In FY19, Stockland completed a three year partnership with the Song Room to deliver a music and song-writing program at Yuille Park Community College. The program was designed to increase students’ engagement with their learning and their social and emotional wellbeing.
Since 2016, Stockland has sponsored a teaching artist to work at the school with all 249 children initially on a weekly basis for a whole semester and later on a fortnightly basis across the year. The children have been exposed to a range of music programs, including song writing and performance, percussion and drumming.
Students undertook a range of performances throughout the project, including a concert at Melbourne Town Hall and for the third year, an annual end of year performance at the Stockland Wendouree Shopping Centre. Students embraced the opportunity to showcase their learning to their parents and the wider community. Parents enjoyed seeing their children perform and spoke about their increased motivation for learning engagement in music.
The program has received great feedback, with 100% of teachers reporting students’ demonstrated improved class participation and improved engagement with others. Additionally, 98% of teachers reported that students’ demonstrated increased self-esteem and increased levels of self-expression.
According to Yuille Park teacher, Brianna Dredge, the program "has changed our school community’s attitudes towards performing arts and the value it adds to the lives of our students, staff and parents/careers. The program has provided our entire school community with exposure to the arts and experiences with music that they would otherwise not have."
The school has experienced an increased passion for and capacity to deliver the arts. Five teachers have received professional learning sessions and have been able to integrate music and arts activities into their wider classroom practice resulting in music and the arts being embedded as a fundamental part of life at the school. This is a key secondary benefit and legacy of the program which has now concluded after three years.
As explained by Yuille Park teacher, Amanda Taylor "The Song Room has helped to bring our whole school together. To hear the school sing the songs as a collective brings me to tears as it's so beautiful. It has been wonderful for our kindergarten to join with the big kids in the school to sing with them and perform as part of the whole school."