Following the success of ABC TV’s Don’t Stop the Music, presented in partnership with Musica Viva Australia, teachers at Armadale Senior High School are creating opportunities for Challis Community Primary School students to continue their music education thanks to the establishment of a new year seven concert band program.
This is all made possible through the generous support of Healthway, promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message through the New Life Instrument program.
Students from Challis Community Primary School, a feeder school to Armadale Senior High School, featured prominently in the three-episode ABC TV series, which broadcast in November 2018 and kicked off a national instrument donation campaign to support better access to a quality music education. Over 8,000 instruments were donated during the ensuing months.
Now, thanks to further support from Musica Viva and Healthway, instruments have been gifted to allow the students in Armadale that started it all to continue their music education into their secondary years.
‘Learning an instrument through ensemble-based classes is not a technique used widely, with only a handful of schools in Western Australia having implemented the same program,’ says Armadale Senior High School teacher, Anea Duratovic, ‘However, to me it makes complete sense. Music is a practical subject, so you learn it through playing an instrument, not through copious amounts of written work.’
‘It’s wonderful to see teachers taking initiative to ensure students can continue their musical development,’ adds Musica Viva’s Director of Education, Colette Vella, ‘It encourages creativity and collaboration in the classroom and supports strong engagement with their peers, learning environment and individual well-being.’
Twenty year seven students are currently learning either trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet or percussion in an ensemble format during class time, as well as having extra group lessons with their instrumental tutors.
Healthway Chief Executive Officer Ms Susan Hunt PSM says they are proud of the great partnership with Musica Viva in the New Life Instrument program.
‘This is a really special program. Members of our community donate used musical instruments that are then gifted to schools for use in their music programs.’
‘Through this partnership, children and young people at the Challis Community Primary School and Armadale Senior High School have benefited from the joy of learning and participating in music and performance. This opens up new areas of experience for many and contributes to individual well-being and also positive mental health,’ said Ms Hunt.
‘The advantages of studying an instrument are well known,’ agrees Ms Duratovic, ‘A sense of achievement, emotional development and engagement in school are just some of the benefits I am witnessing as I run this program. Being in a low socio-economic area, I believe learning an instrument will be a crucial element in helping these students grow positively through their high school career.’
Media and the community will have the chance to see the new Armadale Senior High School Year 7 Concert Band in action when they present their first public performance on Thursday, 27 June from 6:00-7:00pm in the Armadale Senior High School Performing Arts Centre.