Symphony orchestra performs for school of air kids

Symphony orchestra performs for school of air kids
  • PublishedDecember 5, 2023

Classical music was recently in the air for School of the Air students in far west New South Wales.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra headed into the School of the Air headquarters in Broken Hill, to perform for the outback kids.(Cherie McDonald)

Members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra held a special music lesson for students living on remote stations.  

School of the Air assistant principal Julie Baldwin, says it was important for the children to be able to listen to the state’s top orchestra. 

“Many wouldn’t have had the opportunity to hear classical music. It’s really important for children to have access to professional musicians. 

“Children ranging from preschool, to year six, along with their parents or governesses took part. 

“There were about 15 families participating. 

“I really liked it today. All the music made a weird feeling in my stomach, it was really funny.”

“It’s really important for us to have the symphony here, so the children can access professional, orchestral musicians.

“We can get the music out to our kids who are a long way, away.”

Sydney Symphony Orchestra education head Kim Waldock, says there’s great advantages in children being exposed to classical music. 

“Classical music is different as it has incredible complexity, beauty and colour and sounds.

“There’s nothing like being in a room with live music, because it affects all the senses. 

“I think for the kids to actually see an orchestra, to see the animal that makes those kinds of sounds is really, really essential.  

“I guess my job with the orchestra is very much about demystifying classical music for school teachers, because many of them don’t know how to use it in their classroom, or much about the instruments.” 

Waldock adapted a traditional song for the orchestra to play to the School of the Air children. 

Sydney Symphony Orchestra Head of Education Kim Waldock with orchestral musicians at the School of the Air studio in Broken Hill.(Cherie McDonald)

“The song ‘I am a fine musician’ is a traditional song I think it started in Germany, and it’s a song that allows you to introduce different instruments in the orchestra.

“So I took that tune and arranged it accordingly.

“I chose the violin, viola, trombone, bassoon and timpani, because they were a little unusual and they were ones the children could look up and research further.” 

Rebecca Pearce from Gumpopla station, 275 kilometres north east from Broken Hill, says she travelled into town with her children so they could see the orchestra live. 

“I think it’s important for opportunities like this to happen out here for our kids.

“They need to be exposed to different experiences.”

School of the Air student Charlotte, seven, says she particularly likes listening to the trombone. 

“I like it because it sounds loud and noisy,” she says. 

School of the Air student Darcey, eight, from Avonel station, 150 kilometres north west of Broken Hill, says he likes the way classical makes him feel. 

“I really liked it today. All the music made a weird feeling in my stomach, it was really funny. 

His twin sister Charli, eight, agrees. 

“I like all the instruments and I like listening to the violin because it makes a nice noise,” she says.

School of the Air assistant principal Julie Baldwin watches on, as station kids in far west New South Wales enjoy a music class with Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Broken Hill.(Cherie McDonald)


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