Arts / Musica Viva season to empower young musos

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“MUSICA Viva in Schools” is heading for another success as it announces its 2019 season, which will again take live music and educational resources to children all over Australia. 

According to Canberra musician Michael Sollis, who is artistic director of education for Musica Viva, “students don’t just get the opportunity to experience musicians up-close, but are also empowered to compose and perform music of their own”.

He says he will be working with 16 of the top musical groups to give students across the country the chance to immerse themselves in live music.

Some of the wilder initiatives will be Zeeko, an eclectic rock band composing original songs about fast food, golden frogs and the deep ocean, Makukuhan, a mini-Gamelan orchestra whose performances include pitch-bending drums and mesmerising masked dances, and “March Of The Fire Ants – Songs from the backyard”, who, with Australian composer Paul Kopetz, explore music inspired by jet fighter lorikeets and machine-like cicadas

There will be three new shows for next year.

Timmy and the Breakfast Band is a humorous combination of music and circus “tumbling tricks and tunes”.

“Alice in Antarctica” will see Australia’s premiere harpist and Yass resident, Alice Giles, joining Liena Lacey in helping children to discover the harp by watching footage from Giles’s Antarctic expedition and listening to music written specifically to be performed in Antarctica – with the odd sea shanty thrown in.

In “Eastwinds”, children in Victoria and Western Australia will create music on the spot with Estonian singer Kristiina Maalaps, Persian ney (flute) and daf (drum) player Esfandia Shahmir, instrument inventor Mark Cain and didgeridoo virtuoso, Yoshitaka Saegusa.

All 16 available programs include teaching resources and accredited professional development that is tailored to the K-8 age range. All tie in with the music and creative arts curriculum and provide cross-curriculum links aligned to state and national guidelines, Sollis says, but there are also more tailored programs for every need, from residencies to assist with composing a school song to the online resources of “Musicassentials” or the “Musicadventures” series of digital books.

For further information, visit or phone 1300 663608.

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