30 November 2023

Everyone deserves music in their education

Co-curricular
Everyone deserves music in their education
Everyone deserves music in their education
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In 2002, musician, activist and actor Steven Van Zandt created an education initiative, TeachRock. Based in New York it provides arts-integration curriculum and professional development workshops for K–12 schools nationwide. The idea came to Van Zandt after interactions with representatives from national music education bodies who claimed that tying funding to testing that did not include performing and creative art had been devastating to that sector of education. This initiative reaches 800,000 students per year and hosts over 45,000 online users. The members of the board include Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Jackson Browne and Martin Scorsese.

For those of you who watch The Sopranos, you will know Van Zandt as Silvio Dante. For those who love Bruce Springsteen, you will know him as the guitarist from the E Street Band. And there are 800,000 plus students who probably don’t really know him in either of those roles who are gaining access to the performing arts because he had the ability to make this initiative a reality, and how fortunate those students are to be given that opportunity.

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As we draw to the end of a very special year at Carey, it is good to reflect on the performing arts opportunities we have been able to provide across all sections. This year we rehearsed and performed eight choirs, 11 wind bands, four jazz groups, eight orchestral string ensembles, two fretted string ensembles, Middle and Senior School Musicals, Middle and Senior School Plays, a performing arts tour, a Junior School Donvale Musical, and a variety of solo and small ensemble offerings. The outreach across the School is significant in providing opportunity, experience and community. We are fortunate at Carey to be in a position to offer these experiences and through this, advocate for the importance of the performing arts in educational settings.

Thank you to the families who joined us in early November for the Twilight Concert. This was a perfect opportunity to roll out the 2024 auditioned ensembles who all performed so well after only three rehearsals. The weather was not in our favour but the JOT Quad still allowed for the less formal setting desired of the event and the enthusiasm and support amongst the student musicians was evident.

The Carols at St Paul’s was another beautiful event featuring a staff and student ensemble to accompany the carols, and seven of our eight choirs in full Christmas voice. The acoustics at St Paul’s are just lovely for this occasion and I do believe that we were feeling that much more ‘Christmassy’ by the end. Huge credit to Kira Cepulo for her French Horn solo – a perfect setting for such expressive playing.

On behalf of the Performing Arts Department I would like to wish our Carey community a restful and safe festive season, and we look forward to another great year of Performing Arts in 2024.

Sally Davis
Head of Performing Arts

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