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Interview with Heather Gell and ABC Radio school broadcast

Interview with Heather Gell and ABC Radio school broadcast
State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana
PRG 633/43
Gell, Heather (1896 - 1988)

Second part: approximately 15 minutes. Interview by unnamed female interviewer (in the background) with Heather Gell, in which she recounts her early years as a presenter of Music Through Movement on ABC Radio for school children over the period 1938-1958. She mentions that radio was an ideal form for listening by children, allowing them to be imaginative and responsive. The ABC was extremely cooperative with providing "live" music from its musicians, and she was free to do whatever she needed for programming. Teaching was always live to air, with the expectation that children in their class room would respond to or imitate instruments through movement. She had her own television programme on Channel 9, Playroom, which ran from 1958-1967. She enjoyed her years living and working in Sydney and was glad to be back at the time of this interview. Each Christmas she presented a dramatic production similar to the English pantomimes (The Blue Bird, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Enchanted Tree) using her eurhythmics students, in aid of charity , eg "Bundles for Britain" or the Kindergarten Union. These were very popular and J.C. Williamson theatre organisation was an important part of the promotion of these productions. She believes that the ABC Radio broadcasts were important to country children who had less exposure to music and drama than children in the cities. As an elderly person she took Meals on Wheels and was happy to learn some of the people who delivered her meals had enjoyed her ABC Radio school broadcasts when they were young. Before the ABC made her programme a national broadcast Miss Gell did two terms on Adelaide radio. The first part of the recording, approximately 18 minutes, is a whole segment from her Music through Movement programme, in which the presenter asks the children listening on radio to respond to music played by a violin and piano at different tempos, and teaches a series of movements while the music played is Grieg's "Dance of the Gnomes".

1 cassette
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Full transcript available (8 pages)

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