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2018 Victorian Education Week Performance

Students from The Song Room programs around Melbourne shone at ‘Instrumental Change’, a special performance at Deakin Edge, as part of Victoria’s Education Week.

Now in its 74th year, the 2018 Victorian Education Week theme was ‘Celebrating the Arts’. This signals a shift in the growing recognition of the importance of creativity in education, and proved a fantastic opportunity for students to come together to celebrate the importance of creativity at the heart of their learning.

At the beginning of the show, students were treated to an enlightening conversation with special guests, inaugural ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award winner, Renee McCarthy and singer-songwriter, Josh Pyke. Renee and Josh discussed their respective music education journeys and Renee encouraged the children to “just have a go… and music can make you happy”.

The students from St. Theresa’s School in Albion took the stage shook off their nerves and entertained the crowd with their ukuleles. Under the guidance of Teaching Artist Tessa Duddy, and Teacher Jane Cahill, the students have been exploring commonalities between cultures expressed through story, music, movement and song in their Song Room program. They extended on these themes with two beautiful songs exploring themes of friendship, family, belonging, dreams and hopes.

The Grade 1-2 children from Braybrook’s Christ the King School and Noble Park English Language School (Casey Campus) showcased their newfound dance, drama and physical expression skills to with stellar dance performances, while the students from Westall Primary School roared with an energetic drum performance.

A highlight of the event was a brilliant piece from Collingwood English Language School’s Craigieburn Campus, who brought the house down with a piece they wrote and performed on the Federation Handbells. These beautifully crafted bells were created for Australia’s 2001 Centenary of Federation, and are now available for schools to borrow for performances. The bells are great for developing musical skills including listening, physical and team coordination, timing and rhythm. Thanks to Museum Victoria’s Outreach Program for the loan!

Finally, The Big Band from St Michael’s Grammar School performed renditions of big band and jazz standards that had the children wide eyed. The St Michael’s students also took time out talk to the children about their instruments of choice and why they enjoy learning music.

Events like these are an excellent way for students to showcase the instrumental music, dance, and performance skills they have learned as part of their Song Room programs. Development of these creative skills are a fantastic way to empower children to flourish, improving their education outcomes and enhancing their personal development for life!

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