Director of The Big Scrub Orchestra Amanda Dumesny was awarded a NRCF Chairperson’s Grant of $6,000 to attend the Modern Band Summit in Colorado hosted by USA organisation Little Kids Rock. The Big Scrub Orchestra is a non-profit that provides music and environmental learning programs to young people in the Northern Rivers that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to access.
Amanda learnt new methods for teaching modern music genres, including rock, pop, blues, hip-hop and RnB for young people. Here’s what Amanda had to say about her experience:
‘The Little Kids Rock’ program teaches music to young people in a way that is really hands-on, exciting and engaging, and with music that appeals to them. We get them playing, jamming and composing quickly, which fuels their enthusiasm and sense of accomplishment.
Our programs give young people more self-confidence, as well as leadership and collaboration skills, and increases their connection and engagement with peers, school and the community. We’ve teamed up with the Northern Rivers Community Gateway to provide music and environmental programs that empower our young people and give them opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have.
The Modern Band Summit in the US was inspiring and mind-blowing. Legendary bass player Victor Wooten was one of the guest speakers and was holding workshops.
Victor and I had a good chat about Byron Bay Bluesfest which he played in 2007 with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. There’s also an insane YouTube clip of him jamming at Bluesfest for Throwdown at the Hoedown by the way, and he said he’s keen to come back again.
Victor’s a really big advocate of music education, so hopefully he’ll drop in on some of our kids’ music sessions and have a jam with us.
Just like the Big Scrub Orchestra, he’s all about combining music and nature so we’re a match made in music heaven.
Artist Citizenship is a big thing in the USA, and many successful musicians are keen to work with the community and give back by sharing their skills and knowledge with the next generation. A shout out to our local Aussie musicians who want to support us with this mission too.
Little Kids Rock founder and CEO David Wish is an absolute fireball of energy and inspiration and they’re achieving amazing results in the US. The Little Kids Rock programs are proving so successful that many school districts are implementing their modern band program as their curriculum model. Many of the music teachers and executive staff I spoke with said it was the best professional development they’ve ever been to.
I interviewed David while I was there – check it out here.
I also met up with the team from Found Sound Nation in New York and got to see some of the up and coming hip-hop artists they’re working with in Brooklyn, where hip-hop royalty like Jay Z and Biggie are from.
Found Sound Nation collaborates with music projects around the world, and we looked at the innovative music recording techniques they’re using with low socio-economic schools in New York, and other projects across the globe.
Thanks again to NRCF and Rockinghorse Studios for your wonderful support in helping make all this happen.
The Big Scrub Orchestra is desperately looking for further partner sponsorship, grants and community donations to help bring the programs to more disadvantaged young people in the Northern Rivers. People can also donate new or second-hand music instruments, as they desperately need guitars, ukuleles, keyboards and drums. Please contact Amanda on 0468 371 381 or for more information www.thebigscruborchestra.com https://www.facebook.com/thebigscrub/