The Accenture Australia Foundation provided funding in 2008-9 bringing Musica Viva’s music education program to disadvantaged schools in Victoria and NSW. Many of these schools had never had a music program nor a teacher equipped with the skills to teach music. The impact at each of these schools is significant as Musica Viva provides professional learning for teachers so that they gain the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for teaching music within their school. The Accenture Australia Foundation also provided an instrument package for each disadvantaged school to keep. Comments from an outer metropolitan Melbourne school teacher in 2008 sum up the benefits of bringing music to children.
“Our school is located in a low socio-economic area where unemployment and drugs are a common theme. The school has a higher than average number of students with behavioural and concentration issues. We have had no music program for many years.
The musical instruments owned by the school were limited, very old and broken! Now the school has new and exciting instruments, and students and teachers are enjoying an active music program. It has been embraced by the whole school from P-6… The teachers that attended the Professional Development courses presented the learnings to teachers at our staff meeting…The resource kit was clear with suggested activities.
Each day the school has been playing the music over the loud speaker for the students. While waiting in line before class each day with the music [of the Musica Viva ensemble] played over the loud speakers I observed my students dancing to the music, linking arms and doing jigs instead of fighting! It was a pleasure to sit in my office and watch them each day…
…(Through Musica Viva In Schools) the students have been exposed to a totally different type of music and many students have never been to a live concert previously so this in itself a was a fantastic opportunity that was embraced by all the students. This was evident in that the students were silent and attentive during the performance. To maintain the attention of these students for such a length of time is a testament to the skill of the musicians.”