West Australian Symphony Orchestra present Crescendo music program to Kwinana students

Year 2s from North Parmelia during a free music lesson.
Year 2s from North Parmelia during a free music lesson.

MUSIC has created a crescendo of success for disadvantaged students in Kwinana.

Crescendo is a free music program run by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) and delivered to two Kwinana primary schools: North Parmelia and Medina Primary.

It is inspired by the El Sistema program that began in Venezuela in 1975.

“Music has to be recognised as an agent of social development… it has the ability to ignite an entire community, and to express sublime feelings,” Jose Antonio Abreu, founder El Sistema Venezuela, said.

It seeks to empower children from disadvantaged backgrounds through classical music, using it as a tool to help them reach their full potential and learn life values.

The WASO version is in its third year of delivery and provides weekly music lessons to all Pre-primary, Year 1 and Year 2 students.

Showing off their musical acumen, North Parmelia Primary Year 2 students entertained and educated MLA Roger Cook and Labor candidate for Brand Madeleine King.

Students are now in the vocal-based phase of the program.

Vocal teaching artists Alicia Metusela, Fiona Campbell and Michaela Ivory build on students’ musical skills through singing, listening and movement-based exercises.

WASO spokesman Luke Pownall said results from a survey had underpinned the program’s value.

“Completed by teachers at participating schools at the end of 2015, 100 per cent of respondents felt that Crescendo was relevant to their students’ music education.

“They felt the words ‘happy’, ‘engaged’ and ‘supported’ were most relevant to their students’ response to Crescendo,” he said.

“Also they felt their students had learnt to have fun with music, to listen and have confidence.”

“Specific students had especially benefited from this program.”

He said each year more students from both schools would be added to the program, with the aim of having free music lessons available to every student at the schools by 2020.

“WASO has committed to run the program at no cost to the participating schools or families,” he said.