Thursday was our last day in Djarindjin-Lombadina. It’s sad to say good-bye but even in the short time we’ve been here we have been able to tap into lots of talent within the school community, nurture and inspire some creative spirits among students AND staff), and create an ensemble of performers that was beyond many people’s initial expectations.
It’s what I love best about this work – seeing individuals recognise the musician in themselves, performing music they have written, playing as a tight, well-rehearsed ensemble, standing up in front of their peers with pride and confidence, and excited by what they might be able to do next.
The school created a whole-community event around today’s concert. Letters went home to parents inviting them to come to the concert, and everyone was thrilled with the turn out – we attracted big numbers. It was so pleasing to see the students in the Senior Class looking out for their parents, and giving them small, serious smiles before the concert began.
After the concert, a big lunch was put on for everyone – we feasted on as much butter chicken and pizza rolls (2 courses, not on the same plate!) as we cared to eat, and everyone sat at picnic tables in the school grounds, chatting and relaxing. The end-of-lunch bell was delayed… everyone, including teachers, was having such a nice time just hanging out and enjoying the sense of achievement and celebration. Eventually those in the youngest class started lining up of their own accord, so that was the cue to ring the bell and start the last session of the day.
With the Senior Class, we used the last session as a time for reflection. “What is the thing you feel most excited about learning in this project?” I asked. “And what would you like to do more of?” Everyone sat quietly to think about these, then we went around the circle to hear each person’s responses.
In general, people felt like the instrument they had spent the most time on – whether it was drums, guitar, violin, or metallophone – was their most significant and important learning. And everyone wanted to do more of everything!
Thanks again to Tura New Music for the invitation to be the Remote Artist in Residence this year, and to the program sponsors Healthway, SmokeFree WA and Horizon Power, for making these workshops and community residencies possible. Next stop – One Arm Point!