Music for the ears of students

Music connects teachers to colleagues and students as isolation encourages innovation.

13 May 2020
Teacher performers recorded ‘Better Be Home Soon’ from their bedrooms and lounge rooms.

On-screen text

Evans High School music staff
"Better Be Home Soon"
Crowded House

Singing

Somewhere deep inside
Something's got a hold on you
And it's pushing me aside
See it stretch on forever

I know I'm right
For the first time in my life
That's why I tell you
You'd better be home soon

Stripping back the coats
Of lies and deception
Back to nothingness
Like a week in the desert

I know I'm right
For the first time in my life
That's why I tell you
You'd better be home soon

So don't say no
Don't say nothing's wrong
'cause when you get back home
Maybe I'll be gone

It would cause me pain
If we were to end it
But I could start again
You can depend on it

I know I'm right
For the first time in my life
That's why I tell you
You'd better be home soon
That's why I tell you
You'd better be home soon.

On-screen text

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

End of transcript.

Daily Zoom meetings for music teachers at Evans High School created the climate for an online collaboration to let their students know they were looking forward to making music with them again.

The result is a stunning music video version of the 1988 Crowded House classic, ‘Better Be Home Soon’, recorded on the Soundtrap program and filmed individually on mobile phones.

Head teacher of Creative and Performing Arts Thomas Fienberg said the teachers were “suffering from the decimation of performance opportunities” and missing the collaborative nature of making music.

“We were particularly frustrated that many of our students did not have access to instruments at home and were concerned about them missing such an important part of their personal expression,” Dr Fienberg said.

“The video was designed to let the students know we were missing making music with them and were looking forward to seeing them soon as we transition back into the classroom.”

Evans High School in Blacktown is a comprehensive secondary school with around 700 students, including an Intensive English Centre and a Learning Assistance faculty supporting students with autism.

“Music is a very important part of Evans’ life and the video has already invigorated our students and staff to look forward to coming together again, as school gradually returns to a new normal,” Dr Fienberg said.

“We used a program called Soundtrap, which is a great educational tool that music teachers across the world are using to record music and collaborate remotely with students.

“While recording on Soundtrap, the teachers filmed themselves with their phones before sending it to one of our teachers who synced the videos with the audio.”

The teacher performers are:

  • Hepisipa Liku – lead and backing vocals
  • Luke Chapman – video editor; acoustic, bass and electric guitars, cello and saxophone
  • Thomas Fienberg – audio mix; keyboard, drums and backing vocals
  • Mary Kavanagh – recorded cello while on maternity leave
  • Bahar Aldogan – recorded keyboard as her children helped.
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