This wonderful result was the culmination of a lot of hard work on behalf of the students, their teacher Mrs Robyn Bielby and two extremely generous parents – Katie Hardyman and Matt Zarb.
In the terms and weeks leading up to the September deadline, the children worked their creative fingers to the bone to come up with the lyrics to their song. They were guided in the process of how to write a song by Katie Hardyman and Robyn Bielby. There are strict guidelines as to the importance of every word being their own and so every child can name a word, a phrase or a line that they have contributed to the song.
Once the lyrics were completed, Matt Zarb came on board and together they came up with a catchy melody and their song was born. It certainly gets your toes tapping!
The song was then entered into the National Songwriting Competition for the Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF) and the rest, as they say, is history. Entries from primary schools all over Australia competed against each other and the children of 4B St Joseph’s Taree won!
Before the results were announced, the children had the opportunity of performing their song for the ACMF founder Don Spencer OAM. Don is the founder and patron of this not-for-profit organisation that provides musical instruments for disadvantaged and Indigenous children in schools, remote communities and juvenile justice centres across Australia. He was not part of the judging panel but thought the song was fantastic. He even treated the school to a couple of his great hits, ‘Bob the Kelpie’ and ‘Say Gidday’. The whole school was present and loved every minute of the performances.
One week later the results came through and the celebrations began! The children have had the most amazing experiences as a result of winning the competition and continue to be asked to perform at various functions in the Manning region. They are beginning to understand just what the Korean singer Psy goes through with his hit ‘Gangnam Style’!
Our school community acknowledges and sincerely thanks Year 4B parents, Katie Hardyman and Matt Zarb who put an enormous amount of time, energy and enthusiasm into the song and guiding the kids along the way. Their song writing and musical talents were the perfect complement to the very talented kids in 4B.
Teacher, St Joseph’s Primary School, Taree
Photo: The children of class 4B with teacher Robyn Bielby and at front, Katie Hardyman and Matt Zarb (Photo courtesy of Manning River Times).