Tuesday, January 16, 2018

sMAG Summer ENews

With a New Year sMAG extends good wishes to everyone, and the hope that everyone in the community has benefited from a well-earned break. We expect and hope of strong movement forward in our sector in 2018.

Our collective work is not done! We would say that after a four-year journey towards implementing the 17 recommendations from the Victorian Inquiry into the Extent, Benefits and Potential of Music Education (2013), we are just under half way towards achieving the aspirations. When every child, in every school has dedicated and protected time undertaking music education, delivered by an expertly trained teacher, with a sequential, continuous and developmental curriculum in Victoria, then we can say ‘Tools Down’. Not before.

Music Education Expert Reference Group
We look forward to MEERG meeting in Term 1, 2018. We are keen to see work started in 2015/16 completed and published. Substantive work around the VCAA Music Education Guide, and the Melbourne University Quality Music Education Framework has occurred over these years. We look forward to hearing about a date for publication. We also look forward to continued discussions around the SIMP and tertiary sector. Agenda items such as these would contribute towards fulfilling key inquiry recommendations and the vision for The Arts as communicated in The Education State white paper.

sMAG VISION 2018

sMAG vision and aspirations for 2018 need to centre around improvement in tertiary music specialism delivery; rural and regional music education delivery; and continued improvement to the Secondary Instrumental Music Program (SIMP). Furthermore, this is an election year! We all need to be equipped to lobby local MPs in time for the May budget and again for the November election.

To support the 2018 vision, we are planning events to optimize the vision and engage all Music Educators in the conversation and actions.

sMAG Events 2018.

EVENT: PUBLIC FORUM.
  • Victorian Government May Budget;
·      Tertiary Music Education;
·      Rural and Regional Delivery;
·      SIMP.

March 16th - 4.30pm start.

Deakin University, Geelong,
Corporate City Centre on the Water Front,
Address: 1 Gheringhap St, Geelong VIC 3220.
L3, 4th Floor, Sally Walker Building,
Geelong, Victoria 3220.

I extend my thanks to Fiona Phillips who has secured a space at Deakin Geelong for our forum focusing on lobbying towards the May budget.

The room seats around 40 with beautiful views of Corio Bay once the presentation is completed. You can access floor plans and other information at this address http://www.deakin.edu.au/locations/deakin-corporate-centres/geelong-corporate-centre. Please RSVP to smag.schoolmusicactiongroup@gmail.com

FUTURE EVENT: PUBLIC FORUM – ELECTION.
Future date: June/July
Details TBA.

EVENT: AUSTRALIAN MUSIC VAULT.


The Australian Music Vault has opened at The Arts Centre - 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3004.
A tremendous resource for any music teacher, it is dedicated to exploring the history of Australian music.
A venue that may be great for excursions into the future.
Let's check it out together and see/hear the benefits.
Free.
No tickets required. Partners welcome - have not made inquiries about children, it's up to you.

Tuesday, January 23 2018, at 1 PM - 3 PM.

We will meet outside the Arts Centre between 12.50 pm, and 1.00 pm and explore together.  As investment is made into our sector, and associated sectors, we can all benefit. I have set up a Facebook page, so please log on if you use social media: https://www.facebook.com/events/2093213260913990/

SIMP
sMAG Vic has focused significant attention towards the Secondary Instrumental Music Program (SIMP) in 2017. The new Permission to Teach (PTT) policy came into effect on October 1, 2017. The policy is publicly available on the VIT website: http://www.vit.vic.edu.au/news/news/2017/permission-to-teach-policy-changes.

We welcome the clarity the document brings around the definition of a teacher according to the Act of 2006:

“Central to the 2017 PTT policy is the principle that whenever a person is undertaking the duties of a teacher - such as delivering the curriculum, assessing student outcomes in an educational program and being responsible for a class - then that individual must hold teacher registration or permission to teach”.

We have continued the conversations with the VIT and the AEU around the interpretation of the new policy. We anticipate the work will continue into 2018; and continue to be somewhat intensive.. Should anyone have concerns with any SIMP position employment conditions, we advise you bring the conversation to the attention of Erin Aulich at the AEU: Erin.Aulich@aeuvic.asn.au.

