Music instrumental in making magic for schools Page Image Image CaptionThe gift of music is making a big difference to drought-affected school communities like Inglewood State School Page ContentMany communities throughout Queensland are doing it tough—suffering from drought, bushfires, or both. Although the challenges are great, and the hardships many, the magic of music is injecting some joy back into our state schools affected by the devastation. Thanks to Gift of Music, a not-for-profit initiative of Rural Aid, their donations of musical instruments are helping to ease any sense of despair in the air. One school that has really felt the devastating effects of the drought is Inglewood State School in the Darling Downs. Inglewood principal Felicity Ditchburn said the donated instruments had a huge impact on the morale of the school community, as well as significantly enhancing and enriching the music program.'Many in our school community are faced with the drought hardships on a daily basis,' Felicity said.'Having new instruments means quality learning for the students. It provides a great foundation for the future of our instrumental program and has enabled us to grow the program.' Music teacher Bruce Eddiehausen said the donated instruments had provided school communities with greater access to music. 'The drought has really hit hard in these communities and farmers are really struggling,' Bruce said.'Because funds are scarce at schools like Inglewood, and families' budgets limited, students can now borrow the school instruments for an extra year. This has only been possible because we were given new instruments,' he said. Gift of Music director Robyn Thomson said one of the more unique donations was the counterfeit pianos confiscated by the Australian Border Force due to a 'made in Australia' scam. The pianos were donated to Rural Aid who then donated them to schools in need.'We were so lucky to be able to distribute these brand new pianos to Inglewood State School, Warwick West State School, Warwick Central State Schools and Killarney State School,' Robyn said. Warwick State School principal Christine Dolley said the pianos had been a welcome addition to the school community.'Our school piano was really past its best years so the opportunity to play the new piano has been irresistible. Students spend their break times tinkling away on the new instrument,' Christine said. Felicity said the gesture of generosity and acknowledgement of the difficult times communities like Inglewood faced could not be underestimated.'The recognition that our community is doing it tough and we have not been forgotten—this raises the spirits within the community and in turn helps with wellbeing,' Felicity said.