A Border school will be one of the first in Australia to benefit from a national campaign to bring more music into children’s lives.
The Salvation Army’s Just Brass program, which began in Geelong eight years ago, will be introduced at Wodonga West Children’s Centre next year, giving the primary school students free tuition and an instrument to take home.
Wodonga Salvation Army Captain Christine Abram said the weekly sessions would also provide healthy snacks and culminate in end of term concerts that included a meal for families.
“What we need from the community is some musical instruments that are sitting in cupboards, that are anywhere, it doesn’t matter what condition they’re in, but they’re not being used,” she said.
“They can be collected and then retuned, reformed, remoulded, whatever needs to be done. We’ve got some coming up from Melbourne next week to start us off for next year.”
Donated instruments can be dropped off at any Salvation Army centre or store, such as in Melbourne Road or Lawrence Street, Wodonga, or Lavington. Donations of time or money for catering were also welcome.
The Don’t Stop The Music national instrument donation drive, backed by singer songwriter Guy Sebastian, builds on the success of the recent ABC TV series.
Wodonga West assistant principal Sharon Mawby said the initiative offered a great opportunity to increase children’s access to music.
“The amount of music that they get nowadays in a primary school is fairly minimal really,” she said.
“Music is research-proven to help with other academic studies, particularly maths, so it sounds like a great thing for our school.
“Logistically it’s just fabulous because the Salvation Army hall’s on the next corner to us.”
Captain Abram said this proximity allowed a walking bus to the class lessons.
“We have funding for two years; we’d like ongoing funding and a bus because the other schools were very interested,” she said.
“All the experiences and history of Just Brass is that people come along to help, people come along to donate because they can see the outcomes in the children’s lives.”
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