Tuesday, June 26, 2018

sMAG ENews – Toughish Stuff

Just wanting to acknowledge your patience as readers of the ENews is delivered over a few shorter bursts.  My recovery after the car bingle, continues slowly, and so far progress is steady.  Allowing me to write in short bursts assists, so thank you. Where in the last ENews, there was consistent analogies drawn around the world’s oceans and seas, I will use farming analogies through todays publication.

Australia has a variety of landscapes, with differing farming harvests.  Farms in some areas harvest a bounty, and other areas of land are sandy resulting in poor returns.  Such an analogy can paint a picture for Music delivery across the field.  For a whole generation in Victoria, particularly in the 1990s, Music Education delivered by a specialist teacher was denied to public school students.  This decade in Victoria, brought funding cuts that decimated music education delivery – creating a vacuum, or desert in some regions where little could grow.  Culture, knowledge and an inheritance were denied to so many children.  These youngsters are adults now, and so we have a generation of people who ‘do not know, what they don’t know’.  Thankfully, some are willing to learn.

Over only 4 years, the music education sector has received funding from the Victorian Andrew’s government with whom Music Education has found favour.  The rocks and boulders in the desert have started to be pushed aside.  Whatever your political allegiances, and whatever your opinion of Musical Futures, the organization has been brave enough to roll through the desert and turn the soil.  The process has pushed huge boulders out of the way, and carried a heavy load.  Ian Harvey has travelled to every corner of Victoria personally, to convince school principals that a music education is needed.  To convince principals who may have never received a music education themselves, and can’t see the benefit.  Yet, he has convinced them to start a program. 
Whatever your opinions of the National Music Teacher Mentoring program, the participants have all reported very positive feedback. Seven teachers are mentoring 15 teachers across participating schools including one new mentor based in Warrnambool. Mr. Richard Gill OM led the charge with this program, and worked hard to put it in place.  We must acknowledge the hard work of Mr. Richard Gill AO, and Mr. Ian Harvey in each moving huge boulders in making these two programs move through, and turn the first sod. In reality, these programs do turn the first sod towards generational change. These giants of the Music Education community have been working hard for decades, and have each now seen some result.  Both have broad shoulders, and have carried their story to politicians independently of sMAG.  Each has made these gains in their own right, and have fought for music education for decades longer many of us, particularly involved in the NRSME: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/9459/
We, as a community, owe them our appreciation.
The whole music community, now has the opportunity to move through, and provide to the teaching professionals receiving the benefits from the above, support, networks and resources.  By picking up these thousands of teachers who have received some Professional Learning, the whole community will ‘replenish the land with the nutrients needed to sustain long-term growth’ – so to speak.  Once all the offerings have moved through, finally ‘seed can be sewn’ as the next generation begins to flourish.  And to achieve this, as Fiona Phillips now carries the analogy in her attachment, it must rain – and rain steadily for a long time so that the next generation benefits from ‘a strong harvest’.
Furthermore, the Victorian government in its agenda to build The Education State, has funded the building of many performing arts spaces.  Primary and Secondary schools alike are receiving the benefit of brand new Music, dance and drama facilities all across Victoria.  There are so many, there are too many to name!!!
Wow!!!  We have not seen anything like this for several generations!
We have such an opportunity now, to invest into good soil, and turn the land over, ready to plant – for a harvest to come in around 10 or 20 years time. The societal benefits will be far reaching, if every educator invests in a their space in the education field. Are you a Professional Learning provider? What will you invest into the community?  Are you in Music industry? What can you offer?  What has sport done with industry partners, that Music can now emulate?  Are you a music teacher in a school? How can you inspire, create positivity and get the whole school singing as exampled by Sue Arney in ‘The Singing Classroom’?  -  “A Million Dreams” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rxgAh1bnHU
It’s up to you!    What will you plant?
Initial Teacher Education - ITE

We have seen mixed progress in the tertiary sector in terms of Music Education Specialism delivery.  We celebrate news from the MEERG on the student participation in the University of Melbourne, Masters of Music -  Performance Teaching. Kenna George reported that approximately 35 students are accepted each year with most students opting for specialism - instrumental strings.
Aspiring instrumental teachers have the opportunity to gain a qualification at the University of Melbourne, Conservatorium of Music.  See an introduction from Professor Ian Godfrey on Youtube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=70&v=Ju5pFmEu2AA.  Specific information may be obtained directly from the website: https://mcm.unimelb.edu.au/study/degrees/master-of-music-performance-teaching/overview . Aspiring music teachers gain the skills and confidence to enter the Secondary Education Sector, or the Studio Music sector.
The Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne, Conservatorium of Music offers tremendous opportunities as outlined by Prof. Gary McPherson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhumZDVS8x4&t=41s Graduates are confident to pursue a professional music career on graduation, or move into the Masters degree already mentioned.
We celebrate delivery and participation at the University of Education, Graduate School of Education Masters Course with a specialization in Arts Education. https://education.unimelb.edu.au/study_with_us/courses/master-of-education/overview/arts-education Many pre service teachers have participated in specialized Music Education training, which is showcased on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Music-Education-At-Melbourne-121801714542789/ Graduates usually gain employment in a classroom setting.
We do have some positive news from Deakin, however we will hold this over until the next ENews, or provide an update at the Forum.  Our incoming Co-Chair, Fiona Phillips, lectures at Deakin and will be able to elaborate in the near future.

