Through initiatives such as its NESA-accredited Professional Learning Seminars, Gondwana Choirs contributes to developing the skills of both music and general teachers so that the myriad of benefits offered by singing can be promoted through schools and communities in regional and metropolitan areas.
The popular Songfest is a highlight of Gondwana’s regional development program. It is designed to be practical, accessible and attract anyone who enjoys singing. Songfest begins with a seminar run by a professional conductor who presents a two hour workshops for music specialist and non-specialist classroom teachers. Attendees are then provided with the resources and knowledge to teach new songs to their students who later perform as the “Songfest Choir” in concert in their local area with the celebrated Sydney Children’s Choir.
The Songfest workshops include-
• effective and fun vocal warm ups for all levels and abilities
• incorporating singing into daily classroom activities and integrating songs across the curriculum
• singing games and activities that will lead to more confident voices (that sing in tune!)
• how to teach the songs to a class or choir so that they are ready for the Songfest Choir (and beyond!)
• a wealth of new repertoire that students will love to sing and perform
Teachers also receive a copy of the acclaimed Hooray For Song classroom resource book, CD and backing tracks, which includes a wealth of activities written by leading choral educators.
Songfest’s most recent vist was to Albury and Wodonga. It has also been presented in regional New South Wales and Queensland.
Gondwana Choirs’ education initiatives include its main annual event – National Choral School – which takes place at the University of NSW in Sydney in January each year.
Some 300 students and educators attend National Choral School which comprises two weeks of intensive learning interspersed with a range of colourful electives.