Tales from the Northern Territory

Isabella Mazzarola, one of our education managers, headed up to the Northern Territory last month where she visited schools, attended a professional development session and saw Torres Strait Islander ensemble Wyniss in action. She reports back:

Last month I had the opportunity to visit schools across Alice Springs, including schools that were not yet familiar with the Musica Viva Australia In Schools (MVAIS) program. To see the impact that the MVAIS program has had on schools in Alice Springs was a delight. It was also a chance to reach out to schools who have not experienced MVAIS and to talk about their needs and challenges.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of my trip to the NT was being welcomed into Yirara College to watch the Wyniss ensemble perform. Yirara College is a boarding school for Indigenous students who come from remote communities across the NT. The joy and excitement amongst the students and teachers as they engaged with the ensemble was palpable. The students and teachers both seized opportunities to join performers on stage, and to showcase their use of teaching resources that they had been engaging with all term. This was the culmination of an NT-wide tour for the Wyniss ensemble, visiting around Darwin, Nhulunbuy, Katherine, and finally Alice Springs. I also got to see an MVA professional development workshop, “Let’s Get Creative with the Curriculum”, run by Michelle Rollins.

I hold this trip close to my heart as a reminder of why accessible music education is so important, especially for educators and students in regional and remote areas. I want to say thank you to Musica Viva Australia and our supporters for everything they do to make journeys such as this possible.

Thank you to all our teachers in the Northern Territory for welcoming us into your schools and taking the time to talk about your needs and challenges. We look forward to our 2024 live in schools tours, launching next month.