David James is a member of our local Salvation Army in Port Macquarie. As a long-time player of the trumpet himself, David is aware of the benefits of playing a musical instrument … the social connections formed, and the enhancement of both academic performance and overall wellbeing for children are key.
But, the cost of hiring instruments and musical tuition can be prohibitive, which is why David is keen to get the “Just Brass” programme up and running locally. Free instruments, free lessons … it doesn’t get much better than that for our budding musicians!
Hi David. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your local background …
I own a marketing agency here in Port Macquarie, DCA Digital. I am originally from L.A.
My wife, Caitlin, is from Sydney, and we moved here when we got married almost six years ago. We have two kids: Airlie, who is four, Miles who is two, and another baby due in July.
I’ve been playing the trumpet since I was eight. I have toured around the U.S., Canada, Europe and South America playing. I have been a member of the Salvation Army my whole life and have played with various bands, within the Salvos and out.
You’re keen to get a music programme off the ground in Port Macquarie for local kids, which will involve free musical instrument hire and tuition. Why are you committing your time to this project?
I want to give back to the community. It’s also important for kids to have an opportunity to learn music. There have been countless studies to show how it helps improve studies in school, but it’s also a lot of fun for them.
How will the music programme be made possible … where will the musical instruments come from?
The programme is funded by the Salvation Army. We have also received donated instruments for the programme. This programme wouldn’t be possible without the volunteers who help make it happen.
What types of instruments will the programme be able to offer to potential participants?
We will offer cornets, trombones, tenor horns, tubas, baritones and drums.
How will you attract music teachers/coordinators to the programme … are you currently looking for volunteers?
I’ve been reaching out to people in the community I know who have experience in playing these instruments and also have a passion to teach.
We have put together a team, who are excited to meet everyone. All members of the staff have passed a working with children’s check, police check and have also completed the Safe Salvo programme.
What age/music skill level will the programme cater for?
We cater for all ages. There is no minimum age – all you need is your front teeth, to be able to play the instrument.
You’re hoping to hold an info day, so locals can find out more about the programme. What date/time/venue has been set down for this?
This will be held at the Salvation Army Hall, May 6th, at 4pm.
Where can we find out more info/contact you?
You can go to our website: https://justbrassportmac.com.au/
Interview: Jo Robinson.