Community stories: 25 November 2020
Merrigum Primary School is a rural Victorian primary school with a small number of staff and students. The school is committed to building school capacity to provide students with educational opportunities through enhanced, personalised learning.
Many Merrigum Primary Students come from diverse backgrounds and some require additional learning support – something that the school community strives to provide them with. One of the areas where the school wanted to offer more support was music activities and education for the pupils.
In partnership with Merrigum Primary School, The Song Room, an organisation that delivers integrated music and art lessons in school delivered a six-month music program to students from Foundation to Year 6, working alongside their classroom teachers. The program was possible with thanks to a $7,500 REAPing Rewards grant.
Students greatly enjoyed the program and looked forward to their music lessons. Caitlyn Trotter, who led the program for students, told FRRR that the children responded well to all the activities.
“By the end of the lesson, they understood the basic (musical) terms. The children enjoyed being able to work together as a class and loved that they got to play an instrument as part of a song. This was always thoroughly enjoyed.”
This was reflected in the feedback from teachers, Belinda and Judi who reported that “The sessions were very well planned and built sequentially week after week to offer students the opportunity to develop skills at a targeted pace. The students had a lot of fun, and even some of the more reluctant musos were looking forward to class by the end of it.”
As part of the program, The Song Room also facilitated professional development lessons for the teachers, so that the music program could continue well beyond the formal end of The Song Room’s time at the school. Teachers were given lessons plans, games and instructions on how to facilitate music classes in a way that supports the current curriculum. Merrigum Primary School now also has ongoing access to more than 1,000 hours of online video resources from The Song Room to assist with planning and developing arts curriculum for students in the future.