McGuire College students build marimbas

By Laura Briggs

McGuire College students are building on musical knowledge and carpentry skills — all at once.

Years 7 to 10 students have taken part in four days of fun in a series of musical workshops at the school.

Teacher and inventor of musical instruments Jon Madin, who travels internationally delivering unique musical programs, visited the school to run the workshops.

McGuire College music co-ordinator Gabrielle Ryan said having the creative musician at the school for a third time was exciting.

‘‘The kids love having Jon here and the program he’s running just fits in perfectly with our music program we have here at the school.’’

Ms Ryan said during the four days students each contributed to building two marimbas.

The xylophone-like instruments, consisting of about 25 notes, had students chiselling away at wood pieces until the desired pitch resonated when struck, before putting each of the components together to complete two marimbas.

Mr Madin also brought along some unique instruments which the students had the chance to play between workshops.

Ms Ryan said having Mr Madin at the school allowed students to learn about unique musical instruments and to discover creativity within themselves.

‘‘The personal development and social skills kids learn out of projects like these can’t be described — they bring the best out in them and allow them to shine,’’ she said.

The completed marimbas will be used by the marimba group at the school and will replace two hired ones.