PLAYING MUSIC
TRANSFORMS LIVES
PLAYING MUSIC SHOULD BE FOR ALL CHILDREN
WE MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR COMMUNITIES

We give all kinds of  children the opportunity to play musical instruments and create music in highly engaging community-based programs. We focus on children who never have had the chance to own and play an instrument, often from less privileged and diverse ethnic communities.

Some of our stories

Annabelle Lee - Cello

12 years old

Toongabbie Public School, Attending SFL since 2018

Annabelle suffers chronic pain  resulting from a brain injury and an autoimmune reaction to her medication. She lives in constant pain and music has become part of her pain management strategy, playing an instrument helps to build new neural pathways and distract the brain from her extreme pain. This challenging situation means that her parents have given up work to be full time carers for Annabelle and her 4 brothers and sisters. They were not able to afford to buy an instrument and get music lessons, so this is where Symphony For Life helped and now Annabelle has a Cello as part of her life and her orchestra practice is a weekly highlight. Sometimes when the pain is bad she will sit and play a little on the Cello, it helps.

Annabelle Lee - Cello

12 years old

Toongabbie Public School, Attending SFL since 2018

Annabelle suffers chronic pain  resulting from a brain injury and an autoimmune reaction to her medication. She lives in constant pain and music has become part of her pain management strategy, playing an instrument helps to build new neural pathways and distract the brain from her extreme pain. This challenging situation means that her parents have given up work to be full time carers for Annabelle and her 4 brothers and sisters. They were not able to afford to buy an instrument and get music lessons, so this is where Symphony For Life helped and now Annabelle has a Cello as part of her life and her orchestra practice is a weekly highlight. Sometimes when the pain is bad she will sit and play a little on the Cello, it helps.

Deepesh Reddy - Violin

12 years old

Arthur Philip High School, Attending SFL since 2017

Deepesh plays the Violin and joined the Symphony for Life program in Year 6 .Before learning to play an instrument he found that he was quite disorganised with his school work and his teachers reported he was struggling to complete his homework on time. Playing the Violin has helped significantly improved outcomes in the organisation of his school work, specifically maths. Research has shown there is a causal relationship between learning to play an instrument and improved academic outcomes. For the first time Deepesh is consistently getting very positive school reports and he is much more organised with his work. 

“ Learning to play an instrument was a bit scary but I’m feeling more like I’m getting better, the Violin is difficult but I’m working it out because it’s like a puzzle to me and I like the people in my orchestra”

Deepesh Reddy - Violin

12 years old

Arthur Philip High School, Attending SFL since 2017

Deepesh plays the Violin and joined the Symphony for Life program in Year 6 .Before learning to play an instrument he found that he was quite disorganised with his school work and his teachers reported he was struggling to complete his homework on time. Playing the Violin has helped significantly improved outcomes in the organisation of his school work, specifically maths. Research has shown there is a causal relationship between learning to play an instrument and improved academic outcomes. For the first time Deepesh is consistently getting very positive school reports and he is much more organised with his work. 

“ Learning to play an instrument was a bit scary but I’m feeling more like I’m getting better, the Violin is difficult but I’m working it out because it’s like a puzzle to me and I like the people in my orchestra”

Katrina Doan - Cellist

10 years old

Toongabie Public School, Attending SFL since November 2017.

Orchestra has helped Katrina with her confidence at school, and making friends. At home Katrina often sits playing on the internet, but orchestra gets her out of the house. She is excited to go. 

“I used to get nervous about performing but now I feel confident at the cello, and music, and I really like performing. It was scary performing sometimes, but now I am confident because I feel like I am getting good. I think I am now more confident at school too.

“I chose the Cello because it looked fun and I really liked the sound of it.”

Katrina Doan - Cellist

10 years old

Toongabie Public School, Attending SFL since November 2017.

Orchestra has helped Katrina with her confidence at school, and making friends. At home Katrina often sits playing on the internet, but orchestra gets her out of the house. She is excited to go. 

“I used to get nervous about performing but now I feel confident at the cello, and music, and I really like performing. It was scary performing sometimes, but now I am confident because I feel like I am getting good. I think I am now more confident at school too.

“I chose the Cello because it looked fun and I really liked the sound of it.”

Nathan Fua - Cello

11 years old

Vardys Road Public School, Attending SFL since June 2018.​

Nathan is a skilled footy player who probably never would have had the opportunity to learn to play an instrument before Symphony For Life gave him that opportunity.  He was able to fit right in to the orchestra, and now is probably one of the strongest musicians in the program. Nathan has discovered he is a natural at the Cello. There is nothing we have put in front of him that he hasn’t been able to do. Nathan is quite a calm but confident student. The other students follow his lead quite easily. 

“I like coming to orchestra because I really like the music we play. It’s really cool when it is all different lines at once. Playing it together sounds awesome. The first time we played all in different parts it was so cool. I have never heard anything like that before.

