Innovative Music Education Hub for the West
In Focus: Emmet Brazil, Founder & Director, Chasing Sound Music School
Recently we caught up with VMTA member Emmet Brazil, who is the Founder and Director of Chasing Sound Music School in Footscray. Not only is this innovative music school providing great pathways for students and teachers, but it’s also opening up opportunities for local schools in the region.
Chasing Sound Music School was established almost by chance. Troy’s Music store in Footscray was closing down and the owner asked Emmet if he’d like to take over the school upstairs. From what was originally a small school of around 50 students, Chasing Sound Music School has gradually evolved into a vibrant music education hub for the West. Four years down the track, and it’s now a dedicated music school with 20 teachers and an ever growing clientele of enthusiastic and engaged students.
In addition to offering private lessons in a wide range of instruments, the school runs a very busy ensemble program. This includes a concert band as well as guitar and percussion ensembles. There are school holiday workshops, regular recitals and onsite exams, as well as assistance with further music education and career pathways. There are activities for younger students. There’s also a retail shop and assistance with instrument purchase and repairs.
The overriding vision of Chasing Sound Music School is to provide the local region with access to and opportunities in music education. A big part of the school’s mission is to bring high quality music education directly into local primary schools that otherwise lack sufficient resources. Essentially, CSMS is a resource for the whole region, connecting schools and students with music lessons and performance opportunities.
For example, Chasing Sound Music School works closely in partnership with Footscray Primary School, where it goes into the school and runs a concert band and choir on campus. The primary students then go over to CSMS after school for their music lessons. This arrangement has created an effective model, and a longer term plan is to develop partnerships with a number of other primary schools in the region.
Another partnership that has been established is with Victoria University as part of the ‘VU Innovation’ program. This program aims to support and invest in local businesses in the West that are actively engaging with their local community in an innovative way. VU Innovation provided Chasing Sound Music School with financial support to purchase instruments for Footscray Primary School. They also provide ongoing mentoring, advice and opportunities to meet regularly to discuss ideas for business growth.
Chasing Sound Music School is indeed an innovator, leading the way and providing a unique offering in the region. It is making an impact by providing local schools and the community with access to quality music education, instruments, teaching resources, performance opportunities and educational pathways.
What does the future hold? In addition to developing partnerships with primary schools, Chasing Sound Music School also wants to provide more secure employment for music teachers. Teacher employment is big on their agenda as well as influencing primary school music education. However this can only be done through long term networking, partnerships, sponsorships, and working together.
We look forward to hearing more about the wonderful work of Chasing Sound Music School as it continues to develop and thrive.
Chief Executive Officer
Victorian Music Teachers’ Association
For further information visit https://www.chasingsound.com.au/