Josiah* is a grade 4 student from a Song Room school in regional Victoria. His home life is regularly violent. Josiah’s two older brothers have both been asked to leave their school and he is subjected to bullying and trauma every night at home.
At school he is aggressive. He is most disruptive in the mornings, as he brings his troubles with him from home. It often takes him until the afternoon to settle down and participate in class.
His teachers have tried a number of ways to help Josiah, but his antisocial behaviour continues to worsen. Child services visit Josiah’s family regularly but have so far been unable to improve his situation.
The Song Room started a program in Josiah’s school last year. The Song Room Teaching Artist, Nicole, immediately identified Josiah’s significant behavioural problems.
“Many of our students have behavioural problems yet when participating in the Song Room workshops students are focused inspired and on track. We have never had an issue with behaviour in any Song Room session because the students are so engaged” – School teacher
Nicole kept encouraging Josiah to have a go, and before long offered Josiah one-on-one piano lessons before class in the morning.
Thanks to a generous donor, The Song Room was able to provide Josiah with his own keyboard so that he could learn outside of class time. Due to his troubled home life, Josiah and his teachers agreed that the piano needed to stay at school and he would come in 15 minutes early each day to practice by himself.
The transformation in Josiah was immediate.
With only 15 minutes of piano practice in the morning, Josiah was calm and engaged at school all day long. He stopped fighting with other children and was no longer in trouble with his teachers.
His confidence increased, as did his participation across other subject areas.
Alarmingly, three in four Australian children do not have access to music and arts education that is proven to increase school attendance, academic results and social-emotional wellbeing. You can help them by donating today.
Josiah’s school is in a poverty-stricken area in regional Victoria. Unemployment is high. Drug use and domestic violence are endemic. Behavioural issues are common amongst students at this school, and develop at a young age.
In the twelve months The Song Room has been working in the community, there have been significant, measured improvements in school attendance, academic results and social-emotional wellbeing.
These children need our help. Please help us give the gift of music today.
*name changed for privacy