On Monday 20 February 2017 the pilot NECOM Music and Literacy Project was launched with teachers from the nine participating schools. These include the Snowgums Cluster of small schools: Ben Lomond, Bald Blair, Black Mountain, Chandler and Ebor, as well as Tingha, Drummond Memorial, Ashford Central and Walcha Central.
Sounds of singing and laughter could be heard as teachers grappled with learning to play the ukulele as well as investigating how playing ukulele will support classroom teachers and music specialists to implement the NSW K-6 Music Syllabus.
As well as implementing the Music Syllabus, the Music and Literacy Project includes a specific focus on building oral language skills, vocabulary and general knowledge with the use of a specific language strategy built in to each music lesson.
Comprehensive lesson plans, resources and demonstrations were provided to the participating teachers who had fun being students in the class as the program developer, Cathy Welsford, worked through the lessons, demonstrating techniques and strategies. These lessons were also recorded so that teachers can refer to particular strategies before teaching their classes. The project will supply 24 comprehensive music lessons for the teachers to implement from terms 1 to 3 with a culminating activity in early term 4.
There was much excitement and anticipation as the teachers departed, very eager to begin their ukulele and music journey with their classes.