The students had never touched an instrument. Now they play in orchestras



Sydney Catholic Schools principal Tony Farley said the benefits of learning music were spilling over into other areas. “Neuroscience is pretty clear about the ability to learn an instrument to improve all kinds of areas of learning, to help with literacy and especially numeracy, as well as the powerful experience of working with others. people, ”he said.

Attracting families to the Catholic school district was not the main goal of the program, Mr Farley said, but it would help.

“We are convinced that once people know about it it will become very popular and already is,” he said. “It’s equity of access to music education that in many parts of Sydney would not be possible for financial reasons alone. “

In St Joseph, children learn the violin, viola or cello. In other schools in the Auburn-Lakemba region, which piloted the program this year, they learned brass or woodwinds.

Ms. Melville was concerned that the screeching of the strings would be difficult for teachers’ ears, but “I was delighted and impressed with how quickly the music teachers and tutors were able to produce recognizable tunes with the students,” he said. she declared.

“They already did a little concert for kindy, first and second year, they were so nervous and so excited at the end that they did it together.


“They have been so responsible for their instruments that they are proud and attentive to them. In the entire year there have been maybe two broken arcs. Some of our students discovered they could play by ear – they never would have known.

The program will be rolled out to 33,000 students in 150 Sydney Catholic schools by region, starting with East Hills, Horsley, North Sydney and City West this year. It will start in the other regions in 2023.

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