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What happens when you give young kids from a disadvantaged suburb access to a state of the art music program?  The results will excite, shock, and surprise as lives are transformed through the power of music.

The science is undisputed – children who play a musical instrument do better academically and socially.  But in Australia, most of our kids are missing out on this vital part of their education – especially those who need it the most.

At Challis School in Armadale, a tough outer suburb of Perth with high rates of violence, drug use, and unemployment, one school principal wants to change that. Lee Musumeci is determined to bring a top notch singing and instrument program to her school and mega performer Guy Sebastian wants to help.

Although music is a core curriculum subject, Challis, like most public schools, has few instruments  and virtually no money.  Lee has no choice but to rely on donations.  She also has a seriously underqualified music teacher – Simon.  Through no fault of his own, Simon’s teacher training has simply not prepared him to teach music competently.  Aided by some of Australia’s top musical educators, Simon is put through a music boot camp and the dramatic results begin to infiltrate the school.

80 students are offered the chance to learn a musical instrument and kids who thought playing an instrument was something others did on television, are now being mentored by some of the finest musicians in the country.   The effect is electric.  Talent is unleashed, absentee rates plummet, morale soars and that’s only the beginning.

Photo credit Credit. David Dare Parker

Filmed and Post Produced in Western Australia

on the Traditional Country of the Noongar Whadjuk peoples

Production Information

Series Director

Steve Westh

Post Director

Ruth Cullen

Shooter & Field Director

Pete Gleeson


Timothy White

Tenille Kennedy

Series Editor

Nicholas Dunlop

Additional Editor

Lawrie Silvestrin ASE

Director of Photography

Ulrich-Stephan Krafzik BV

Key Cast

Ahmed Malek
Jay Ryan
Erik Thomson
Baykali Ganambarr
Trevor Jamieson
Mahesh Jadu
Osamah Sami
Goran D. Kleut
Samson Coulter
Mansoor Noor
Kaushik Das
Wakara Gondarra
Steve McCall
Amanda Ma
Gary Young
Sean Choolburra
David Wenham


Umbrella Entertainment (ANZ)


Arclight Films International (ROW)

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Acknowledgement of Country



We acknowledge Whadjuk Noongar people as the original custodians of the land on which the Screenwest office is located.


Screenwest acknowledges and pays respect to all Traditional Owners of Country across the State of Western Australia and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, spiritual beliefs and relationship to land and waters and acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the people living today. We extend this respect to all Indigenous language groups.