The Pizzicato Effect

The Pizzicato Effect is a partnership between the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Meadows Primary School which creates new learning pathways for children in Broadmeadows through the introduction of instrumental music teaching. The pilot program commenced in 2009 to provide a shared focus for two schools which were merging at the time as a result of a community regeneration project.

In 2014, the program will provide access to quality music education for students across the whole school, commencing with Kodály training, and progressing to group instrumental lessons on violin, viola, cello or double bass. Upon entering Grade 5, those displaying a connection to their instrument continue their tuition in a more individualised environment. Additionally, a bi-weekly after school program provides senior students in the program with the opportunity to further their skills as instrumentalists and learn to work, respond and play together in an ensemble environment.

The MSO provides all instruments, weekly instrumental and aural lessons lead by a team of MSO teaching artists, and the option for children, families and teachers to access MSO concerts. Performance opportunities for the students have included concerts for family, friends and special guests at Meadows Primary School, performing at the Melbourne Town Hall as part of the MSO’s inaugural Education Week in June 2011, performing for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during their visit to Melbourne in 2012, performing at the City of Hume Social Justice conference in May 2013, and at the Australia Council for Education Research conference “How the Brain Learns” in August 2013.

The impact of the program within the school and the Broadmeadows community has been very positive. The children have developed a strong relationship with their MSO mentors and a love of music, and their classroom teachers have reported improved focus, self confidence, grades and behaviour. Formal research into the developmental assets, social-emotional wellbeing and educational impact acquired from participation in The Pizzicato Effect is currently being conducted by the University of Melbourne.

The Pizzicato Effect is generously supported by a number of individual donors and Foundations. On the basis of the impact, momentum and extraordinary motivation now being experienced, further support is currently being sought to ensure the project and its potential for these students and others is realised into the future.

“This program is affording our children so many valuable opportunities, and the transformation in the children and their confidence across all areas of learning and social interaction is without doubt. Yet the single most important achievement and benefit of the initiative, from my perspective, is that The Pizzicato Effect is helping our children take pride in who they are.” – Julie Cooke, Meadows Primary School principal

To find out how you can contribute to The Pizzicato Effect, please call Jessica Frean at the MSO on 03 96261107 or email

Click Here to make a donation to Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

We acknowledge the special support of the following, together with generous individual donors, for the MSO Pizzicato Effect: