A game changer for music education


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The students of Holy Spirit College Lakemba were one of 150 Catholic schools in Sydney participating in the Amadeus Music Education Program. Photo: Natalie Roberts / Sydney Catholic Schools

Sydney Catholic Schools has launched a landmark new music education program that will not only help foster the careers of professional musicians, but will also lead to better academic performance and student well-being.

Through Amadeus’ Music Education Program, 33,000 students in Sydney’s 150 Catholic schools will benefit from a quality music education, including learning to play a musical instrument by early 2024.

Sydney Catholic Schools executive director Tony Farley said the program builds on the great tradition of music education in Catholic education, with benefits extending far beyond the curriculum. music itself.

“We need a solid musical education in schools, and I applaud the Catholic schools in Sydney for their commitment and investment in Amadeus. “

“There is a strong correlation between excellent musical progress in schools and better academic performance in reading, writing, arithmetic and analytical skills. So this was a time when we could put it all together and create a huge opportunity for all the students in our system, ”he said.

The program offers students in-class music lessons, ensemble lessons and small group lessons and will be led by more than 80 classroom music teachers and 270 specialist music teachers.

Tutors bring with them professional experience of orchestras and ensembles across Australia and the world, with strong program support from the Sydney Youth Orchestra, Sydney Conservatory of Music and Opera Australia. .

Music Education Program at St John Vianney Elementary School, Greenacre. Photo: St John Vianney Primary, Greenacre” width=”808″ height=”488″ data-srcset=”https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Kenny-Music-261121-4.jpg 808w, https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Kenny-Music-261121-4-300×181.jpg 300w, https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Kenny-Music-261121-4-768×464.jpg 768w, https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Kenny-Music-261121-4-696×420.jpg 696w, https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Kenny-Music-261121-4-695×420.jpg 695w, https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Kenny-Music-261121-4-600×362.jpg 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 808px) 100vw, 808px”/>
Students of the Amadeus Music Education Program at St John Vianney Elementary School, Greenacre. Photo: St John Vianney Primary, Greenacre

“The Amadeus program is visionary and of enormous value to the orchestral world at large,” said Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini.

“We need a solid musical education in schools, and I applaud the Catholic schools in Sydney for their commitment and investment in Amadeus.”

The program started with a successful pilot project involving 13 schools in the Auburn-Lakemba network.

“It gave me more skills and personal responsibilities. I have to keep the instruments clean, loosen the bow before putting it back in the case, and even show up for the tutorials on time.

One of the schools involved, Holy Spirit College mixed secondary school in Lakemba, said it was already reaping the rewards.

Principal Phillip Scollard said this has helped to dramatically expand access to music education for students from all socio-economic backgrounds.

“With our 7 years, even though it’s been up for a year, we can see that it really helps them engage in their learning more effectively, including better focus. Music is not a cheap business and therefore a program like this is also a real social leveler, ”he said.

Grade 7 student Elyssia Deeb started playing the transverse flute and said she had benefited greatly from the Amadeus program.

“It also helped me improve my memory because I have to remember all the notes. It gives everyone the opportunity to play musical instruments that we might not have otherwise been able to access. It’s a wonderful program and we get constant support and guidance from our music teachers, ”she said.

His classmate John-Paul Sukkar also had a very positive experience learning to play the viola.

“The Amadeus program is visionary and of enormous value to the orchestral world at large. “

“It gave me more skills and personal responsibilities. I have to keep the instruments clean, loosen the bow before putting it back in the case and even show up for the tutorials on time, ”he said.

The Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator at Holy Spirit College Ms Emma Hughes said the Amadeus program is starting to unlock many previously untapped musical talents among students.

“They never had the experience of playing the flute or the cello or anything and some students never even knew these instruments existed,” she explained.

The students of Holy Spirit College Lakemba were one of 150 Catholic schools in Sydney participating in the Amadeus Music Education Program.  Photo: Natalie Roberts / Sydney Catholic Schools
The students of Holy Spirit College Lakemba were one of 150 Catholic schools in Sydney participating in the Amadeus Music Education Program. Photo: Natalie Roberts / Sydney Catholic Schools

“So it has been very exciting to unlock these abilities that you would never have known existed without this program.”

Head of St John Vianney Elementary School in Greenacre, Mr. Justin Coupland said classes in the program had moved online during the recent lockdown, but face-to-face tutoring would resume soon.

“COVID embarrassed a bit, which made face-to-face teaching quite difficult, but tutors continued to post online through Google Classroom,” he said.

“As our grade 3 students start and enter high school, we’ll see the music programs evolve in all of these schools, throughout elementary school, but particularly in high schools…”

Thanks to the program, students in grades 3 to 8 will have access to 52,000 different instruments by 2024 and in-class music lessons will begin in kindergarten.

Sydney Catholic Schools executive director Tony Farley said it would have many long-term benefits.

“As we have our grade 3 students starting and entering high school, we will see the music curricula evolve in all of these schools, throughout elementary, but especially in high schools, we will have students who have benefited from four years of practice, working in ensembles and bands which will then enter our high schools with real confidence and will greatly contribute to the music programs of our schools, ”he added.


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