Hitting the right notes at Lightning Reef Primary School

Beats thud, cymbals crash and the ukulele jangles out of time. It may sound like genius or even madness to some, but for Lightning Reef Primary School in Bendigo – this music can change the world.

Research shows that music education enhances student engagement and wellbeing, improves academic performance and literacy results, and builds personal and social development.

Music connects people with their friends, families, communities and culture, and gives young people ways to access and express their emotions. These connections are the paths to developing resilience and improving wellbeing.

Learning to play one-or-many musical instruments also develops children’s motor skills and spatial awareness. For the children at Lightning Reef Primary School, it is simply a lot of fun.

Victorian students tune into learning

The school is among 25 rural and regional schools and 19 metropolitan schools across Victoria that now have up to $5,000 to buy musical instruments for their students, thanks to the State Government’s Musical Instruments Grants program.
Instruments range from the Koorie, African and Tibetan traditions such as clapping sticks, djembes, hum and split drums, shakers, cowbells, tambourines, castanets, bells and emu callers.

“Research shows that music and music education is so important to student development, but unfortunately not all students in Victoria have access to a musical instrument or music education."

Principal Julie Hommelhoff said the school’s grant would buy eight keyboards, 25 guitars, 25 ukuleles and a drum kit with cymbals and a stool.

“It is going to be great to give students the opportunity to learn an instrument and perform in front of family and friends,” she said.

“To learn an instrument, where otherwise they would not have had that opportunity, is giving them the best possible experience.”

Education State — giving every child the chance to succeed

More than 2000 musical instruments are on their way to Victorian students thanks to the $2 million Musical Instruments Grants program.

The grants are part of the Government’s $2 million Music in Schools initiative, which will also provide professional training for hundreds of Victorian teachers so that schools can establish quality music programs.

We’ll bring music lessons to every Victorian school and we’ll help them with the cost of instruments and training because no child should miss out.”

The initiative will bring music programs to 1,600 Victorian schools by 2018, so that no child misses out.

Education Minister James Merlino said giving students the chance to play and learn a musical instrument was money well spent.

“Research shows that music and music education is so important to student development, but unfortunately not all students in Victoria have access to a musical instrument or music education," Minister Merlino said.

We’ll bring music lessons to every Victorian school and we’ll help them with the cost of instruments and training because no child should miss out.”


For more information, see: Music in Schools