The COVID-19 lockdown has opened up new ways to learn music at Holy Spirit Catholic College Lakemba. 

Amadeus Music Education Program practical lessons are now happening via Zoom instead of face to face.

Head of the Creative and Performing Arts program at Holy Spirit, Emma Hughes, says it’s impressive how well students have adapted.

“It’s a nice distraction for them, in particular during lockdown” – Emma Hughes

“It’s been really good; overall the feedback is very positive,” Ms Hughes said. 

“Both the tutors and students are enjoying it and I think it’s a nice break for them from doing their normal classes, offering them something a little different.”

“Moving remotely has allowed for more individualised feedback for students”


Sydney Catholic Schools’ (SCS) exciting new Amadeus Music Education Program is being rolled out across 42 SCS primary and secondary schools in Term 1, 2022, following a successful pilot program in the Auburn-Lakemba area.

As part of this program, students in Year 3 to Year 8 participate in small group and ensemble music lessons delivered by specialist teachers, like Ms Hughes. Students are also provided with a string, woodwind or brass instrument which they will take home to practice.

Benefits of music

Research shows that music:

  • Boosts brain power
  • Promotes wellbeing
  • Improves language and maths skills, memory and coordination

Amadeus online

Ms Hughes says music lessons during lockdown are not much different for the students.

“Students are set up and their instruments tuned before the tutor puts out a link that they must log into [Zoom],” she said. 

“Once they’ve done that, they need to make sure the camera captures them with the whole instrument, as well as making some minor sound adjustments.”

“Parents have been really positive and it has been interesting for them to see how Amadeus lessons are run and also seeing and listening to their child play”

Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic

Ms Hughes said last year’s lockdown prepared Amadeus instrumental tutors and classroom teachers for this moment.

“Most private music teachers went to Zoom, so this isn’t super new,” she said. 

“The difference is there are more group lessons, which changes the dynamic slightly.”