Musica Viva, through the Musica Viva In Schools (MVIS) program and with the critical support of the Marian & E.H. Flack Trust, runs an Extended Music Residency Program for all students of Furlong Park School for Deaf Children with musician and educator Karen Kyriakou. The music program started in 2010.
As part of the program, students are taught to play instruments and read music, dance, sign songs, improvise and compose. Students begin the program by learning action songs, signed songs and learn to play non-pitched percussion instruments such as hand-drums, claves, shakers, tambourines and guiros. As they progress through the program, they also learn to play xylophones, recorders and ukuleles, as well as playing music in two or three parts. Students learn to follow a conductor and play in ensembles. All of the instruments used in the music program have been purchased with funds from the Musica Viva program.
Another aspect of this program is giving students the opportunity to experience watching live performances, and each year two MVIS groups visit the school to perform a one-hour concert for students. In preparation for each concert, the students explore the resource kit provided with the live performance program, and learn about the instruments, the music and some of the activities that go along with the music. This ensures the students get the very most out of the live performance and can appreciate the concert from an informed perspective.
Each year, every student in the school present an end of year concert, which takes place one evening, usually in mid-November. Students work hard to practice for the concert, learning dances, instrumental items and signed choir items. Each year the concert has a theme. Students are often involved in making their own costumes and props for the performance and all families are invited to attend. The end of year student performance has become a highlight on the Furlong Park calendar.
Musica Viva In Schools is the largest independent provider of school music education in the country, reaching nearly 300,000 Australian students each year. Musica Viva’s goal is to bring live music performances of quality, diversity, challenge and joy to as many people as possible at all life stages. For more information, please visit musicaviva.com.au/education.