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An El Sistema music education program

Crashendo! is an El Sistema-inspired music education program currently at Laverton P-12 College, Victoria. El Sistema was founded by economist and musician Jose Antonio Abreu forty years ago in Venezuela, offering musical training for young people as a vehicle for positive social change. It has been shown to have a positive effect on participants, both socially and economically. The Inter-American Development Bank established that for every dollar spent on the program, it yields $1.34 in social dividends. Crashendo! was established with the El Sistema principles at its core, to provide a music program for Australian children.

Crashendo! students attend classes after school each week for orchestra and choir rehearsals. Under the guidance of highly skilled teaching artists they develop technical proficiency, confidence, a strong sense of belonging and pride in achievement. Crashendo! is free of charge to ensure accessibility. For many students, Crashendo! is the only opportunity to learn a musical instrument and play in an ensemble. Music is a vital aspect of a child’s learning as it provides opportunities for students to pursue excellence and explore creativity, identity and self-expression. The positive effect of Crashendo! extends beyond the children to their parents and the wider school community. Crashendo! students also perform regularly at school and in the community.

Crashendo! has formed partnerships and collaborations in the community including with Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School, The Song Room, Esther Lauretti’s Music School and Alex W Grant Violins. Students enjoy professional performances presented by Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne Recital Centre and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. These relationships provide a platform for knowledge transfer, raise awareness of our program in the community and inspire the kids to work even harder than they already do.

“I like to play because it makes me feel good and passionate to be free and I can let go and be lost. The more time I spend at Crashendo the more I feel like I am part of a family. It feels like I progress so much. And become a better person and smarter by the day.”- Brie, violin.

Crashendo! was established as a partnership between Laverton P-12 College, Hobsons Bay City Council and Victoria Police Hobsons Bay. Rehearsals take place each Wednesday and Thursday 3.30-5.30pm during the school term at Laverton P-12 College, 91 Bladin St, Laverton, Victoria.


The Team
Erica Rasmussen (Director)
Stephanie Arnold
Daniel Tedford
Natasha Conrau
Laila Engle
Miranda Hill
Stephanie Lai
Kristen Perry
Lucy Price
Rebecca Scully
Liz Hennessy

We gratefully acknowledge the following  support
Australia Council for the Arts
The R E Ross Trust
Cybec Foundation
Alex W Grant Violins
Bows for Strings
Hobsons Bay City Council
Victoria Police Hobsons Bay
Laverton P-12 College
Broken Wind Instrument Repairs

For more info about Crashendo, please visit our website

Please see Events page or follow us on Facebook

If would like to make a donation to Crashendo! please visit our Australia Cultural Fund page here. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Alex W Grant Violins generously donates time and resources to repair and upgrade our instruments. For more information about Alex W Grant Violins, please visit




Annual Schools Music Festival – Royal Melbourne Hospital

Crashendo! will be performing at the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Wednesday 3 May at 12.00pm as part of the Annual Schools Music Festival. Students will have the opportunity to perform for other schools and the general public, as well as participate in a health and well-being workshop.

Paint the Gardens

Crashendo! students will be performing at Williamstown Botanic Gardens on Saturday 22 April at 2pm. The concert is part of the Paint the Gardens festival run by Hobsons Bay City Council. Come join us!

Late night event!















Crashendo! will be performing with Squawkestra Orchestra on Saturday 15 October at 5.00pm at Werribee Baptist Church. The performance will feature Crashendo! and Squawkestra performing live sound track to puppetry and storytelling by Billy Paul and Jacob Williams. Erica Rasmussen will also be joining Squawkestra as guest percussionist.

For more information, please visit the Squawkestra website.

We hope to see you there!

Date: Saturday 15 October
Time: 5.00pm
Location: Werribee Baptist Church, cnr Heaths & Derrimut Roads, Werribee
Cost: Free!

We are also currently raising money to introduce flute and clarinet lessons to Crashendo! next year. If you are interested in making a donation or would like to forward the link to anyone you know who may be interested, please click here -

Late night event!



You are invited to our upcoming Crashendo! open rehearsal on Tuesday 6th September from 3.30-5.30pm at Laverton College. Guests are welcome to drop in at any time between 3.30pm-5.30pm and watch our students while they rehearse in orchestra and choir.

We will then have an informal performance at 5.00pm.

We hope to see you at our open rehearsal!

Date: Tuesday 23 June
Time: 3.30-5.30pm
Location: Performing Arts Area, Laverton College, 91 Bladin St, Laverton

We are also raising money to introduce flute and clarinet lessons to our program next year. If you are interested in making a donation or would like to forward the link to anyone you know who may be interested, please click here -

Late night event!

Crashendo! Term 2 concert
















Our next Crashendo! concert will be on Thursday 23rd June from 4.45-5.30pm.
The students have been working hard. They are very excited to share what they have been learning!

Please join us!

Date: Thursday 23rd June
Time: 4.45 - 5.30pm
Location: Performing Arts Centre, Laverton P-12 College, 91 Bladin St, Laverton

Late night event!

Woods Street Block Party


Date: Sunday 17 April
Time: 11.00am
Location: Corner Woods & Lohse St, Laverton

The whole neighbourhood is invited to the Block Party, to be held on the streets of Woods and Lohse in Laverton on Sunday 17 April from 11am to 4pm.

“We will be hosting live music, artisan market stalls, and free creative workshops for adults and children. Enjoy a performance from the ‘Crashendo’ orchestra from Laverton P-12, DJ Nathan McCarter and a Polynesian dance troupe, live street art demonstrations and free face painting."

“There will be special food offers from local traders and all proceeds from stall holder fees will be donated to West Welcome Wagon, a local charity supporting refugee communities.”

For more information, contact Arts and Culture at or visit or call 9932 1000.

It's all happening in Laverton!

Late night event!


Crashendo will be presenting their final concert for 2015 in December. The concert will feature all three Crashendo orchestras - Elgars, Beethovens & Mozarts, plus solos and duets. Our Crashendo Teaching Artists will also be performing. Come along and hear some great music presented by our hard working students!

Date: Thursday 10 December
Time: 4.45pm - 5.30pm
Location: Performing Arts Centre, Laverton College, 91 Bladin St, Laverton

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Late night event!


Our Crashendo students have been working hard in preparation for our upcoming concert on Tuesday 23 June at 5pm at Laverton College. It would be great to see you there!

Date: Tuesday 23 June
Time: 5pm
Location: Performing Arts Area, Laverton College, 91 Bladin St, Laverton