Melbourne Recital Centre to empower children who are Deaf or hard of hearing through early music education

Melbourne Recital Centre Sound Vibrations workshopMelbourne Recital Centre has joined forces with Aurora School for the Deaf to provide valuable new opportunities to help Deaf kindergarten students engage with music throughout their lives.

Working in partnership with Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), and Artistic Director Karen Kyriakou, Melbourne Recital Centre’s Sound Vibrations workshop series supports children who are Deaf or hard of hearing to explore and make music.

The program provides a purpose-built, interactive and creative musical learning environment especially tailored to be accessible for kids who live with hearing loss. In each session, ANAM musicians showcase instruments from a different orchestral family and work with the children to create and play music.

This year, a new partnership with Aurora School for the Deaf – a Victoria-wide, home-based early intervention program – has made the program available to four-year-old kindergarten students for the first time, as part of a strategy to build new educational pathways for children who are Deaf and their families.

Melbourne Recital Centre Learning and Access Manager, Belinda Ashe said Sound Vibrations aims to not only help children find their musical voice, but also to support parents in becoming advocates for their children’s education as they progress to primary school and beyond.

“By working with students at a young age, we plant a seed for change and optimism early on. At its heart, Sound Vibrations is about education for everyone – helping children and their families realise what’s possible, and open up more avenues for them to enjoy all the lifelong benefits of having music in their lives,” said Belinda Ashe.

“The children thoroughly enjoyed their time at Sound Vibrations. The team has put together a lovely program that captured the attention of the children from the moment we entered the space and kept them engaged throughout the entire session,” said Aurora School for the Deaf Assistant Principal, Melinda Slocombe.

“We had the opportunity to listen and explore classical instruments, follow patterns to create our own music and dance moves. The students are already excited for their next workshop.”

Sekar Sari, whose daughter participated in one of the workshops, praised how the experience helped her daughter’s confidence. “She became more engaged and captivated by the activities within the circle,” said Sekar. “She was motivated to join and thoroughly enjoyed herself.”

The experience has inspired parents, offering insights into using sound and vibration for both play and learning new signs and vocabulary. “It has been a truly enriching experience for both parents and children to witness such a delightful and engaging performance,” added Sekar.

Sound Vibrations forms part of Melbourne Recital Centre’s Learning and Access programs, a philanthropically funded initiative aimed at creating inclusive opportunities to support young musicians.

The next Sound Vibrations workshops will be delivered in the Primrose Potter Salon at Melbourne Recital Centre on Tuesday 7 May 2024. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Melbourne Recital Centre’s Sound Vibrations workshop (supplied)