Over 20,000 children will benefit from more than 120 streamed concerts in the opening weeks of the program, which officially kicks off today following a fast-paced trial and development period.
The unique offering allows schools to connect with their communities easily and securely. Whether at home or in the classroom, everyone can share in the excitement of a live, interactive music performance, accompanied by curriculum-aligned lesson plans and fun music activities.
‘I’ve been awestruck by how quickly artists, educators and Musica Viva have worked together to meet the challenges of COVID-19,’ says Michael Sollis, Artistic Director, Education.
‘Together, we have developed online performances that are part Play School, part talk-back radio and part-workshop, where every student has a front-row interactive experience.’
‘Education across this country is facing serious challenges,’ he adds. ‘This program allows students, teachers and families to stay connected, regardless of where they are, by interacting with some of our country’s finest musicians.’
Supported by an emergency grant from Wesfarmers Arts, each Musica Viva In Schools package offers an entire term’s worth of fun, curriculum-linked online activities, culminating in a 60-minute interactive performance by one of 15 ensembles featuring some of Australia’s very best musicians.
Helen Carroll-Fairhall, Manager, Wesfarmers Arts, says: ‘At a time when we’re not able to come together to enjoy live performance in theatres and concert halls, it feels more important than ever to support livestreaming Australian-made music into our homes and our schools.’
‘All Australian children and young people deserve to experience the special exhilaration of seeing and hearing and being inspired by our country’s wonderful musicians,’ she continues. ‘And the benefit goes both ways because programs like these, keep our artists employed and connected to the community and that’s so important to our national well-being. We are delighted to be able to support Musica Viva do this great work for Australian children and artists.’
‘I’ve been blown away by the results of our trials, where we have seen, for example, students in multiple locations work together to make string-game dances inspired by Torres Strait ensemble Wyniss,’ marvels Sollis.
‘In other trials we have also seen students deepen their understanding of our environment through activities inspired by harpist Alice Giles’ expedition to Antarctica.’
Musica Viva In Schools also offers many other online resources to enrich the learning experience and upskill teachers. These range from accredited professional development webinars and the ‘Music Teaching for the Primary Classroom’ course, to the free Musicadventures e-books and digital Musicassentials tools.
Created for remote learning, these can be taught as a break between lessons or expanded upon, focusing on specific music outcomes and other learning areas. Over 300 teachers have also participated in online Professional Development sessions, with many more to follow.
‘The arts can be sanctuaries that allow space for personal reflection whilst promoting cohesion,’ Sollis says. ‘Few other activities possess this dual ability, which is why the arts are so uniquely relevant during this time of disruption.’
‘Alongside some of Australia’s very best musicians we will be allowing teachers, students and families to grow creatively together.’
The program also gives artists urgently needed revenue at a time when they have lost so much.
This is just one of the initiatives implemented by Musica Viva that supports Australian musicians. It has also adapted its high school chamber music championship, Strike A Chord, for online delivery, announced the next recipients of its carer-changing FutureMakers professional development program, and directed funds from donated ticket revenue and other sources to support Australian artists.
To learn more about Musica Viva In Schools Online and watch a performance excerpt, please visit https://musicaviva.com.au/education.
Musica Viva Australia is a not‐for‐profit organisation that has championed music in the classroom since 1981 and music, generally, across Australia since 1945. Its range of diverse professional musicians tour to schools all over Australia, inspiring teachers and students through live music performance.