Just Brass: music tuition to children from all walks of life
Children living in underprivileged homes are experiencing new educational activities at South Barwon Salvation Army in the new Just Brass program. Just Brass, under the leadership of John Collinson, provides 75 children from 3 schools in the local area the opportunity to learn a musical instrument that they get to take home with them.
The activities for Just Brass are two-fold. During the week John will visit the schools and provide instruction in groups of two to children learning a brass instrument. Each school has a band, where the children can then put their lessons into practice. Then on a Thursday afternoon, children from the community will come to The Salvation Army centre for a band rehearsal.
‘Many of these kids have never been given much at all,’ says John Collinson, Just Brass founder and leader, ‘so they were amazed when we said they were allowed to take the instrument home—and they all wanted the shiny, gold ones!’
Envoy Graeme Mawson, South Barwon assistant corps officer, whose role involves overseeing children’s ministries, recognises that Just Brass gives the children something to which they can belong.
‘They are part of a band, which means they get an instrument, music bag, and even a Just Brass T-shirt for performances,’ he says. ‘This belonging gives the children a sense of pride and achievement, which is important in helping develop their self-esteem.’