Thanks to the generous support of Rio Tinto and CBH Group, the group is able to cover thousands of kilometres, visiting towns from Babakin and Kondinin to Kronkup and Gnowangerup, providing a total of 59 concerts at 52 schools in August, as well as a range of showcase events and professional development workshops for teachers. Through the Musica Viva In Schools program, each performance comes with digital learning resources that tie in with facets of the Australian curriculum ranging from maths and literacy to intercultural understanding.
There are only six students at Tipperary Station School in the Northern Territory, but when Musica Viva’s Gypsy Tober ensemble visited, they were greeted by students from five local schools, one of which is a 2.5 hour drive away.
Tipperary Station School recognises the importance of building community in remote areas, as well as the power of music to unite, educate and empower people of all ages. With that in mind, they invited Musica Viva to perform at their school. With the generous support of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Musica Viva was able to send Gypsy Tober on a tour of the Northern Territory with a full day spent at Tipperary Station. The students were able to experience a complete concert, and had the opportunity to try their hand at some music making.
‘These are such special, creative, kind kids — it was so exciting watching them engage and play’, said Anna Griffiths from Musica Viva In Schools. One of the schools had even taken the time to write and perform their own special song for Gypsy Tober. At the end of the day, all felt that they had a new and lasting sense of community, and that the Daly River region has the potential to become a community arts hub for future generations of musicians.
Musica Viva, with the assistance of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and Arts Queensland, will soon be off on a tour of regional Queensland, with the same aims of delivering music education to remote areas of Australia.