What you can do (Repeated from 2017).
All Music teachers, and particularly IMTs, are acutely aware of how intrinsic classroom, Instrumental lessons and ensemble pedagogy all intertwine and are essential to delivering the Victorian Curriculum, VCE or IB outcomes. As a community of practice, we need to be able to articulate this clearly in every local school setting.
A few key phrases to embed in professional lives and documentation may be;
·       Instrumental lessons and ensemble delivery are intrinsic in delivering outcomes against the school’s approved curriculum (VicCurr, IB, VCE etc).
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors report against the standards stated in the approved curriculum, keeping accurate records of evidence and data.
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors document curriculum across The ARTs domain as required by the approved curriculum.
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors meet with their Head of Music or upline managers to provide evidence of their documentation and student progress.
·       IMTs and ensemble directors set aside time for professional meetings with their faculty to ensure curriculum delivery is meeting the requirements of the approved curriculum.

VICTORIAN JOBS.
With the roll out of Victorian government targets for improvement in Music outcomes, we see jobs. Let friends know about the listings at Recruitment Online, and let's get some music happening! From time to time, I publish job openings on the sMAG Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sMAGVic/



sMAG FACEBOOK GROUP.
Networking and supporting one another on Facebook provides for rich sharing at times.  Please join the group, and join the conversations: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1101931139911842/

Federal Delegation.

Music Australia recently organised a Federal trip to advocate for Music Education on a National level. We supported the Music Australia Federal efforts by writing letters of support.

Letters highlighted our support of the recent delegation, the challenges faced in delivery, and the strategic outcomes required to reach every child in every State in Music around the goals as outlined in the TEMAG report Recommendation 18; https://www.education.gov.au/news/teacher-education-ministerial-advisory-group-report-released. While Music is not listed as a specialism, it is not excluded from the conversation. Federal legislation covers Initial Teacher Education (undergraduate teacher training). We need tertiary institutions to provide specialism training in Music so that a high quality sequential, continuous and developmental music education can be delivered to all Australian children, by an expertly trained teacher.

I am pleased to report that we received a reply from Tanya Plibersek, shadow MP for Education. Within her reply, she provides a reassurance:

I can assure you this (Music Education) is an area my office will continue to take a keen interest in as we develop our education policies going forward.

It’s not too late to write. Please write to your local Federal member and the Hon. Simon Birmingham - Education MP. https://www.senatorbirmingham.com.au/contact/. I have published a video outlining how necessary it is to write to MPs on the sMAG Victoria Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sMAGVic/.

Please look at the Music Australia PDF and phrase your thoughts around the key points: http://musicaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Australian-Music-Education-Status-Priorities.pdf


Enjoy the year everyone! I look forward to meeting some of you at the various events planned for the year.



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

sMAG Spring ENews

With slightly warmer weather in Victoria as Spring commences, sMAG extends good wishes to everyone, and the hope of a well-earned September break.

Federal Delegation

Music Australia recently organised a Federal trip to advocate for Music Education on a National level. While sMAG representatives were invited, sMAG committee members were not available. We would like to support the Music Australia Federal efforts by asking sMAG Victoria members to write a letter of support. Please write to your local Federal member and the Hon. Simon Birmingham - Education MP. https://www.senatorbirmingham.com.au/contact/
Letters need to highlight your support of the recent delegation, the challenges faced in delivery, and the strategic outcomes required to reach every child in every State in Music around the goals as outlined in the TEMAG report Recommendation 18;
https://www.education.gov.au/news/teacher-education-ministerial-advisory-group-report-released  While Music is not listed as a specialism, it is not excluded from the conversation.  Federal legislation covers Initial Teacher Education (Undergraduate teacher training).  We need tertiary institutions to provide specialism training in Music so that a high quality sequential, continuous and developmental music education can be delivered to all Australian children, by an expertly trained teacher.   It is only the Federal government that can make music a compulsory subject, allocate a minimum time allotment to the subject, and can implement requirements for Primary Teachers to graduate as specialists.  It is simply not feasible to expect a generalist classroom teacher to deliver expert training in music education on top of the Literacy and Numeracy requirements.  Whenever a delegation takes place, a letter writing campaign needs to happen to demonstrate to politicians how important the issue is to the community.  As other lobby groups are currently dominating the political landscape, it is VITAL that as many people as possible write letters now as a follow up to this delegation.  I have published a video outlining how necessary it is to write to MPs on the sMAG Victoria Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sMAGVic/.
Please look at the Music Australia pdf and phrase your thoughts around the key points: http://musicaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Australian-Music-Education-Status-Priorities.pdf
sMAG Victoria also runs a Facebook group where you can develop conversations and relationships with other Music Teachers across the State: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1101931139911842/

SIMP
As mentioned in our Autumn and Winter ENews, sMAG Vic has focused all attention towards the Secondary Instrumental Music Program (SIMP).  Work has been quite intensive and time consuming, so we are pleased the new Permission To Teach (PTT) policy will come into effect on October 1, 2017.  The policy is publicly available on the VIT website: http://www.vit.vic.edu.au/news/news/2017/permission-to-teach-policy-changes

We welcome the clarity the document brings around the definition of a teacher according to the Act of 2006:

“Central to the 2017 PTT policy is the principle that whenever a person is undertaking the duties of a teacher - such as delivering the curriculum, assessing student outcomes in an educational program and being responsible for a class - then that individual must hold teacher registration or permission to teach.”