As ITE falls under Federal legislation, and having written to the Hon. Mr. Simon Birmingham, we have received a helpful reply.  While aspects of the letter outlined aspects we were already aware of, Mr. Birmingham provided insight into the separation of Federal and State auspice, as well as unpacking some of the regulatory language.
Hon. Mr. Birmingham stated:

“Whilst English/literacy and maths/numeracy have been identified by the Government as national
priority learning areas for primary specialisation, ITE providers are able to provide a specialisation in
any learning area of the primary curriculum, including the arts, if it is an area of employer demand.”

He referred to the AITSL documents, which are also regulatory, outlining clearly that if employers demand staff in a specialism, ITE providers can be persuaded to supply.  While I am not an Oxford scholar, my reading of his letter and the AITSL documents, and my understanding of local school behaviour responding to community demands we have a line of action that can be pursued. It would seem to me that if a local community demands music education delivery, voices and pressures local schools to provide a music education, then principals will be crying out for staff.
Should you have children in a public school, you would do well to write to the Principal, and School Council requesting a Specialist Music Teacher who delivers a whole of class, sequential, continuous and developmental program against the Victorian Curriculum.

Members of the tertiary community may request a copy of the letter to sMAG from the Hon. Mr. Simon Birmingham by return email: smag.schoolmusicactiongroup@gmail.com .  We look forward to what developments Fiona Phillips and Sue Buchan will lead the Music Education community towards with this information now at hand.

After perusing the Hon. Simon Birmingham's letter, I have a hunch.  Would you each please pop this on all social media platforms, as it really showcases Aussie kids, as Music Education kids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyzeMg_3CTg

The VCAA Guide to Music Education

As reported in a previous edition of the ENews, we still await the publication of the VCAA Guide to Music Education.  Helen Champion put in countless hours of work in creating the guide.  She invested the time to consult Music Educators around Victoria, and developed a rich resource.  We believe the Music Education community will celebrate the guide when it is published online.  Such a document will engender and support deep and rich Music Education throughout Victoria.
The VCAA will communicate the Guide to Music Education release via their communication usual portals when it goes live.  If you wish to make inquires, you can find the VCAA contact details here: https://www.vic.gov.au/contactsandservices/directory/?ea0_lfz149_120.&organizationalUnit&9ab88530-1d59-47b0-9907-337563fa148e


We have had serious discussions at the MEERG around the SIMP.  The Chair advised that following discussions with the Minister for Education, DET will establish a working group with representatives from each DET region and central office to share best practice and discuss ways to improve the support and coordination for music education. The first meeting will be held in Term 3 2018.  DET will use the new working group to share best practice and consider improvements to the SIMP. The Department will use the new Music Working Group to identify local and regional area PLC (Professional Learning Community) leaders and communication opportunities. Inquires to the new Music Education Team at DET can be directed here:  music.education@edumail.vic.gov.au
Rather than provide a long catch up here, we would prefer to discuss progress in person when we gather at the forum.  Using the farming analogy, farmers always must consider carefully what to plant and sew, according to the current climate. Please encourage colleagues to gather at the forum.  We will break off into sector groups in different rooms and allow a focus and reflection time.

Multicultural Melbourne

Indulge me a little, while I speak of my beautiful city and my own story. We all have a story, and we Aussies love to share our stories. Here is a small portion of mine.
We have in our city, and throughout Victoria, access to the richest cultures of the world from actual members of those cultures.  As a child, I was one of those many thousands of public school students who were denied a music education during those ‘desert like’ decades.  My parents more than made up for it, singing, dancing and playing the records of their English heritage every weekend.  In the ‘village’ where I grew up, the parents of my friends shared the music of their heritage as we all played in the backyards in the summer time.  I learnt to dance ‘The Zorba’ and all about the Bouzouki in one home.  In others, at parties, when the feasting was done, and vino was well drunk, the patriarch of the Italian family would stand up and start to sing Verdi and Rossini. While I was denied a music education in primary school, I learnt of the European greats at the feat of painters, farmers and bricklayers.  You see, Music Education was compulsory in Italy in the 20th century. The leaders knew music would carry the culture through the generations.  Our indigenous people know this, and carry the culture of their people through corroboree, art, music and dance.

