Young Arts program gives opportunity for youth to access arts

PITCHING IN: Solly Fletcher, 8, surrounded by Invermay Primary School students learning to play the violin. Picture: Paul Scambler
PITCHING IN: Solly Fletcher, 8, surrounded by Invermay Primary School students learning to play the violin. Picture: Paul Scambler

A Northern Tasmanian initiative is giving young people the opportunity to access the arts.

Funded by Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies Launceston, the Young Arts program provides sponsorship for projects lacking the capacity to attract government funding and centres on creating or appreciating art. 

Organisation chairwoman Lesley Reed said there had not been much money available, which meant similar projects could not be funded.

However, through fundraising, up to 60 Invermay Primary School students have the opportunity to learn the violin as part of sponsored project.

Strings on the Move Primary School Program aims to provide a subsidised opportunity for students in state schools to receive violin in a six-week introductory group class.

“Part of what we like to do is share our love of the arts with young people in the community,” Ms Reed said.

PLUCKED: Invermay Primary School student Louis Everall, 9, Maddy Fletcher, 10, of St Finn Barr's Catholic Primary School, and Invermay Primary School student Mia Austin, 8, practice their new violin skills. Picture: Paul Scambler

PLUCKED: Invermay Primary School student Louis Everall, 9, Maddy Fletcher, 10, of St Finn Barr's Catholic Primary School, and Invermay Primary School student Mia Austin, 8, practice their new violin skills. Picture: Paul Scambler

There are more opportunities for other projects to be sponsored by the organisation next year, she said.

Ms Reed hoped it would open up opportunities that might not already exist for some young people under 22-years-old.

Northern Tasmanian String Academy’s Clare Corban-Banks said receiving funding for the String on the Move program meant students could be learn how to play the violin without any cost to the school or their parents.

“Many studies show that when children learn a musical instrument, it enhances their ability in other areas,” Ms Corban-Banks said. 

MODEL VIOLINS: Alexandra Harris and Clare Corban-Banks of the Northern Tasmanian String Academy with Lesley Reed of Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies Launceston, which gave them a young arts grant for their String on the Move Primary School Program. Picture: Paul Scambler

MODEL VIOLINS: Alexandra Harris and Clare Corban-Banks of the Northern Tasmanian String Academy with Lesley Reed of Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies Launceston, which gave them a young arts grant for their String on the Move Primary School Program. Picture: Paul Scambler

Playing the violin had several benefits for students, including learning fine motor skills, technical skills and listening techniques, she said.

Students who would not have the opportunity to learn stringed instruments at school and families who could not afford music tuition stood to benefit from the project, she said. 

Ms Corban-Banks thanked the organisation for providing the funding which enabled them to teach so many students. 

Any Young Arts project seeking funding can contact launceston@adfas.org.au for more details.