Gongs sprouting from the ground like massive mushrooms, giant slide whistles, coloured chimes and snaky thongophones - welcome to the surreal world of Belmay Primary School's new outdoor Sound Garden, the first project of its kind in Australia.
A collaboration between Musica Viva in Schools, Belmay Primary School, the South East Metropolitan Language Development Centre, Carson Street Independent School and Belmont City College, the Sound Garden was designed by students with the assistance of musician Mark Cain and sculptor Calvin Chee.
"We got the kids to formulate designs in workshops and pretty much gave them free rein," Chee said.
"Then we were able to take the designs away and reverse-engineer them to make sure they actually worked as musical instruments."
Cain said each student kept a journal filled with ideas.
"Calvin and I sifted through all the journals and decided which designs to use," he said.
"I was thinking about how they would work - Calvin was thinking about how they would look. It was a real collaboration and we were constantly challenging each other."Recycled materials were used where possible, while a linked music-education program has been designed to demonstrate how learning music benefits other subjects such as science, literacy and numeracy.
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