Silent instruments to help budding musicians

Silent instruments to help budding musicians

The Kimba Area School has received a grant that will help student musicians practice in close quarters without disrupting their peers.

The school has a diverse performing arts program, with teacher Anna Davidson running instrumental lessons one day a week and a school band, biennial school productions and a choir with students from years 4 to 7 run every other year.

Recently students learning instruments such as guitar, bass and drums have been branching out into rock music.

Ms Davidson said the school's performing arts space was divided into multiple sections to allow smaller groups of students to work on a variety of theoretical, technological and practical tasks at one time.

However, sound from musical instruments, especially drums and guitars, has proven hard to block out.

"It spills into the main space," she said.

The school has received a $6200 grant to purchase silent rehearsal systems such as electronic drum kits and headphones to allow students to listen to their own practice without making external noise.

Ms Davidson said improving the capacity to allow students to practice music while others worked nearby would be helpful.

"We can have multiple things going on at once," she said.

Year 8 students Breeana Wood and Bella Woolford are heavily involved in the school's drama and choir programs, performing lead roles in this year's production and travelling to Adelaide last year through their participation in the choir.

They said the silent rehearsal systems would help them focus on their tasks while others practice.

"It'd help us be more productive than we are now," Breeana said.

She said it could be a challenge for students learning theory while they could hear others doing practical work and students often preferred to work outside.

"It's difficult for other groups to be out in that space," she said.

Year 6 students Brodee Zibell and Zakk Phillips have been learning to play electric bass, guitar and the drums.

A recent workshop with local band Chasin Aces has increased their enthusiasm, and they both believe the silent equipment would help them practice more efficiently as well as helping their peers concentrate.

"That would be so good, then you can hear what you're doing over everyone else," Brodee said.

Zakk said it would help other musicians listen to their own music while louder instruments were playing.

"You wouldn't be able to hear the drums bashing," he said.

Ms Davidson said the grant would partially fund the equipment she was hoping to purchase, and she was looking at ways to either obtain additional funding or stretch the funds to get an operational set of silent equipment.