Learning to play an instrument

The students had never touched an instrument. Now they’re playing in orchestras – The Sydney Morning Herald

Summary

The head of Sydney Catholic Schools, Tony Farley, said benefits of learning music spilled over into other areas. “The neuroscience is pretty clear about the ability of learning an instrument to enhance all sorts of areas of learning, to assist with literacy and particularly with numeracy, and also the powerful experience of working with other people,” he said.

Attracting families to the Catholic school sector was not the primary aim of the program, Mr Farley said, but it would help……..

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The head of Sydney Catholic Schools, Tony Farley, said benefits of learning music spilled over into other areas. “The neuroscience is pretty clear about the ability of learning an instrument to enhance all sorts of areas of learning, to assist with literacy and particularly with numeracy, and also the powerful experience of working with other people,” he said.

Attracting families to the Catholic school sector was not the primary aim of the program, Mr Farley said, but it would help.

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

At St Joseph’s, the children are learning the violin, viola or cello. At other schools in the Auburn-Lakemba region, which piloted the program this year, they’ve learned brass or woodwind instruments.

Ms Melville worried the screeching of strings would be hard on the teachers’ ears, but “I’ve been delighted and impressed with how quickly the music teachers and tutors were able to produce recognisable tunes with the students,” she said.

“They’ve already performed a little concert for kindy, year one and two, they were so nervous and so elated at the end that they had achieved it together.

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“They’ve been so responsible for their instruments, they take pride and care. Over the whole year, there’s been maybe two bows broken. Some of our students have found they can play by ear – they would never have known that.”

The program will be rolled out to 33,000 students across 150 Sydney Catholic Schools by region, beginning with East Hills, Horsley, North Sydney and City West this year. It will begin in the remaining regions in 2023.

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Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/the-students-had-never-touched-an-instrument-now-they-re-playing-in-orchestras-20211117-p599sz.html