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Grants Music To The Ears Of Victorian Schools

31 May 2017

More than 2,000 instruments including keyboards, violins, trumpets, flutes and drums will be on their way to Victorian students, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards today visited Lightning Reef Primary School in Bendigo to announce that the school is one of the 44 recipients of the second and final round of the Musical Instruments Grants program.

Lightning Reef, along with Bendigo Special Development School, are among 44 schools – 25 regional and 19 metropolitan – that will now have up to $5,000 to purchase a range of musical instruments for their students.

Lightning Reef Primary School will use the grant funding to purchase eight keyboards, 25 guitars, 25 ukuleles, a drum kit, a digital wireless system and various musical accessories such as guitar picks and keyboard stands.

Bendigo Special Development School will use its grant funding to purchase 83 percussion instruments, including xylophones tambourines and chime bars, as well as musical accessories, books and resources.

In total, this round of funding will see schools purchase 95 keyboards and pianos, 479 string instruments, 18 brass instruments, 155 woodwind instruments, 1,040 percussion instruments, 75 cultural instruments and 99 pieces of electronic equipment.

The Labor Government’s $2 million Music in Schools initiative also provides professional training for hundreds of Victorian teachers so that schools can establish quality music programs.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“Giving students the chance to play and learn a musical instrument is money well spent.”

“We’re helping hundreds of Victorian schools like Lightning Reef and Bendigo Special Development School develop and run quality music programs for their students.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan

“I look forward to seeing Bendigo students try out their new instruments and equipment. It’s programs like this that level the playing field and give all kids a chance to try out a new skill.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards

These grants are fantastic news for Bendigo students, who will get more opportunities to develop musical skills while learning and having fun.”

Quote attributable to Lightning Reef Primary School Principal Julie Hommelhoff

“It’s going to be great to give our students the opportunity to learn an instrument and perform in front of family and friends.”

Background: Music in Schools Initiative

Research shows that exposure to music and music education enhances student engagement and wellbeing, improves academic performance and literacy results and builds personal and social development.

Unfortunately, not all students in Victoria have access to a musical instrument or music education – both of which can be very expensive or even unavailable in some areas. The Music in Schools initiative helps level the playing field so that students from all corners of Victoria can enjoy playing an instrument.

It is only available for schools in Victoria most in need. The total Music in Schools initiative includes:

  • $1.4 million for professional training for hundreds of Victorian teachers so that schools without strong, school-wide programs can establish quality music programs.
  • $400,000 in grants over two stages for schools to buy instruments.
  • $200,000 so trainee teachers at university studying to become primary teachers can complete musical education training.

To date 603 teachers from 414 schools and 688 pre-service teachers have completed training as part of the Music in Schools’ Musical Futures Australia Professional Learning Program.

Workshops are being conducted across Victoria. More information about upcoming local workshops can be found here: Link

For further information on Music in Schools as a whole go to: Link

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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