The AEU will hold meetings with the Hon. Mr. Merlino, and DET regarding to the new PTT policy as well as the new EBA and implications around workplace employment conditions.  Should anyone have concerns with any SIMP position employment conditions, we advise you bring the conversation to the attention of Sarah Parr at the AEU: Sarah.Parr@aeuvic.asn.au.

What you can do (Repeated from Winter)
All Music teachers, and particularly IMTs, are acutely aware of how intrinsic classroom, Instrumental lessons and ensemble pedagogy all intertwine and are essential to delivering the Victorian Curriculum, VCE or IB outcomes.  As a community we need to be able to articulate this clearly in every local school setting.
A few key phrases to embed in professional lives and documentation may be;
·       Instrumental lessons and ensemble delivery are intrinsic in delivering outcomes against the school’s approved curriculum (VicCurr, IB, VCE etc).
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors report against the standards stated in the approved curriculum, keeping accurate records of evidence and data.
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors document curriculum across The ARTs domain as required by the approved curriculum.
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors meet with their Head of Music or upline managers to provide evidence of their documentation and student progress.
·       IMTs and ensemble directors set aside time for professional meetings with their faculty to ensure curriculum delivery is meeting the requirements of the approved curriculum.

MEERG (Repeated from Winter)
Consultation around the sMAG discussion paper for strategic leadership architecture over the SIMP program has been ongoing.  With adequate structures around the SIMP, accountability and support processes can be implemented across the state, to see the program thrive.  The Music community highly values the SIMP, and understands the intrinsic value in developing high achieving music professionals, able to enter tertiary courses and perform on the global stage.  Prof. Gary McPherson is particularly advocating for the growth of the SIMP to ensure high quality delivery into the future.

VICTORIAN JOBS
With the roll out of Victorian government targets for improvement in Music outcomes, we see jobs. Let a friends know about the listings at Recruitment Online, and let's get some music happening!

GREATER SHEPPARTON
Great things happening in Greater Shepparton! See the blog posted by Nicole Thorne: https://www.musicmovingmountains.com.au/blog.  School Music programs are gaining access to much needed funds through the Fairley Foundation http://www.fairleyfoundation.org/ and The Pratt Foundation.  Fiona Phillips from Deakin in Geelong is currently researching and working with these music programs.  Any spare/old instruments can be donated.  Please email smag.schoolmusicactiongroup@gmail.com if you can help out.

THE VICTORIAN MUSIC LIBRARY
The Victorian Music Library is urgently looking for a space to call home.
Do you know of a disused church, or converted warehouse? We are seeking your creative help and imagination!
Our wish-list is:
* Approximately 400 square metres of floor space for the total collection
* A location close to a shopping precinct and public transport
* Kitchenette and bathroom facilities
* Administration area with temperature control and space for
cataloguing and processing music
* Adequate amount of car parking spaces for members and volunteers
* A ramped entrance for disabled, pram and trolley access
* Our target area is from the Melbourne CBD in an easterly direction towards Camberwell and then down in a southerly direction towards Sandringham
Background information:
* The VML is a not-for-profit independent incorporated organisation
* We offer a niche market service which is different from universities
* We are open to the general public
* Originally established in 1974 as a string music library
* An ever-increasing collection, currently listing more than 20,000 items of catalogued sheet music
The sheet music collection currently includes:
* Chamber music
* Orchestral music
* String Orchestra music
* Choral and Vocal music - both secular and religious
* Band music
* Solo Instrumental music - including works for AMEB and VCE exams
* Percussion music - a large collection rarely available elsewhere
* Piano music
Remember!!! Finding a suitable place for the VML is only a few steps away.
Please pass this information around to as many people as you can to help the
entire music community.
Contact the VML at vicmusiclib@gmail.com


