Bruthen Primary School nestles in the hills on the Great Alpine Road 25 km east of Bairnsdale in East Gippsland. Music had been part of the school curriculum for many years with the Orff Schulwerk approach providing the basis that integrates singing, speech, movement, dance, percussion and tuned instruments use and instruction.
Children experiment, explore, compose and improvise at all levels and in all areas.The school has a sequenced program which is being continually refined and expanded. The ukulele was introduced this year to the children in grade 5/6.
Interest from the children particularly the boys provided the initial launching point for this addition. The drive and desire to play the ukulele encourages the children to learn music theory along with enjoyment of making music. To kick start the ukulele band Mr Peter May a well known and very experience teacher provided a stimulating session for our grade 5/6 students. Peter travelled from Newmerella PS bringing ukuleles, marimbas and xylophones to supplement our instruments allowing all children to experience making music as one.
In the space of 90 minutes the children were playing as a well rehearsed and professional unit. Some of Peter’s xylophones were originally purchased with funds provided by CEP 25 years ago.
Following Peter’s visit we are making our own marimbas with the help of a parent and the local men’s shed are having a go at making a xylophone.
The school has an active choir group who recently performed the very moving ANZAC song at our assembly. A visiting instrumental tutor provides additional instruction to our children who have the opportunity to learn the guitar, flute, keyboard, clarinet and trombone.
We are currently working towards more community involvement with our music program. The future is positive for the music at Bruthen Primary School with three quarters of our children inspired and interested in extra music outside our regular classroom music program. The potential and talent we need to harness and develop.