Music Tuition in Australia

April 15, 2009 § 1 Comment

I received the following in an email today from Chris Nicholls about the formation of a brilliant organization in promoting the accessibility of music tuition in disadvantaged communities in Australia.

Visionary works like this need support from all sectors of the community if they’re to work. The benefits of the Venezuelan model speak for themselves.

An article in The Australian (17/4/09) is very much in keeping with these sentiments. Let’s hope they can deliver in these tough economic times.

Richard Tognetti has some strongly worded things to say about the state of Australian music education in The Australian.

Christopher’s message follows

“Dear Friends,

Yesterday we established a working relationship with a major music foundation and a prominent professional orchestra both of which (separately up until now) currently deliver enriched music programmes to schools and communities across Australia, to work with us to develop and deliver and Australian music education programme based upon Venezuela’s El Sistema!

The programmes are to be developed specifically around social action through music by using the Orchestra and choir, for children of all ages. It is about learning through playing and singing in an orchestra and choir – learning by doing. It is about improving the lives of children by instilling self-awareness, self-reliance and empowerment through music and its performance.

Our particular focus, initially, will be those disadvantaged school communities in Australia who have less access and availability to music and who in live less privileged communities. We will extend this out to as many communities and children that we can as the organisation grows and gathers its resources and capabilities.

We will be working over the next few months to establish the mechanisms necessary for this to happen; these include:

1. Establishment of specific funding (some is available already, but more will be needed).

2. Tutors and musicians to help work with the schools and children. Actually volunteer musicians and coordinators too.

3. Young musicians who would be interested in forming advocacy orchestras to play to schools and their communities, to encourage the establishment of their own school orchestras and choirs.

4. Instruments, music and music stands.

5. Commitment from Australian music institutions across Australia to help with outreach programmes to identified school communities.

6. Establishing relationships with other organisations and groups to deliver our programmes across Australia. A bit like a non-commercial franchise system – endorsed providers of Sistema programmes.

Our first school orchestras will be established as soon as possible and we have already identified a number of suitable and willing sites in the Sydney area.

If you think that you would like to be involved directly with this please get in touch with me via FaceBook or alternatively, via e-mail at – also I can be reached on my mobile: 0418487322 (+61 418 487322 overseas). As soon as possible would be good.

I will keep everyone in this group informed as to our progress. Please encourage others who might be interested to join us here so we can together develop this wonderful music system.Oh… and we are looking for a name for the programme – for example in the UK they have called it “In Harmony” – suggestions for a good name for this would be VERY welcome!

Best regards

Christopher Nicholls”


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