HELP IN HARMONY: Robyn Thomson presents Warwick Central State School's Stella Leslie with her brand new tenor sax.
HELP IN HARMONY: Robyn Thomson presents Warwick Central State School's Stella Leslie with her brand new tenor sax. Tessa Flemming

Giving gift of music to drought's forgotten victims

IN THE battle against the big dry there are concerns children can become the forgotten victims, but a recent Warwick delivery hoped to get kids affected by drought to sing a more hopeful tune.

On Friday, drought relief organisation Rural Aid delivered a $50,000 truckload of musical instruments across Southern Downs schools, including Warwick Central, Inglewood, Stanthorpe and Killarney state schools.

General Manager Wayne Thomson said in this time of hardship music was a way for students to have an escape outlet.

"Kids tend to be the forgotten victims of the drought and music is a beautiful thing that takes them off into another world,” Mr Thomson said.

"They might be up in the morning counting dead sheep with dad but they can come to school and this can remind them they're still kids.”

Within minutes of receiving their brand new instruments, students were already blasting out tunes and Year 4 student Stella Leslie said she couldn't wait to have a turn.

"I like playing music because it sounds nice and makes you relax,” Stella said.

Warwick Central State School principal Christine Dolley said she was glad to see students get a reprieve from the seriousness of the drought.

"The kids talk about dams being dry and even though families are really trying to shield them, emotionally they know,” Mrs Dolley said.

"They're remarkably resilient but everyone feels it (the severity of the drought).”

Travelling over the country to carry out his musical mission, Mr Thomson was still amazed by the difference music could make.

"There was a little boy in Quirindi who was a selective mute from the trauma of the drought at home,” he said.

"And when we started a song, for the first time in about three weeks, he started singing along.

"He was experiencing the joy of music.”



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