Where Beats Meet Purpose

Have you ever thought about how the most ordinary household items can be turned into musical instruments?

Well, that is exactly what went down when Junk Yard Beats teamed up with Red Dust for a jam packed week in Yuendumu.  

Junk Yard Beats is an innovative performance group from Sydney and Melbourne. They find music in just about anything and teach others to do the same.  

Junk Yard Beats

The week in Yuendumu was filled with rhythm, beats and learning about sustainability and recycling. Students at Yuendumu School explored music through body percussion and recycled instruments, finding a sound by using plastics bags, buckets and cups. The whole experience was a beautiful reminder that you don’t need fancy instruments to make music. With a bit of creativity, anything and everything around you can create a beat.  

The students also got involved in building two music installations for continued use at the school. Using what most would consider ‘junk’, they created unique instruments out of jugs, pots, plans, PVC pipes and even thongs!  

The senior boys took on the challenge using drills and cable ties to attach different items to the installations, while the girls measured out and cut PVC pipes to create a range of musical notes. They added a splash of colour to the installations, giving them a bright and unique look. The project led to conversations about the importance of sustainability and recycling and how small actions create change in the world.

The pipe music installation!

The installations will be incorporated into the school’s art classes for students to continue to decorate and add their personal touches.

This program wasn't just about the music and art. It was about coming together, learning, and getting creative. Ruth, a Senior School teacher, said, “They [students] are thoroughly engaged, they will remember this for the rest of their lives”. The school saw the highest full-time attendance in 2024, showing just how powerful creative activities like this can be.  

We are all pumped about returning to Yuendumu in July for their 50th anniversary of bilingual education. It’s going to be an incredible opportunity to connect, reflect and share stories with one another.

More than music, together we inspired imagination for upcycling and sustainability, recycling and using your imagination!

Are you ready to be a part of the Red Dust story?

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A big thank you goes to:

  • Astellas Pharma Australia