It’s rare for students to smile so much and enjoy their assessments, but earlier this month, Mount St Bernard College’s (MSB) Art and Music students did just that.
The twenty Year 10 to 12 students shared their artistic talents and stories with residents at the Carinya Home for the Aged in Atherton, where they explained the meaning and techniques behind their art pieces and performed some songs to a packed room.
Assessments are rolling out throughout the school, and the Arts department used the opportunity to reach out to the community whilst building the students’ confidence and experience in presenting and performing.
“The residents at Carinya played an important role in the students’ assessment,” said MSB Art Teacher Traylea Sexton.
“Most of these students had never been up speaking, singing or playing in front of an audience other than their peers.”
The students delivered well, particularly after their nerves were settled with a cup of tea and a chat with the home’s residents.
Timara, one of the students said, “I enjoyed spending time with the elderly because they were really nice people to sit and talk about anything with. I felt comfortable talking in front of them.”
A cup of tea
“The Carinya residents were a great audience and the students enjoyed talking with them at a shared morning tea,” said MSB Music Teacher, Sarah Riber.
The morning tea saw them share their stories about where they are from, their backgrounds and families, and about art, music and culture.
Ailsa Morris is one of the residents who was enjoying a conversation with a couple of the students. She held their hands and after a while said, “I can feel what you’re thinking through your hands, and it’s just beautiful!”
Year 12 student, Ronin said, “I liked it when the elders sat around in a circle and we talked. I liked talking to people and hearing the stories from their childhood.”
The students not only delivered their assessments, but they also gained confidence in front of a crowd, and felt a sense of fondness towards their audience.
Carinya residents also gained a lot from the experience. Their Activities Coordinator, Christine Bourke said in a letter to MSB, “Many residents commented on the lovely nature of the students, their confidence and proficiency. Feedback from the residents was so positive. Everyone really enjoyed the morning. Testament to that is they were still admiring the art and taking the time to show their family visitors into the evening.”
Ms Bourke went on to say that staff and residents at Carinya feel fortunate to have MSB as an intergenerational, community connection and look forward to welcoming them all again in the near future.