The School of Instrumental Music (SIM), at the WA Department of Education, looks after instrumental music at more than 400 primary and secondary schools. SIM runs a series of festivals (including band, orchestra, jazz and choral events) annually, on a large scale. The band festival, for example, runs across four days and involves around 80 school concert bands, and around 5000 students.
ECU's School of Education has been a major sponsor of the festivals over the past five years, in a cooperative arrangement that engages students in the event while simultaneously promoting ECU through on-stage banners, announcements and acknowledgement in written material. As part of the sponsorship, ECU music education students volunteer to help at the festivals (which usually run in the evenings or on the weekends).
Some 40 to 50 students each year assist in what is a very useful professional development setting. Students learn how to stage and run an event, working with professional teachers behind the scenes, and also develop industry contacts. SIM in return receives both financial and actual assistance in operating the program.
Dr Geoff Lowe.
School of Instrumental Music, WA Department of Education.