The Goo Goo Doll’s voice coach trained a different type of singer on Wednesday, when he coached a primary school choir of children from challenging environments.
Voice coach Claude Stein, whose clients also include artists on all of the major record labels, led the senior choir at Soldier’s Settlement Public School Matraville through a session of singing exercises that boosted their musicality and confidence.
“It was like watching flowers bloom in slow motion,” said the school’s music teacher Rachel Scott. “They just got more and more proud of what they were doing and blossomed. I’ve never heard those kids sing so well.”
The choir consisted of roughly 40 students from years three to six, who have sung as part of the school’s music program since it was started five years ago by the Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF).
“When I first went to the school none of the kids could sing but now you can see them really growing through their singing,” said Scott, who teaches classroom music twice a week on behalf of the ACMF.
Through Scott’s dedication, the children have since become accomplished performers, performing at the State Theatre and on Channel 7’s Sunrise.
“Our music program is now in its fifth year and what we’re seeing here is the children who started in kindergarten are now in year five and six have such a depth of musicality, a depth of understanding and a depth of knowledge,” said principal Maurice Johnston.
Johnston says the children have become aware of the discipline needed to perform well. “When it comes to choir time, they’re so engaged because they know it all helps them in performance.”
“We’ve also seen it spill over in other areas. The children have a real engagement in learning.
“They want to come to school, they want to come to music,” he said.
“It’s wonderful to see 200 children sit down and listen to classical music. Who would’ve thought primary school kids would sit en masse sit and enjoy it?”