An ACO Foundations student

Our ACO Foundations Program improves the academic and developmental outcomes for children through the study of music.

The pedagogical model is informed by scientific and social research and introduces string playing into the Year One curriculum in a co-teaching design between classroom teacher and instrumental specialist. A critical component of the program is that students practise their instruments every day for 15-minutes during class time.  

The program focuses on improving children’s ability to learn by developing:

  • speech and reading through improved auditory processing (the ability to process sound into patterns and language);
  • a growth mindset, grit and perseverance;
  • social and communication skills;
  • self-regulation and discipline. 

"Holding a violin does not make you smarter. It is the process of improving over time that provides students with lifelong benefits"

To facilitate the program, the ACO provides:

  • An instrument for each child
  • Weekly instrumental music lessons on violin or cello
  • Weekly video resources and training for teachers in the fundamentals of playing the instruments
  • Ensemble participation and performance opportunities
  • Music room set up and equipment including music stands and string instrument accessories
  • Professional development for school leaders and teachers to evaluate the learning outcomes of instrumental programs and the impact on other learning areas and general capabilities
  • Access to our world-class musicians


In 2018 the pilot ACO Foundations Program took place at St Marys North Primary School, NSW. A short video showcasing the program results can be viewed here.


For more information or to register your interest, please contact ACO Learning & Engagement Manager, Tara Smith tara.smith@aco.com.au