Posted by Joy McCaffrey on Nov 12, 2018
President Ian introduced our guest speaker of the night, Matty Zarb, who spoke to us on the Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF).
Matt spoke to us about his role as a music teacher for the ACMF in schools within our area and about the ACMF. This is a role that Matt takes great pride in and being able to bring joy and music to young people gives him much satisfaction and enjoyment.
During his two years on Norfolk Island Matt missed the area a great deal, especially being able to teach the kids. Coming back after two years he could see a great improvement.
The ACMF changes young lives through music. The Foundation provides free, long term music programs and instruments to disadvantaged and Indigenous children across Australia, inspiring creativity and imagination while nurturing self-esteem and confidence.
Across Australia, a dedicated team of ACMF teachers motivate, educate and inspire disadvantaged children and youth in free, long-term weekly music programs. Over 75% of Australian Public Schools do not have access to a music teacher, depriving them of the many benefits of music education. The ACMF is determined to change this.
Their inspiring and engaging programs commence when there is sufficient funding to commit to the location for at least three years. This ensures that children and youth are given long-term mentorship opportunities and on-going attention, rather than a short-term solution. ACMF programs are designed in partnership with each school, to meet the specific needs of the students.
Their programs involve a broad variety of music tuition such as singing and song-writing, percussion, drumming, singing and guitar tuition. As a core aspect of each of their programs, they donate all of the musical instruments required for use of the students. These instruments are kept by the school and enjoyed by students even after the music program has ended.
ACMF Schools Programs:
 Increase school attendance
 Inspire creativity and imagination
 Engage children with the process of learning
 Improve mental health of children and youth
 Develop self-esteem and resilience
 Encourage self-expression
 Improve discipline
 Build Trust
 Improve key learning areas including literacy and numeracy
 Build school and community cohesion
 Promote tolerance of others
 Reduce reported incidence of disruptive behaviour in schools
 Overcome language barriers in linguistically diverse schools
Programs improve mental health and engagement with learning. Significant outcomes include improvements in literacy and numeracy skills, behaviour and school attendance.
We were treated to a performance by Matt on the night which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. A big thank you to Matt for taking the time to talk to us about a subject so close to his heart and for his wonderful performance.