$30,000 in grants within a week for Pirie West school

MUSIC: Pirie West performing arts teacher Indra Benson encourages students Kaiden Pinder, left, and Maddie Maguire to express their musical ability.

MUSIC: Pirie West performing arts teacher Indra Benson encourages students Kaiden Pinder, left, and Maddie Maguire to express their musical ability.

The sound of rustling dollars is beautiful noise at Port Pirie West Primary School.

It will be heard this coming school year with the beating of drums, playing of keyboards and xylophones and strumming of ukuleles.

And it will abound in the soft clatter of iPad computers that will be shared by all Year 5 and 6 students.

The new sounds of music and communication will be heard thanks to two grants worth about $30,000 that came within days of each other last year. Principal Fiona Perry outlined the $12,000 Music Innovation Fund subsidy and the $18,850 Schools Community Grant, the latter of which came through the office of federal Grey MP Rowan Ramsey.

She said it would all boost students' learning at all levels.

An excited performing arts teacher Indra Benson said the music grant would be used to buy 15 keyboards, 30 drums, 15 xylophones and 30 ukuleles.

Previously, the school had only a limited music program. "There is a strong link between musical education and the increase of literacy and numeracy development," Mrs Benson said.

"It is good for all their schooling. We will refresh the music room. Every child at Pirie West will have a musical education.

"We used to use buckets or the backs of chairs for drums and some untuned percussion instruments such as maracas, bells and triangles to make sounds, but we could only do rhythms, not melodies.

"We will introduce drumming circles for students' well-being under the Rhythm to Recovery Program.

"We want to improve student engagement, creativity, attendance and enthusiasm."

The students will be well guided to develop their talents by Mrs Benson who plays drums and piano.

They will also be able to record their tunes.

Principal Mrs Perry said that under the Information Communication Technology program at the school, about 60 Year 5 and 6 students would receive school iPads.

"It is very exciting," she said.

She said iPads had previously been shared between three classes.

When told of the grants, student Kaiden Pinder, of Year 5, said: "That is expensive. It will be cool for everyone to have their own iPad."

Maddie Maguire, also of Year 5, said she looked forward to playing an instrument.

While tapping away on a battered xylophone - soon to be upgraded - she said she liked the piano.

"I will have a go at the keyboard," she said.

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