Current and In Planning programs


Current and In Planning

Auburn Youth Centre ‘Everyone Sings’project

A 2018 summer project using instruments and music to create original songs and music. With Simon Jankelson & the Human Sound Project

Simon Jankelson – Facilitation and musical accompaniment, 
Daniel Romeo – Second Human Sound Project facilitator, sound engineer & musician
John Hibbard – Facilitation and choreography workshop

Holroyd Youth Ensembles

This choral program, funded by the Myer Foundation, ran for 12 months at Holroyd High School.  During that time over 25 students from more than 15 countries participated in the program.  As noted in the 2017 School Report, the program contributed to an increase in participation and improved HSC results.  Additionally, both the Intensive English Centre (ICE) staff and the regular High School staff noted improved and more confident spoken English amongst participants.

In Planning

Pyrmont Community Youth Orchestra

With the generous support of The Star we are currently in planning stage for a Pyrmont area Youth Orchestra, we welcome community groups and local people to get involved in this exciting initiative

What the Symphony for Life program delivers

  • New students join an Orff workshop, where they learn music fundamentals, singing, playing special instruments in ensembles, inventing music, musical skills that are less accessible to beginners via the very difficult orchestral string instruments.

  • Instrument loan and individual weekly lessons. From their second term, each child is loaned an orchestral instrument and in addition to the weekly workshop, is given an individual half hour weekly lesson by a professional teacher. They take their instrument home to practise and also use it in the workshop in addition to the ‘Orff instruments’.

  • Formation of beginners’ orchestra. When the ability of the workshop members is sufficiently advanced, the workshop transforms into a beginning children’s orchestra.

  • Orchestras at three levels. From mid-2023, Symphony for Life will maintain orchestras at three levels and students will gradually advance over a number of years from the beginners’ orchestra, through the second level orchestra to the top level, advanced, orchestra.

  • Public performances. Children perform in regular in-house concerts and the more advanced students perform in orchestra or in small ensembles in the community both for experience and as a community contribution.

  • Progress measured. Beginning in 2023, the progress of each student will be assessed within Symphony for Life through an internationally tested procedure. Students are also encouraged to sit for Australian Music Examinations Board exams and assisted in their preparation.

  • Special music composed. Symphony for Life each year commissions special works for children’s orchestra from Australian composers. Some music or composers come from the countries of origin of the children’s families. Some composers work in person with the orchestra to rehearse the works. Not all music is written in Europe or America!

  • Percussion workshops. Beginning in 2023, members of the advanced orchestra will participate in special weekly percussion workshops to acquire sophisticated rhythmic skills.

  • Towards a symphony orchestra. At present, all Symphony for Life orchestras are for violins, violas, cellos and double basses. Beginning in 2023, it is planned to add instruction in woodwind instruments, brass in 2024, percussion in 2025, and in 2026 to begin to add these instruments to the advanced orchestra to transform into a full symphony orchestra.

  • Creation of new instrumental ensembles. As each instrumental family is introduced, a relevant ensemble will form and rehearse: woodwind ensemble, brass ensemble, percussion ensemble. These ensembles also will give public concerts. Those players who are the most suitable and advanced will in due course join the symphony orchestra.

  • Music improvisation. Regular instruction in music improvisation – the invention/performance of music in “real time” – will be given to all students, performing on their own instruments. In due course, some students will be encouraged to invent music and write it on paper – i.e. to compose it. When it is written, other students can perform it, alone or together.

  • “Music camps”. Twice a year, all students spend 2½ days together at a large venue making music together in new ways. In the first camp in 2023, they will be coached by players from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The camps engender enormous enthusiasm from the children. Parents assist.

  • Parents’ percussion program. In 2023, percussion workshops will be offered to SFL parents and interested parents will be invited to join a special percussion ensemble. This will rehearse and when ready will be presented in community performances via SFL collaboration with community development organisation, Karabi. These will broaden community knowledge of and support for Symphony for Life and assist in recruitment of players, both children and parents.

  • The parents’ ensemble will begin the realisation of the objective to encourage community cohesion and development. Also, parents will have an experience somewhat similar to their children in learning a musical instrument (but easier) and so develop understanding and empathy.