Charity Rural Aid brings their Gift of Music initiative to Scone Public School

MUSICAL BOOST: Rural Aid's Gift of Music founders Wayne and Robyn Thomson presented students at Scone Public School with a range of musical instruments on Tuesday.
MUSICAL BOOST: Rural Aid's Gift of Music founders Wayne and Robyn Thomson presented students at Scone Public School with a range of musical instruments on Tuesday.

THE 'Gift of Music' was delivered to Scone Public School on Tuesday, thanks to a initiative run by not-for-profit organisation Rural Aid.

The school was presented with $15,000 worth of musical instruments and LEGO as part of the program which aims to help foster music education in rural families and communities.

Rural Aid general manager Wayne Thomson said the instruments will have a massive impact on the school.

"It's going to help Scone Public School's Year 4 Program and will allow literally 15 more children to play instruments," he said.

Mr Thomson said this gift was the start of an ongoing partnership with the school which will give children the chance to be part of an ensemble, build self-esteem and self-confidence and develop a new skill.

"As their program grows, we're hoping to be able to help them out with more instruments," he said.

"Yesterday in Walcha, we determined that they could use a couple of trombones extra, so we're shipping them out today."

The Gift of Music School Instrument Program has been designed to give children in rural and remote communities affected by the drought access to the myriad of educational, social and emotional benefits of learning a musical instrument.

Mr Thomson said he has seen first hand the joy that music has brought to children through his many deliveries across the state.

"Earlier this year we were at Quirindi and we had some music going on there and there was a little boy that was a selective mute and he was struggling with what was happening," he said.

"He sang along with one of the songs and the principal couldn't hold back his tears because it really had changed that child's life.

"I mean drought is very tough and with our Buy A Bale program we're helping farmers and our farm rescue and our counsellors - but what about the kids?

"So the Gift of Music just enables the kids to have a bit of fun and have a break and create some beautiful music."

The program builds on a lot of work that Rural Aid has been doing in the Upper Hunter, with the Gift of Music program already coming to Aberdeen, Muswellbrook South, Murrurundi, Blanford and Willow Tree.

"The Upper Hunter is certainly a better place now and the kids are having a lot of fun," Mr Thomson said.

Scone Public School Principal Deborah Fisher was extremely grateful for the donation which she said would build on their Year 4 music program, which is a partnership with the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music.

"We have a very small but very dedicated group of band members and we have been working very hard across our school to build our band and our music program," she said.

"And one of the things we've been doing this year, is having every student in Year 4 learn an instrument."

The Gift of Music of donation will now mean that students can borrow the instruments from the school, instead of having to hire them from the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music.

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