Hitting the right note

The RCH Education Institute is fortunate to be able to enrich and continually enhance its learning program for children and young people at the hospital through its collaborations with innovative community and education organisations.

Talented young pianist Sean and Teaching Artist Peter collaborate and record their session

One such organisation is The Song Room, a national not-for-profit organisation which provides free, tailored and long-term arts-based programs, specifically designed to improve broader educational and social outcomes.  The Song Room delivers its programs to over 250 schools and communities each year and works with over 20,000 children every week.

The RCH Education Institute and The Song Room have adopted a partnership approach to deliver a program which enhances positive social, personal development and learning outcomes for RCH students through engagement with the Arts.

This partnership has been in place now for more than 2 years.

“It works so well because both our respective organisations share the vision that children and young people should have the opportunity to participate in music and the arts”, says Tony Potas, Director of Education Support at the RCH Education Institute.

In collaboration with staff at the RCH Education Institute, The Song Room provides tailored weekly arts-based programs designed to improve broader social and education programs for the children and young people at RCH.

Research commissioned by The Song Room demonstrates the positive impact of The Song Room’s arts-based intervention on improved school attendance (with over 60% reduction in absenteeism), higher academic achievement (including the equivalent of 1 year gain in NAPLAN literacy compared to equivalent schools), as well as enhanced social and emotional wellbeing.

“The groundbreaking research points to the importance of providing innovative arts education to all Australian children, but also points to the way in which support for community-business partnerships like the one with RCH Education can assist in ensuring that all children have access to high quality, diverse and tailored educational opportunities to give them every opportunity for success, regardless of their social, cultural or economic background” said The Song Room’s CEO, Caroline Aebersold.

For RCH teachers working with The Song Room, the visits provide an opportunity to increase their knowledge base through formal and informal mentoring and ongoing professional learning.  It also helps to build confidence to deliver creative arts programsthrough more expansive use of the Rock Hubs – the mobile music centres which enable small groups to jam together using modified instruments such as piano, guitar and drums.

“It’s easy to see why the Rock Hubs generate so much interest – what child doesn’t love to make music and create something unique of their own?“, says Tony.

The RCH Education Institute relies on organisations such as The Song Room including its philanthropic partners and supporters.  As Tony explains,

“The Song Room visits help us add to the RCH Education Institute’s learning program and create inclusive, caring learning spaces which recognise that children and young people learn in a multitude of ways, and for that we are most grateful”.

The Song Room visits the RCH every Tuesday morning and can be found across wards and in Specialist Clinics area.  If you’d like to know more about the hospital program contact Carly on (03) 9322 5100.

For more information on The Song Room visit www.songroom.org.au

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