This year, we have played Chamber Music to 2,300 students in the following schools in the North Western region of NSW:
Ashford Central, Bonshaw, St Marys Guyra, St Marys Armidale, Black Mountain, Uralla Central, St Josephs Uralla, Mungindi Central, Inverell Public, Bundarra Central, NEGS, Bingara Central, Ben Lomond, Calrossy, Newling, Kellys Plains, Drummond, St Pats Walcha, Rocky River, Ben Venue, Moonbi and Kootingal.
The repertoire we have presented in most schools comes from Presentation No.1 which features works from:
Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev)
The Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra (Britten)
The Carnival of Animals (Saint Saens)
Ideally we will be able to return to these schools in 2019 with our 2nd Presentation which features different repertoire and extra-musical information.
Each time a Trio visits we leave a CD with the school and teaching resources so that the Primary teachers can follow up with material relevant to their teaching programme. The programme is led by a teacher in the school and we simply play the musical examples. It gives the teacher ownership of the content and control over the process of delivery.
I would like to thank the following performers from NECOM who have been travelling with me on this journey: Charlotte Low, Kristal Spreadborough, Joanna Fairs-Wu, Robert Jackson and April Kelson. We are fortunate having such skilled performers based in Armidale at NECOM . The programme could not exist without them.
I leave you with some feedback comments from six of the schools where we have played this year.
Thank you for the presentation today. The students thoroughly enjoyed listening to the music. The Carnival of Animals is a great theme for students because even the youngest of students can think of an animal to suggest. Having the students act like the elephant during the performance was great, as the younger students can tend to start fidgeting after about twenty minutes. A break like this is great for the students.
The performances provide opportunities for students to experience a variety of instruments. Many students may never attend a musical event where they have the opportunity to experience music played live on a variety of instruments. Thank you again for performing for us.
Belinda Baker ….Black Mountain Public School
As always, found it a very informative and enjoyable experience for the students and teachers. The ability for the students to get to see live music of that calibre is very limited. I think it is a really important thing to the students to talk to the musicians as people and see the mechanics of playing a particular instrument. As always, loved your visit
Michael Simpson…..Ashford Central School
Several staff commented on how lovely the communication was in both concerts and how well the students were listening. The balance of performance, questions and discussions was perfect. The ability of the presenters to be flexible with their audience and go with the diversity of enquiries was excellent. Being so close to the instruments was particularly special.
Sara McNeall …..St Mary’s Armidale
Thank you for a wonderful opportunity for students and staff to have an informative and enjoyable musical experience. As always, there was a lovely mix of information to support the pieces that were played. The program catered for our wide range of student abilities engaging them all. Those who are currently learning a musical instrument were able to consolidate their understanding through the activities and other students were introduced to the sound and language of beautiful music. The students particularly enjoyed the interactive activities and I have heard several of them singing the paddling song in the playground after school.
On a personal level, I really appreciated the enthusiasm of all performers and was transported listening to you play. Thank you for your continued support in bringing quality music to our school.
Rosalind Oliver….Inverell Public School
The students really enjoyed the concert and the teachers loved it. The Music was appropriate for the two different groups and the prepared script was excellent. It was great for the classroom teacher to read. The students asked when the group was coming again. It is inspirational to all involved to have live music of such a high standard played in their own classroom. The experience is invaluable to students learning about Music.
Firstly, I appreciate that you can come to smaller schools, and perform for such a small number of students. Often in larger groups, our fewer numbers becomes a barrier, and students certainly were able to respond freely and openly in an environment that is familiar and safe. All students were fascinated with the playing and the script developed, flowed well and students learned a number of interesting facts about the purpose of playing and composing music. All the students were highly engaged throughout and they enjoyed listening to this different style of music. It was fantastic that our student with special needs was able to participate, and it was evident that she loved the music, and showed preferences for style and tone.
On the whole, the program was clearly written by someone with educational experience, which made it a lot more meaningful, the pace and choice of music was well thought out, and I know myself and the students would definitely like you to return.
Kirsten Reim…Ben Lomond
Deidre Rickards OAM
Author and Administrator for Chamber Music in Schools