FREE PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
aMuse and Musical Futures are offering primary and early childhood teachers the opportunity to take part in a FREE Singing Classroom workshop during October and November.
The Singing Classroom is a Professional Learning program for generalist primary classroom teachers offering them support, confidence, skills and resources to sing more regularly with their students. The approach is designed in such a way so that singing is not an add-on or an extra activity, but integrated into the existing your daily program.
The Singing Classroom workshops:
Provide skills and resources for generalist teachers to enable more singing in the classroom
Build confidence in generalist primary teachers to sing with their students
Provide techniques to lift the profile of singing in schools and classrooms
Demonstrate ways of integrating singing into dedicated music sessions as well as into the general curriculum
Supporting the development of self-confidence in teachers and students
Workshop activities include:
Introduction to the purpose of singing in the classroom and why singing is important
How to teach a song including chants, rounds, part-songs, action songs
Ideas for integrating singing into the curriculum especially links to literacy, numeracy and more
Extension ideas for integrating composition and percussion including body percussion, songwriting composition and creating a rap
Materials and resources including sample songs, rounds, tools for creating a group composition activities, writing a rap and more
All teachers will be provided with a certificate of attendance recognising the professional learning hours
Dates and Locations:
Ballarat - Wednesday October 25th at Phoenix P-12 Community College, Sebastopol
Bendigo – Thursday October 26th at Crusoe P-7 College, Kangaroo Flat
Geelong – Wednesday November 8th at Northern Bay College, Corio
Melbourne – Wednesday November 15th at Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Queensberry St, Parkville
Each workshop starts at 4.30pm and ends at 6.30pm
Register now:
Registrations for each of our FREE Victorian regional workshops are now open: 
http://www.musicalfuturesaustralia.org/singing-classroom-rego.html

Twitter: @sMAG_Vic   https://twitter.com/sMAG_Vic  

Monday, July 10, 2017

sMAG Winter ENews

With a semester of learning behind us, sMAG extends good wishes to everyone, and the hope of a well-earned winter break.

As mentioned in our Autumn ENews, sMAG Vic has focused all attention towards the Secondary Instrumental Music Program (SIMP).  Work has been quite intensive and time consuming, so we are pleased to report some progress.  Following a VIT review of the Permission To Teach (PTT) policy in early 2015, recommendations were finalized, and consultation with stakeholders proceeded.  A draft for a new PTT was put to the minister in 2015. After further consultation with stakeholders, The Education Minister, the Hon. Mr. Merlino, approved the VIT PTT policy in June this year. 

Regional Instrumental Coordinators have been, and will continue to be consulted with regard to the implementation of the new policy in due course.  IM Coordinators indicate that they are largely pleased with the new policy, and are happy to work through implementation discussions. The VIT will publicly publish the PTT policy according to their regulations and guidelines.  We expect the policy to come into effect in October 2017.

The AEU will hold meetings with the Hon. Mr. Merlino, and DET regarding to the new PTT policy and implications around workplace employment conditions.  Should anyone have concerns with any SIMP position employment conditions, we advise you bring the conversation to the attention of Sarah Parr at the AEU: Sarah.Parr@aeuvic.asn.au.

What you can do
All Music teachers, and particularly IMTs, are acutely aware of how intrinsic classroom, Instrumental lessons and ensemble pedagogy all intertwine and are essential to delivering the Victorian Curriculum, VCE or IB outcomes.  As a community we need to be able to articulate this clearly in every local school setting.
A few key phrases to embed in professional lives and documentation may be;
·       Instrumental lessons and ensemble delivery are intrinsic in delivering outcomes against the school’s approved curriculum (VicCurr, IB, VCE etc).
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors report against the standards stated in the approved curriculum, keeping accurate records of evidence and data.
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors document curriculum across The ARTs domain as required by the approved curriculum.
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors meet with their Head of Music or upline managers to provide evidence of their documentation and student progress.
·       IMTs and ensemble directors set aside time for professional meetings with their faculty to ensure curriculum delivery is meeting the requirements of the approved curriculum.

MEERG
Consultation around the sMAG discussion paper for strategic leadership architecture over the SIMP program has been ongoing.  With adequate structures around the SIMP, accountability and support processes can be implemented across the state, to see the program thrive.  The Music community highly values the SIMP, and understands the intrinsic value in developing high achieving music professionals, able to enter tertiary courses and perform on the global stage.  Prof. Gary McPherson is particularly advocating for the growth of the SIMP to ensure high quality delivery into the future.

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT
Grants for schools to partner with professional artists are available through the ‘Creative Learning Partnerships’.