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An El Sistema music education program

Crashendo! is an El Sistema-inspired music education program currently running at Laverton P-12 College, Victoria. El Sistema was founded by economist and musician Jose Antonio Abreu over thirty 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.


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The Crashendo! program is made up of children aged 7-12 who attend two two-hour classes after school each week for orchestral rehearsals, group tutorials and choir. The children receive stellar musical training and through their involvement in the program develop valuable skills such as teamwork, coordination, discipline, commitment and concentration. They develop a stronger sense of achievement and pride on an individual level and as part of an ensemble. They learn to work together and rely on each other in a positive, engaging environment.

Crashendo! has formed partnerships in the community including with Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Song Room, Esther Lauretti’s Music School and Alex W Grant Violins. These partnerships 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.

The positive effect of the program extends beyond the children to their parents and the wider school community. A survey of the parents last year revealed that 90% noticed an overall increase in their child’s confidence, 95% reported an increase in the general happiness of their child and furthermore 95% of parents reported that they now felt more positive about their child’s future.

IMG_0792Crashendo! is a partnership between Laverton P-12 College, Hobsons Bay City Council and Victoria Police Hobsons Bay.

Rehearsals take place each Tuesday and Thursday 3.30-5.30pm during the school term at Laverton P-12 College, 91 Bladin St, Laverton, Victoria.

Erica Rasmussen – Director
Monique Julian – Choir Director
Katriona Tsyrlin – Strings Conductor (Mozarts)
Stephanie Arnold – Cello Tutor/Strings Conductor (Elgars)
Rebecca Scully – Strings Conductor (Beethovens)
Lucy Price – Strings Conductor (Beethovens)
Miranda Hill – Double Bass/Composition Tutor
Stephanie Lai – Program Support Tutor

Crashendo! is extremely grateful to the Cybec Foundation, Alex W Grant Violins, Bows for Strings, Hobsons Bay City Council and private donors for their financial support. Future funding for the program is by no means assured. Crashendo! is a member of the Australian Cultural Fund. All donations via the Australian Cultural Fund are tax deductible. Please visit our ACF webpage to make a donation. Or for more information please email Erica

For more information about the Cybec Foundation, please visit

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

Crashendo! also receives generous support from Bows for Strings. For more information please visit



















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!

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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