School students have written a song with a local musician as part of a new program launched to promote the link between music and wellbeing.
Run by West Australian Music, the Musicians in Residence program launched at Highgate Primary School, Osborne Primary School, Balga Senior High School and Lakeland Senior High School in Term 2 with musicians Eduardo Cossio, Bri Clark, Josh Eggington and Timothy Nelson.
The program involved a WA musician attending a school for a 10-week period where they wrote a song with students about mental health, belonging and creativity.
Throughout the term, the musicians exposed students to different processes to encourage their musical creativity.
Local musician Eduardo Cossio worked with Highgate Primary School students and modelled different ways of thinking about and composing music, including using sounds in the environment as a catalyst to create beats and loops.
“This involved listening and discussions, going for soundwalks where we focus on environmental or human made sounds, learning to record and craft these sounds on iPads, and finally putting songs together,” he said.
“Whether the students played an instrument or not, I wanted to inspire them to harness sounds in creative ways. Above all, I wanted them to be attentive to the way sounds shape their lives.
“The music we made focused on the school surroundings and their experience of it; the character of the place and the feelings it might evoke.”
Highgate Primary School music teacher Phoebe Campbell said playing and creating music had countless physical and mental health benefits, and she had noticed students’ confidence increase throughout the program.
“They started the program very shy, almost apologetic when they shared their material and now, there are so many students wanting to share material with Eduardo and get his feedback,” she said.
“I’ve noticed the morale of the group has improved and they were so excited to welcome him to our room and participate in this program.
“I’ve seen their confidence and belief in themselves grow, I’ve seen students who aren’t usually engaged in music becoming engaged and I’ve seen a real growth in their collaborative problem-solving skills and teamwork.”