The ACMF provides music therapy programs to children and youth who have been left traumatised by natural disasters. Emotional distress has been found to last far longer than the time it takes to physically rebuild disaster-damaged areas. Research has proven that music is invaluable in enabling people to express their emotions. Music can provide the release and relief that is vital after a traumatic event. In cases such as bushfire and flooding destruction, children are often left paralysed with fear from the loss of family, friends and homes, with confronting media and the possibility of repeat occurrence. The music programs allow the children to explore and express their grief in a positive and liberating way- often benefitting not only the child, but the family and community too. The devastation of the Victorian bushfires of 2009 continue to have a lasting affect on the children and communities living in destroyed areas. Many schools experienced loss of life of students, parents and teachers. Buildings have been replaced but the emotional suffering far outlasts the physical re-building. In 2010 and 2011, the ACMF provided music programs in Strathewen, Middle Kinglake, Kinglake West, Chum Creek, Marysville and Yarra Glen Primary Schools. Free, long-term music sessions were conducted in each school and the ACMF donated many new instruments, replacing those lost in the fire.
- Improve mental health
- Engagement with learning
- Improve literacy and numeracy
- Create school and community cohesion
Middle Kinglake Primary School was severely affected by the Victorian Bushfires. Click here to read the Middle Kinglake letter from Janette Cook, the inspirational principal of this special school.
We had one student who sometimes had difficulty getting to school since the fires- but he didn't miss Wednesdays, when Mark from ACMF had his music sessions at our school!
Janette Cook, Principal of Middle Kinglake Primary School.
From the beginning of the music program we have seen changes in the behaviour and attitude of the children involved. Our Grade 5/6 children who have suffered the most from the bushfire in terms of changes to attitude have loved the music program.
Mark Portman, Principal of Kinglake West Primary School.
I am pleased to be able to report that over the last two years our students and school community have been making significant progress healing and rebuilding, and this is due in no small part to the involvement of the ACMF and the programs they have funded to take place at our school.
Michael Corr, Principal at Chum Creek Primary School.