ABC music show makes music for schools

More than 7100 instruments have been donated to disadvantaged schools following ABC’s Don’t Stop The Music campaign.

A donation drive by the ABC in partnership with Musica Viva Australia and the Salvation Army saw Australians give unused or unwanted musical instruments and more than $100,000 to fund music education programs in primary schools – 63% of which offer no music lessons in the classroom.

Victorians donated more than 2300 unwanted or unused musical instruments, followed by more than 1300 in NSW and close to 1000 in Queensland and South Australia.

They included 300 new Fender classical guitars and a donation of 135 instruments to Perth’s Challis Community Primary School (which featured in the TV series).

Michael Carrington, ABC Director of Entertainment & Specialist, said: “The ABC is proud to bring the sound of music to classrooms across the country. With our partners Musica Viva and the Salvos, the Don’t Stop The Music campaign is transforming the lives and education of thousands of Australian children in underprivileged schools. Thanks to everyone who helped get flutes, guitars, saxaphones, clarinets, violins, bongo drums and more into the hands of the kids who need them the most.”

Hywel Sims, Musica Viva CEO, said: “Musica Viva is delighted to have played a part in bringing music-making to more children and celebrates Don’t Stop The Music for shining a light on the urgent need for more music education in Australia. So far, almost 90 schools have shared in over 2400 instruments, with many more orders in train all over the country. We’d like to express our heartfelt thanks to every donor who has made this possible.”

Aife O’Loughlin, Customer Experience Manager Salvos Stores, said: “Salvos Stores have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Australian public who donated so many fantastic quality instruments to this important program. We have been assisted by hundreds of volunteers and repair partners. We are incredibly grateful for their time and support to help the Salvos, Musica Viva and the ABC achieve our goal of getting instruments into the hands of young people across Australia. Instruments have already been delivered to eight Just Brass programs, with more on the way, allowing us to expand the impact of music in our communities.”

Accompanying this month’s replay of Don’t Stop The Music is a new short documentary about Hincks Avenue Primary School, in Whyalla, South Australia, which started a new music program after receiving donations of violins, flutes, clarinets and saxophones.

The documentary is available here

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