While music-lovers are regularly drawn to The University of Western Australia’s recital halls to enjoy performances by outstanding students and the professionals who are helping to shape their careers, the age span of School of Music students is far greater than you’d imagine.
At the UWA Junior Music School (JMS) ages range from toddler s such as Benny Williams, who thoroughly enjoys his Saturday morning class with other toddlers, to octogenarian Dr Harold Bull who, after a distinguished international career in aerospace, now divides his time between a home in Southern California (where one of his daughters lives) and Perth (home to daughter Fiona Bull, who is UWA’s Professor of Public Health).
“What with the war years and austerity, as a child I had no opportunity to learn music, so I’m now fulfilling a lifelong musical desire to learn the piano,” says Dr Bull. “During my six months in Perth, I take full advantage of what I consider to be the musical capital of the Southern Hemisphere – and the wonderful tuition at UWA! The School of Music’s outreach music program has been hugely empowering and I highly recommend it! The best part is that at our family’s regular amateur home music parties – which are great fun – I can now actually participate! ”
While Dr Bull is making up for lost time, Benny is just embarking on his musical journey and his mum Sarah confirms that he loves it. “Having been part of the UWA music scene myself – first as a school student and then as a music graduate – I was keen for Benny to begin his musical journey at JMS. We feel music is a wonderful avenue for expression and I want Benny to be able to unlock this from an early age.
“The classes are fantastic because, even in a classroom situation, they’re tailored to your child. They’re also very engaging and fun for children, and we like the global content – African nursery rhymes, for instance – and the fact that there are opportunities for movement, dancing and using all the different instruments.”
The UWA Junior Music School offers a range of musicianship classes and ensembles for children aged 18 months to 12 years. In addition to group classes, individual tuition for students of all ages is available from skilled teachers and top graduates in piano, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and percussion.
Says a proud UWA Head of Music, Dr Alan Lourens, who combines teaching with international performances with major symphony orchestras: “It’s wonderful to see this University nurturing such a breadth of talent, and engendering a lifelong love of music in students and their families. And this year we have the pleasure of seeing a former JMS student – and a School of Music graduate who taught at JMS – being accepted into the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. To us it is always so rewarding to watch these musical journeys that begin at UWA!”
David Stacey (UWA Media and PR Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716