Nathan Fua - Cello

11 years old

Vardys Road Public School, Attending SFL since June 2018.​

Nathan is a skilled footy player who probably never would have had the opportunity to learn to play an instrument before Symphony For Life gave him that opportunity.  He was able to fit right in to the orchestra, and now is probably one of the strongest musicians in the program. Nathan has discovered he is a natural at the Cello. There is nothing we have put in front of him that he hasn’t been able to do. Nathan is quite a calm but confident student. The other students follow his lead quite easily. 

“I like coming to orchestra because I really like the music we play. It’s really cool when it is all different lines at once. Playing it together sounds awesome. The first time we played all in different parts it was so cool. I have never heard anything like that before.

Luke Hugler (left) - Violin

8 years old

Toongabblie Public School, Attending SFL since June 2018.​

Luke plays the Violin and joined Symphony For Life in Year 5. He may never have had the opportunity to have a musical instrument until the Symphony For Life program gave him the opportunity. He didn’t have a lot of friends at school because he wasn’t  very confident and social. However learning music has helped change this, given him a new confidence. He has made new friends in his orchestra, like his best buddy Malakai. His teacher has observed that Luke has become really engaged at school recently. Every week he is excited to go to orchestra. Has never once complained about doing music lessons . He even gets his instrument out by himself and practices.

Luke Hugler (left)

8 years old

Toongabblie Public School, Attending SFL since June 2018.​

Luke plays the Violin and joined Symphony For Life in Year 5. He may never have had the opportunity to have a musical instrument until the Symphony For Life program gave him the opportunity. He didn’t have a lot of friends at school because he wasn’t  very confident and social. However learning music has helped change this, given him a new confidence. He has made new friends in his orchestra, like his best buddy Malakai. His teacher has observed that Luke has become really engaged at school recently. Every week he is excited to go to orchestra. Has never once complained about doing music lessons . He even gets his instrument out by himself and practices.

Holeigh Hugler - Cello

12 years old

Macarthur Girls High School, Attending SFL since October 2017.

Holeigh has been with Symphony for Life, playing Cello, for 2 years. She was in Year 5 when she started and had no confidence at school, she was self-conscious and was constantly teased. Holeigh withdrew, never answered questions in class or stepped forward for anything. After 6 months at orchestra, she started to become more open at home and at school. At orchestra, she didn’t feel like she was judged when she was asking questions and her confidence has really developed.

She has now started high school and has easily made friends and is doing really well. She looks forward to orchestra every week.

“I love that I get to learn an instrument that I didn’t know how to play before. I get to learn new things and new skills. It’s a great new experience”. 

“Music is now important to my life. It helps me learn, and it helps me listen. Music has helped change my life in a good way”

Holeigh Hugler - Cello

12 years old

Macarthur Girls High School, Attending SFL since October 2017.

Holeigh has been with Symphony for Life, playing Cello, for 2 years. She was in Year 5 when she started and had no confidence at school, she was self-conscious and was constantly teased. Holeigh withdrew, never answered questions in class or stepped forward for anything. After 6 months at orchestra, she started to become more open at home and at school. At orchestra, she didn’t feel like she was judged when she was asking questions and her confidence has really developed.

She has now started high school and has easily made friends and is doing really well. She looks forward to orchestra every week.

“I love that I get to learn an instrument that I didn’t know how to play before. I get to learn new things and new skills. It’s a great new experience”. 

“Music is now important to my life. It helps me learn, and it helps me listen. Music has helped change my life in a good way”

Adaya Dave - Violin

10 years old

Darcy Road Public School, Attending SFL since December 2017.

“I really enjoy coming to Symphony for Life because I always get bored at home and don’t have many things on. I enjoy music and I feel calm after a big day at school. It makes me feel calm and relaxed. I like that my week starts with music on Monday, and I like that it ends with music on Friday. Especially on Friday! after a long week I get to come and play music. 

 “I normally do ok in school. I used to get like 5 or 7 out of 10 for my marks, but now I often get 9 or 10 out of 10. I think music has helped me. I feel relaxed, and I really enjoy playing at home”.

Adaya Dave - Violin

10 years old

Darcy Road Public School, Attending SFL since December 2017.

“I really enjoy coming to Symphony for Life because I always get bored at home and don’t have many things on. I enjoy music and I feel calm after a big day at school. It makes me feel calm and relaxed. I like that my week starts with music on Monday, and I like that it ends with music on Friday. Especially on Friday! after a long week I get to come and play music. 

 “I normally do ok in school. I used to get like 5 or 7 out of 10 for my marks, but now I often get 9 or 10 out of 10. I think music has helped me. I feel relaxed, and I really enjoy playing at home”.

News & Events

Macquarie Foundation Fundraiser

We are excited to partner with the Macquarie Foundation for a Gala evening of music and entertainment in the grand surrounds of 50 Martin Place, Sydney. 

Supported By

Supported By