Help Bring Music Back to Cobargo’s Bushfire Affected Kids

Local music teachers Liz and Rich teach Cobargo Public School kids private music lessons at Cobargo Hall. The plan for 2020 was to continue – however – the lessons have previously been paid for direct by the parents who lost everything in the New Years Eve fires. Ordinarily in these circumstances Liz and Rich would continue to teach the kids as volunteers, however, they have also lost 100% of their income for the next three months and possibly into the future, so volunteering to run a program throughout 2020 is not an option at this stage. Liz and Rich are prepared to teach as a team of two teachers if they can just get funding for one teacher for terms one and two to get the kids back on their feet creatively, effectively donating 50% of the teaching fees themselves to the families. They teach piano, guitar, kit drums and vocals.

The Cobargo Music Project will have four key benefits: 1) Provide a creative outlet for students to express themselves following the traumatic experience of the bushfires 2) Provide a sense of normalcy and continuity during a period of instability and change 3) Provide a foundation to develop skills and confidence that students can apply to other areas of their life 4) Provide a quiet space for one-to-one developmental education suited to the unique learning readiness and emotional development of each child.

Liz and Richard need $7,000 to run the program across two school terms. This will cover two music teachers running private lessons one day per week of each school term for a total of 30 children. Ordinarily the fee for this service would be $14,000, however Liz and Richard have offered to work at half their usual rate to assist the school cohort to get back on their feet. In the event that there is a lower uptake of the program, the funding is proposed to roll out across term three.

Following successful funding for the program, Liz and Rich will be reaching out to their friends and colleagues in the music industry to give instruments not in use to the kids of Cobargo and surrounding districts so they can practice at home. They usually lend instruments to the kids to use during term but they don’t have enough to go around. They will be looking specifically for keyboards, acoustic guitars, drum kits, mics with stands and small amps.

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Updates (3)

  1.  by Lawson School of Music

    HI everyone,

    Last week, I had the difficult AND beautiful task of phoning over 40 families in the Cobargo region to confirm that the people supporting this campaign have been SO generous that we have enough funds to offer lessons to all the kids for a whole term – possibly even a little more. We thought initially there would be maybe 30 kids participating, but at last count there are 45, and with one of us volunteering we realised that for this project, every dollar we receive results in $2 worth of music lessons for the kids – which is just so darned exciting! .

    Clive and Lou at Support Act have been so supportive. They have been in touch almost daily to help us bring this project to life, and helping us with great advice and guidance along the way. I will admit is has been very confronting speaking with all the parents and families, and hearing their first hand accounts of everything they have been through. But this project isn’t so much about what happened in the past, it’s about laying foundations for a beautiful future.

    One of the things we have done with this campaign, through your generosity, is offer lessons to ALL of the kids who want them. If you’ve been following the news, there has been a lot of disappointment in who has been eligible for assistance and who hasn’t, and families have had to walk away from the promise of help, only to discover that for some reason, they didn’t qualify.

    With your help, we have been able to remove that layer of who is in most need – the kids are at school every day with friends who have been through immense times – whether they lost their home or not, they go to school each day past burned shops, and even burned houses right at the school gate. Some of them are having trouble every time they hear lightning, and are falling back in to trauma easily once more. Whatever their journey though these times, they have all been impacted, as have their siblings and their parents, and often their grandparents too. And their stories are, honestly. quite shocking.

    We haven’t started lessons yet, it has taken quite a bit of management to pull the program together, We are meeting with Cobargo Public staff at the end of this week to finalise a few details, and then we hope to be able to start teaching next week. The kids are ready for a safe space to start rediscovering the joy and hope in their lives that you have all helped to lead them towards with the gift of music, and for that, we are so very grateful.

    We are still working towards the offerings of instruments for the kids, which are starting to roll in. Casio have made an extraordinarily generous offer which is in the pipeline, and many musicians including the fabulous Lisa from Canberra have come all the way down the coast to deliver instruments.

    There have been shaky voices, sentences unfinished because of tears held back, and a sense of excitement for the amazing healing you have all helped to provide. This is a community of great talent and whether the kids are playing for healing or having an opportunity to develop their skills, we are quite certain their future is all the brighter, because of you. Love from Liz and Rich xxxxx

  2.  by Lawson School of Music

    Hi everyone, our community is so deeply grateful for the support you have all shown for this campaign. We are presently working with local schools and our parent body to bring together a list of students and a timetable for lessons. We are pleased to say this campaign has created enough funds to run lessons for term one this year. Lou from support act has some very exciting news about a drum kit that is making its way down the coast from a VIP – read as Very IMPRESSIVE PERSON – to help out a darling little guy we met at the evacuation centre in Narooma, who had lost his house just the day before. As soon as our timetable is pulled together we will be ready to kick him off with lessons for the term. We had a great chat to his mum earlier in the week.

    Many of our families are still camped on the Showgrounds at Cobargo, some of the kids are camped on the floor at friends’ houses – and others are renting houses in other towns. We have put the word out and we are slowly getting in touch with everyone so we can get started teaching asap.

    Thanks again on behalf of everyone on the far south coast for all the love and kindness you have shown in our region’s hour of need.

    We have no doubt that these kids will be rocking on for years to come on the strength of your humanity – thank you.

    Much love, Rich and Liz xxx

  3.  by Clive Miller

    Support Act is pleased to be able to support this campaign. We strongly believe in the power of music to heal and bring people together. We wish Liz and Rich every success as they rebuild their music program and help to rebuild their community.

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