A successful first-leg of the TSO Words and Music tour

17 May 2024, an update from Director of Artistic Development, Kim Waldock

We headed off on our second schools tour for the year on Monday 8th April. We were excited to be setting off with our new schools concert, Words and Music. This tour supported the music education of younger Tasmanian children, especially those attending public schools without music teachers. The program was fun and entertaining, but more importantly demonstrated how easy it can be to include music pedagogy in a classroom.

Jack Machin with excited student

We headed to St Mary's District School, Scottsdale Primary School and Perth Primary School. Acting as hubs for the North-East, these schools were happy to host us and visiting students. Around 1,000 students and teachers attended, both from schools and home-schooling families in the area.

One of our new strategies was to use a conductor-presenter; someone who could both lead the musicians and engage the audience in meaningful music making and activities. Recent recruit, Jack Machin was a perfect fit – having been a player before becoming a school teacher in his life prior to joining the TSO. Jack was hilarious, held the attention, and pushed the children to consider how words make an impact on music, and how musicians respond to instructions and words on their parts.

The concert experience was entertaining, engaging and interactive for everyone from start to finish. Our fabulous TSO musicians played with their usual expertise, plus the use of interactive props and activities increased the level of interaction for our young audience. We showcased several Tasmanian and Australian composers whilst also performing classics by Tchaikovsky and Handel.

This series will be repeated in mid-June at a number of schools around Greater Hobart including the Rokeby, Huonville, Richmond and New Norfolk areas.

Our trip ended with a stop at the magnificent Eskleigh residence outside of Perth to share our music with about 40 residents; music-loving adults with disabilities and their carers. It was a special time watching the joy and reactions on the faces of all present, and watching many non-verbal adults hum, conduct, dance, and move with happiness. It was lovely way to wrap up the tour!

What else is happening for our younger audiences? We have our Family Concert: Animal Kingdom on June 6 with tickets available to our public concert at 6pm.

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