July 2017 – Songs on Country workshop Hope Vale
Songs on Country kicked off with workshops at Hope Vale and NPA. These workshops are producing scores and recordings of children’s songs with original tunes and lyrics by speakers of Guugu Yimidhirr, Wik languages, Mpakiwthi and Injinoo Ikya. For the first time children are being involved in organised development of an ancestral language art form in durable modern media. Development of the powerful medium of song is greatly increasing access to ancestral language by indigenous people of all generations. Singing is an effective way for children to learn language. The most important factor in cultural survival is that the youngest members of a First Nation learn their language and have formative experiences. Since songs are committed to long-term memory, singing builds a foundation of vocabulary and grammar, and creates an early and strong bond to the ancestral language. Songs on Country Workshops are facilitated by composer – music educator Joshua McHugh with support from Pama Language Centre Linguist Facilitators.