BILAMBIL Public School students have embraced their inner rock star as part of the school's rock orchestra extravaganza.
Students have been part of the second annual Music Mates program, learning to play five different instruments without the stress of learning the theory of reading music.
"We give them the experiences that build that confidence and how to have better relationships personally, not just as musicians,” Music Mates mentor Tom Wolfe said.
"Just as you don't learn to read and write before you can talk, we want people to develop a relationship with playing music first.
"We introduce the reading and writing of music later on but we've found by focusing on the playing, they progress more quickly and are more motivated to learn.”
Bilambil principal Julian Mostert said the program was encouraging students to learn a new skill that they might have always had an interest in but were too afraid to learn, with enrolment in the program more than doubling in one year.
"We'd been offering the traditional music program with flutes, clarinets and trumpets but I was noticing the bulk of those kids dropped it as soon as they got to high school so they weren't continuing with their studies, it wasn't learning for life, and it made me wonder if there was a better way to do it,” he said.
"There's a sense of accomplishment, because they know it is not easy but when you apply yourself and keep having a crack at it, good things happen.”
Music Mates provides the school with all the keyboards, guitars, bass guitars, drums and associated technology.