As the New Year is ushered in, we at Haworth are once again gearing up for another of our musical School Tour initiatives. The initiative, supported by several well-known musicians, serves as a fun way to raise money for charity while delivering a positive message to the youth of Australia.
Last year Haworth’s Shellharbour Music Centre and punk/pop group, The Conspiracy Plan performed various specially written songs in schools around the country and the initiative was well received by students, teachers and parents. Details of the 2013 tour are yet to be finalised, but I thought I would take this opportunity to not only look ahead at the upcoming tour, but also to shine a light on some of the issues that we try to address through music as part of the School Tours.
In March 2012 we kicked off the Illawarra NSW leg of the Musical Schools tour, and schools such as Wollongong High and Woonona High were first on the list to enjoy some the musical recess. Lots of other schools soon followed, however, and Haworth’s Shellharbour Music Centre along with The Conspiracy were certainly a big hit with other schools such as Berkely High, Corpus Christie, and Warilla High.
We wanted the tour to help promote music in Australia’s schools as well as carry a positive anti-bullying message to Australia’s youth in a way that they could relate to. The underlying tone was certainly a serious one, as we tried to develop awareness of the Youth Beyond Blue organisation, raise some funds for the Make-a-Wish Australia charity, and deliver messages to the students regarding overcoming the many challenges they face in this modern world.
Quick Look Forward
Building on the popularity of last year’s tour, we are now in the process of putting together plans for the 2013 initiative, which we expect will be even bigger and better. Again we want to highlight some of the key issues faced by today’s teenagers, particularly bullying. We here at Haworth are certainly not alone on this as several famous musicians such as Howi Spangler of Ballyhoo, and Jake Pitts of Black Veil Brides have already began using their talent, fame and reach to bring attention to what seems to be the growing issue of bullying and teenage suicide resulting from bullying.
Schools across Australia can prepare for some great musical performances, inspirational talks, and cool giveaways. We’ve found that this is a great way to deliver positive messages to students – because many of them relate to the music.
Students and Life’s Challenges
It can be said that the challenges that today’s youth are faced with are far greater than ever before. Times have changed, and where once a young person could get a break from the bullying in the privacy of their own homes, the Internet means that they are no longer safe there. Cyber bullying is the new "trend" in bullying and an issue that is quickly becoming more and more serious.
We certainly believe that bringing music into the lives of teenagers can help in many ways, and if our School Tours
can affect just one student in each school positively then we can count it as a good effort.
Why This Needs to Happen
Bullying is still a major problem in schools and these days new technology presents an even greater challenge for the youth. Recent studies suggest that 1 in 4 Australian students experience bullying at some point during their youth. These children that experience bullying are 3 times more likely to face depression and have suicidal thoughts. Bullying is regarded as one of the leading causes of teenage suicide in Australia and many other countries. This issue needs to be addressed by using as many different methods as possible, including through music.
As well as highlighting such serious issues, our School Tours are a great way to promote music in schools. Many students that get the opportunity to watch the performances may become inspired to start learning to play an instrument, which has all kinds of benefits.
The Power of Music
From natural disasters to national tragedies, music has been at the centre of the healing for many centuries now. Our musical initiative is just one of many – there are other musicians around world who use their influence to help highlight and combat these issues. The Musicians Opposed to Bullying website has a large list of musicians who are using the power of music to spread awareness on this topic. Artists such as Adelitas Way, Anarbor, and Burn Halo are just a few of the names from the hundreds of artists involved in the fight.
This is a real demonstration of just how powerful music can be. When there is a need to stir up awareness of an important subject, there are very few methods more powerful than music.
Posted in: Haworth News