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The Song Room Teaching Artist Stephan Skov: ‘Giving a Voice to the Voiceless’

Stephan Skov’s singing and drama workshop program at Dandenong Primary, supported by Gandel Philanthropy one of Australia’s largest independent family philanthropic funds, is a ‘best practice’ example of work by The Song Room’s highly talented and creative Teaching Artists.

Stephan has a Masters degree in Music Therapy, a Music degree and a special degree in Hero Training from his native Norway. His pedagogical approach is closely linked to the latest research promoting the use of music and drama activities to improve social, emotional and educational outcomes for children.

Stephan has described with the purpose of his program at Dandenong Primary School as ‘giving a voice to the voiceless’.

Students speak 41 different languages at Dandenong Primary alone. It can sometimes be difficult for students from such diverse cultural backgrounds to feel a sense of belonging with each other.

One of Stephan’s main aims is to draw out the quiet students and first give them the confidence to sing out loud and take a place on a stage, and then to transfer that confidence to the classroom so that they can speak in front of their class, confidently share their opinions and thoughts, and discover their strengths.

Due to the generosity of the program funders, Gandel Philanthropy, and the ANZ Staff Foundation the program at Dandenong Primary includes a 20 week school singing and drama program, as well as a Creative Communities project to create a school song along with a video clip. The song will be created by students, staff, parents and the local community, facilitated by Teaching Artist Ian Moorhead and Community Liaison Officer Kelly Boucher. Dandenong Primary School will be celebrating its 140th birthday in 2014 and we look forward to seeing students celebrate by singing the school song they will write together.

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