WASO’s Crescendo is an El Sistema-inspired music education program, providing free music lessons on a weekly basis to all Pre-primary, Year 1 and Year 2 students at two schools in Perth’s southern suburb of Kwinana. The El Sistema model, established by Venezuelan José Antonio Abreu in 1975, seeks to empower children from disadvantaged backgrounds through music, using it as a tool to help them reach their full potential and learn life values.
WASO initially worked in three schools that had been unable to provide regular music lessons to all of their students because of budget constraints. Beyond the school environment, the community within which Crescendo operates represents a broader target for the program’s outcomes.
The first two years of the program are vocally based, building musical skills through singing, listening and movement exercises. This has encouraged the students to find their voice and participate in music appreciation and learning in their own way. 2015 ended with an open class at each school for parents and supporters of the program. Guests were amazed at how much the students had learned, their attention in class and their enthusiasm for the program. WASO has been overwhelmed by the sense of community and in-school support for the Crescendo program.
Now at the beginning of Crescendo second full year of delivery, WASO looks to build on the momentum and success of the first year of lessons, strengthen relationships with the school communities and families as well as local business, and take the program to its next important stage and introduce string instruments to the current Year 2 students in second semester 2016.
Crescendo is supported by Feilman Foundation and the Stan Perron Charitable Foundation.