Music hits high note at school

Music is hitting a high note among budding musos at Cire Community School thanks to a Telstra Kids grant.

Following the purchase of a range of instruments with the grant money, there are many more opportunities available to students. The program offers benefits for students on a number of levels and classes have become a much-anticipated ‘jam session’ for enthusiasts.

Music teacher Jeremy Collings said that the program is particularly valuable at the Community School given its cohort of students who require a positive alternative to mainstream education.

‘It is a highly effective resource to foster self-confidence and social connectedness while developing positive social interaction skills and emotional regulation strategies for students,’ Jeremy said.

‘For example, repetitive rhythm helps calm the central nervous system and focussing closely on the sense of sound and fine motor movement encourages a present, mindful headspace.’

Cire’s music program is highly individualised, allowing opportunities for students to learn musical skills and knowledge based on individual interest. Students negotiate their own realistic goals and develop a program to work toward them. Given time, support and space to work on musical endeavours, students feel safe to make mistakes and use strength-based approaches to problem solve.

Jeremy said that digital music-making is popular among students. It encourages students to express their emotions and develop a unique musical voice. It also offers students the chance to gain hands-on experience with an adaptable and employable set of skills in a society full of user-created media content and the ubiquity of IT in the workforce.

He also added that small group work is often playful and helps build new friendships and teamwork skills as students communicate about how to improve their combined sound.

‘Motivation can be a challenge for our students so it is great to see the resilience they show when trying to master a new song.’

Jeremy said the following highlights the success of the program:

Lucas says that music is ‘the most fun’ and helps with his depression and anxiety. He doesn’t have any instruments at home so it’s great to come to school to play them.

‘I love instruments and I love playing the guitar, especially when I learn new stuff. I’m getting better’. Jayvan


The school is hoping to apply for further funding and or sponsorship, including the 2019 Telstra Kids grants, to purchase music software and also an electric drum kit to develop the program further.

The benefit to students is again highlighted by the following:

Stephen says he has outgrown all he can do with the free software available. He would like to take the next step towards creating professional recordings using software that needs to be purchased.

Shy students such as Olivia say they would be able to play the electric drum kit because they can use headphones and no-one will be able to hear her when she practices.

The benefits of music and movement

UYCH Children’s Centre celebrated Lunar New Year on Monday. Being China’s biggest ceremonious holiday our centre was an abundance of activity all inspired by Asian culture. Traditional stories were told about the importance of families getting together to prepare for good fortune. On that note the children sang a Lunar New Year song about just that, good fortune called Gung Hay Fat Choy.

The benefits of music and movement
As described in the Creative Curriculum for Preschool Children by Diane Trister Dodge and Laura J. Colke. Children naturally love music! Whether it’s soft and soothing or a lively tune, children feel it both physically and emotionally. Throughout the early years, children are learning to do new things with their bodies. Young children are also learning that movement can communicate messages and represent actions. They begin to learn about the world by acting on objects and people, and they “think with their bodies” well before they think with words. This is why body movement is not only fun for children but also a good opportunity for them to solve problems. Singing or chanting can help make routine activities and transitions such as gathering children into a circle or group activity, smoother and more enjoyable. Music helps to set a mood. Quiet, soothing music calms and relaxes children, while a lively tune rouse them for energetic clean up time.

Music and movement are also social activities that help children feel part of the group. As children grow in their appreciation of the beauty of music and dance, they acquire a gift that will bring them great pleasure. Music brings another dimension of beauty into our lives. Music and movement benefit a child’s development in many ways.

  1. Participating in a group
  2. Social skills
  3. Express emotions
  4. Enhance self‐concept by sharing music and dance of each other’s culture
  5. Refine listening skills, noticing changes in tempo or pitch
  6. Awareness of movement and body positions
  7. Creativity and imagination
  8. Learn new words and concepts
  9. Explore cause and effect
  10. Develop large motor skills
  11. Improve balance coordination
  12. Improve small motor skills, finger play and musical instrument

UYCH kinder programs embrace this methodology by having a dedicated Music and Movement Coordinator, Toula who taught the children a dance using scarves and fans. Combining cultural props with music the event was a great way for the children to creatively express themselves. With scarves

flowing and many smiles on their little faces you could tell enjoyment was had by all.

Activities like these are a great opportunity for the children to engage in cultural experiences, here are what some of the children had to say:

“The words in the song were really good” – Grace

“I liked Toula’s dancing the best” – Caleb

“I liked the red fan” – Bailey

The Children Centre would like to thank Helen from the Yarra Junction Op Shop for her generous scarves donation.

If you would like to know more about our early childhood education services click here or call 03 5967 2776 Yarra Junction or 03 9736 1918 for Mt Evelyn