Open Music Academy opened to country kids

Open Music Academy launch

The University of Adelaide’s Open Music Academy will give school students from regional and remote South Australia access to learn at the Elder Conservatorium of Music thanks to new funding from the State Government.

The Government is investing more than $140,000 to support a program of masterclasses, workshops and travel support for regional students, as well as mentoring and professional development opportunities for local teachers.

Launched today, the academy’s activities are designed to build individual students’ self-confidence, concentration and communication skills and to enhance their wellbeing.

Students aged from five to 17-years-old from Loxton, Mt Gambier and Nuriootpa will be the first to attend the academy following the successful pilot program in 2018.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts Professor Jennie Shaw said 116 students were already enrolled in the Open Music Academy, which was designed to offer wider access to the world-class teachers, resources and facilities of the Elder Conservatorium.

“By working together with the State Government we are able to establish a more equitable distribution of high quality music education across the state,’’ Professor Shaw said.

“Regional students will be offered opportunities to access teaching, instrumental and ensemble resources with stimulating music experiences tailored to suit beginner to advanced students.

“A key focus is to strengthen and develop music making in regional areas, providing greater choice and convenience in music education.”

State Government funding will also support opportunities to hire and borrow instruments from the Conservatorium’s collection, as well as scholarships to assist with lesson costs and bursaries to assist with travel and workshop participation to enable students to maximise their musical potential regardless of their financial or geographic circumstances.

Minister for Education John Gardner was excited to be partnering with the University of Adelaide to reach more regional students through music.

“There is significant evidence that music education supports brain development in children and young people,” said Minister Gardner.

“I am pleased that this funding will provide regional students with the opportunity to access the world-class tuition and performance resources of the Elder Conservatorium.

“This funding means that the Open Music Academy can offer more regional students individual instrumental tuition and masterclasses, as well as opportunities to join their city counterparts for workshops, ensemble experiences and performances throughout the year.

“This project aligns with the Marshall Government’s new Music Education Strategy, particularly in supporting those students who currently have limited access to specialist music education.”

Open Music Academy flautist Sophie Cridland, a year 11 student from Trinity College Blakeview, said being part of the academy had greatly improved her playing.

“I am challenged a lot, which inspires me to keep on working at my craft. Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience,’’ she said.

“I am really glad to have this opportunity and I believe it’s really going to extend me so that I can achieve my goals in the future.”

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