The Goulburn Strings Project
May we introduce you to Dr Anita Collins who is working with Hume Conservatorium on a very special educational program called the "Goulburn Strings Project". You can find more information at Anita Collins' page here: Anita Collins
Research tells us that music education can change the futures of disadvantaged children in so many different ways.
The Goulburn Strings Project (GSP), a collaboration between Hume Conservatorium and Goulburn Public School is a beginner String Program for all students in Grades 2 to 6 at Goulburn Public School. The Goulburn Strings Program has been running for six years and now extends to include graduate students in local secondary schools as well. The GSP’s foundational aim was to address the core issues of access and equity in the area of music education for students in a regional school with several unique challenges. This aim continues and is now broadened to explore wider educational and socio-cultural impacts across the community involved in receiving the GSP.
Children involved with the GSP have become more engaged and confident at school, getting along better with peers and teachers, while making significant improvements in their reading, writing and maths skills. All of these benefits lead to new opportunities for their futures. The GSP has also drawn the wider families of the students together and created a stronger sense of united community around the learning and experiencing of music.
The GSP began in a small way in 2011 with 5 violins being shared between 50 students. Today, thanks to generous sponsorship and funding support, there are approximately 100 students each with their own instrument, participating in the program. In 2018 the GSP extended to include after school rehearsals and ensemble work plus offering new opportunities for students to continue their learning as they move into Year 7 in secondary schools across Goulburn.
In 2013 we were very excited to welcome virtuoso Australian violinist Kirsten Williams (Associate Concert Master SSO) to the Goulburn Strings Program as Patron of the Program, and in an exciting move she joined the teaching staff throughout 2014 and 2015!
The future of the Goulburn Strings program is exciting and full of possibilities as our young students fulfill their potential. We are extremely grateful too all of the generous funders who have supported the GSP over the years and continue to do so. If you are interested in supporting the innovative Goulburn Strings program, please call us on 02 4821 8833.
The Goulburn Concerto
As a special event, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra's Meet the Music concert has been dedicated entirely to the performance of a work called “ The Goulburn Concerto" on April 5 at 10am. This work is one of the first of its kind in the world, expressly written for professional musicians to perform alongside, and as equal members, with young disadvantaged children from Goulburn who have only been playing their instruments for 2 years. This amazing work will also feature as violin soloist the highly experienced Associate Concert Master of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Kirsten Williams. The concert is free and will be attended by school children from Goulburn, the Goulburn Region, Canberra and very importantly, parents of the Goulburn young musicians, most of whom will have never stepped inside a concert hall.
This work has been composed by a world renowned Australian composer Sean O’Boyle AO and will be premiered in the U.S. later this year by three professional orchestras and include young disadvantaged musicians from areas such as LA, New York and Chicago. The work bares the name of the city and children that inspired it and is dedicated to the Canberra Symphony Orchestra who have made significant contribution to the commissioning fee, providing professional musicians and general supporting this innovative idea to creating effective links between professional arts organisations, Canberra's community and extending out to the regional areas that are so integral to the nation's capital. The entire project has emerged from the innovative Goulburn Strings Project under the direction of Hume Conservatorium based in Goulburn.
On the 9th of March 2016, Member for Goulburn the Honorable Pru Goward addressed parliament to speak about the project and what it means for the children involved, the wider Goulburn Community and the future of how we approach music education.