Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell today to help the Young Regional School of Music celebrate its 35th birthday.

Ms Cooke and Minister Mitchell enjoyed a slice of birthday cake, singing the praises of the musical-themed treat.

“The cake was a piano complete with keys, and it was fantastic, a thoroughly fitting tribute to Young Regional School of Music’s wonderful achievements,” Ms Cooke said.

“Music plays an enormous role in everybody’s lives, and the School has played an important part of sharing the joy of music.

“It not only affects our moods, be it through a happy dance tune or maybe a more sombre piece, it has also been suggested as a critical influential factor in personal development.

“It’s been an honour to have Minister Mitchell visit us in Young to share in this significant occasion.

“We are so proud to have such a fantastic group teaching music to students of all ages in Young, bringing the benefits of a musical education to this part of regional NSW.”

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell praised the Young Regional School of Music for the work they do for kids in regional parts of the State.

“Times are tough for our regional communities at the moment, so it is critical we keep students focused on learning and extra-curricular activities,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Music lights up everyone’s lives, and providing our children with stability, consistency and joy during this awful drought will benefit them greatly.”

Matt Bolger, Chief Executive Office of Young Regional School of Music, said that although the changing face of media has enabled people to learn and share music at the tap of a phone screen, there will always be a place for an institution like the Young Regional School of Music.

“Our vision is ‘Learn music, love music, love life’, and that has not changed at all,” Mr Bolger said.

“Kids bring in what they want to learn on YouTube and the tutors respond to that for the students’ benefit, but what hasn’t changed is that, while students can learn to play music from a YouTube clip, there is nothing like real lessons.

“The bond that can develop between a tutor and students is critical – tutors have heart and they can deliver empathy with their lessons; the students go home and share that with their families and communities.”

Mr Bolger described Minister Mitchell’s visit as “absolutely awesome”.

“We are so thrilled that we should do this,” Mr Bolger said. “I am aware Ms Mitchell is from regional NSW, which helps us reinforce the message that no matter where you live, if you’re close to a conservatorium, you’re going to be happy.”