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Making music fun

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October 13, 2016

The children at St Joseph’s Primary School finished term three by working with instrument maker and musician Andy Rigby.

Mr Rigby imparted his knowledge of how marimbas work and how to best use tools, such as chisels, drills, hammers, saws and screwdrivers as well as helping them out with their instrumental pieces in their concert.

Mr Rigby has been a regular guest in Benalla during the past 20-plus years at the year 5-6 music camps, which were run by local music teachers, and he is well known in the folk music scene, particularly for his harp making and playing.

‘‘We were pleased to have volunteers from our parents and wider community, who were able to give their time to help make the whole project come together,’’ music teacher and program coordinator Deb Pasztor said.

‘‘It was great having our music camp team back together, including retired music teachers Janine Washusen and Christine Day.

‘‘We were also lucky to have local woodworkers, The Benalla Woodies, agree to making up the bases for the two marimbas, so we could achieve our mission in two days of making, and one day of rehearsing.

‘‘The grade three and fours decorated the bases, cut the pipes and varnished the bars and the grade fives and sixes chiselled the back of each bar of the marimbas, which is how you tune them.

‘‘As a result we now own two new marimbas; a bass and box-style tenor giving five more children a chance to play marimbas in our ensemble pieces.’’

The prep, years 1 and 2 children made kazoos from poly pipe and then practiced and learnt how to play them in music classes for the concert.

Finishing off with two concerts at the St Joseph’s Hall, all children in the school performed multi-instrumental ensemble pieces, featuring marimbas, kazoos, guitar, ukulele and other percussion.

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