The Song Room drums up support to host classes for Balga SHS students


Anon Atem Kiir, Daniel Susnjar and Selamawit Meshesha.
Anon Atem Kiir, Daniel Susnjar and Selamawit Meshesha.

BALGA Senior High School students from disadvantaged countries will receive the opportunity to take part in drumming lessons conducted by a Dianella-based artist in 2017.

The school and not-for-profit organisation The Song Room received funding to launch drumming lessons for disadvantaged children and refugees.

Dianella resident Daniel Susnjar, who is also a lecturer at Edith Cowan University, is one of the drummers who will be running the workshops.

The Song Room WA regional program manager Elisa Williams said children from Syria, other Arab countries, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar would be participating in the lessons.

“We are going to be working in the Intensive English Centre… the students are all new arrivals, they often arrive on humanitarian visas to learn English for five terms,” she said.

“Our program is all about connecting with the students on a creative level and giving them something they can all shine at.

“They have said percussion and drumming is something all of their children can do and it is something they can really relate to and not need a lot of language for.”

Ms Williams said students would get the chance to work with professionals.

“We really just hope they develop in confidence, the ability to be expressive and critical thinking skills,” she said.

“Drumming is a different way of learning and it is just as important as what they are learning in numeracy and literacy.”

The Song Room chief executive Caroline Aebersold said the program was expected to help more than 150 students at Balga.