In honour of Harmony Day (21st March 2017), designed to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity, Dr Pike facilitated an event where people of all ages and cultural backgrounds came together to share songs and games in 7 different languages including English, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hindi, Indonesian and Urdu. The event brought together children from Franklin Early Childhood School with adult students of the Navitas English Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). Children learned songs, games and dances from the adult learners. The event was one of the many outreach and engagement opportunities attended and coordinated by the Music Engagement Program (MEP) each week, supported by the ACT Government. The MEP, convened by Dr Pike, provides free training to over 250 teachers per annum, and actively engages thousands of children every year in active music making.
Watch the Harmony Day news coverage here.
Comments from participants:
"I believe that the barriers that have been broken down across cultures and generations, and the sharing of a common joy in singing together have been extremely valuable experiences for our AMEP students. It was a wonderful example of what Harmony Day looks like in reality!" (Navitas AMEP Staff Member)
"I like it as we celebrate the Harmony Day together. I hope we could have friendship, belonging and peace in the world." (Navitas AMEP adult student)
"When I sing with the young kids, I feel I am also young". (Navitas AMEP adult student)
"...often we hear inspiring ideas but their applicability is short-lived as ‘normal’ life takes over. This could have been the case with the singing workshop that you did with our teachers last year and the end of year session that was arranged in Gungahlin, both very worthwhile in themselves but not necessarily activities that were continued. I have been very pleased to see that the initiatives that were taken last year have not only continued but, in fact, have expanded." (Navitas AMEP Staff Member)
"It was a nice change for them to be in the role of a teacher rather than being taught, and they loved sharing their cultures. Once again, your students were very well behaved and receptive. It was such fun watching them learn and interact. I was impressed by the requests I got for the song sheets to take home with them. Maybe some parents got a performance too that night!" (Navitas AMEP Staff Member)