We all have an immigration story.  My immigration story impacts on my public secondary school education.  My Grandfather decided to bring the family to Australia after WW2.  During the war, he had served in the British Royal Air Force in the Red Beret.  For the first 3 years, he spied out enemy air attacks, and intercepted enemy messages and forwarded them to Bletchley where Alan Turing was working.  In 1942, when Darwin was attacked, he along with hundreds of thousands of British, was seconded to Australia.  He camped on the MCG with all the Americans, Canadians and other allied forces before being deployed to Darwin to fight the Kamakaze.  While here, The Blitz occurred, and his house was lost.  Before the loss, he was a wealthy man.  So when the offer came to resettle in Australia came, he chose Melbourne. While in Australia, all the generations passed on the culture through the music.  Songs of great strength and character.  A piano was purchased, and we all got to learn.  We played Mozart, and Beethoven, McCartney, and folk songs.  The house was full of music.
Yet, at secondary school, there was no music.  I had to study piano privately to pass the VCE. A new principal came, Dad got on the school council and asked for a Music program, and the school hired someone who offered pop/rock music.  Well, none of the children in this village were interested in 3 chord songs, with only a 4 part band.  All the students were children of Europe’s WW2, and wanted to hear the sounds of cultural greats from Europe – not pop music!  You see presumptions were made. The teacher didn’t research the clientele.

Who do we have in our classrooms now, Victoria?  Many of us have the children of Persia, Arabia and Africa.  Play the Tabla and the djembe.  Ask the young people what they want to hear, and connect them to culture.

On the flip side of this story, I have met musicians from all the top conservatoria of the world here in Melbourne.  During those 1990s when music teachers could not get jobs in schools, I ran a private studio, and was able to hire Moscow conservatorium graduates, guitarists from Spain, and all the best musicians Multicultural Melbourne could offer.  Many would bemoan the cultural musical desert they encountered in their corner of Australia. Slavomir provided a better example, and established the Australian Chopin Society in Melbourne: http://en.chopin.nifc.pl/chopin/institutions/detail/cat/1/id/8   So, if I heard bemoaning after knowing Slavomir, I would kindly ask the question, ‘What of your heritage can you bring to your corner of the music field here in Australia?’  A few have proceeded to inject a little of their rich history into our space.  One has chosen to use his extensive violin skills gained in Austria, and refined in the USA playing behind Bernstein and Pavarotti, by reviewing and reworking violin instrumental examination repertoire.  Another has brought her extensive Russian heritage of piano playing and establishing a summer piano accompaniment festival.
What aspect of your heritage or country of origin can you bring to the field here?  Which of you will form the Melbourne Italian Opera society?  I will be the first to subscribe!!

Let’s all farm this field together, and yield a future harvest. Yet, it must rain ...... ......see article from Fiona Phillips below


Date: Thursday July 12
Time: 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm
VENUE: Federation Hall - VCA: 234 St Kilda Road, Southbank, Melbourne
FOCUS: Victorian Music Education Charter 
Music teachers, SIMP providers, Tertiary lecturers, Music Industry professionals, Performing Musicians and all those interested in Music education are invited to the July Forum. 
Speaker: Prof. Gary Macpherson
Retiring sMAG Chair: Catherine Lyons
New sMAG Co-Chair induction: Ms. Fiona Phillips and Ms. Sue Buchan.
The forum will review the proposed Victorian Music Education Charter for everyone to put to all political candidates. 
Formal hand over of leadership will occur at this event, where reflections over the last 4.5 years will occur and Fiona Phillips and Sue Buchan will be welcomed as new Co-Chairs of sMAG. Mr. Carl Williams will be welcomed as Vice Chair.

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/

Kind Regards,
Catherine Lyons

Becoming more musical = success.

A story of becoming musical and a letter from a principal’s desk

This is the story of what is possible if a school commits itself to becoming more musical.
The story is of a primary school situated in regional Victoria struggling to become more musical. There were student attendance issues, low staff moral and family connectedness and engagement was sluggish at best. The school had a desire to include more music and had tried a few “one off” NGO offerings. The effort applied to balance the budget and make room for music was intense and exhausting. The goal to include more music and become more musical as a school, was seeming as if it was impossible and defeat had all but set in. It appeared as it music was something that they were not going to be able to do. Some of the generalist staff had undergone professional learning / training or could remember a few things from their ITE studies, but more often than not they had received little or no understanding of how to use music effectively in the classroom and especially in the setting they found themselves in. “It takes time to become musical and not enough time was provided in my ITE” (Heinrich, 2012; Phillips, 2013).

Governments have much evidence (Victorian Government, 2015) in front of them of the benefits of a sequential music program for learning and development, but at an AITSL level they have identified other learning areas as being a focus and this pushes back on the system causing ITE providers to focus on building capacity and skills in the identified areas. The result is a national drought of musically prepared teachers. With very few teachers who had any sort of well from which to draw from in terms of musical knowledge, and who also felt inadequately prepared to implement effective music learning, and with no funds to employ a specialist teacher, all seemed lost. It was into this situation that a place based philanthropic organisation stepped in. The place-based funder had undertaken research and discovered that only 1 in 8 schools in the region had access to a trained music teacher. They had also undertaken research that indicated increasing opportunities for education and participation in music was an effective way of building social capital and improving academic and holistic developmental outcomes. Their goal was to lift these outcomes in the region and therefore increased access to, and participation in, music education became a focus of their funding. Initially the principal was sceptical, but after seeding funds were released and a program was designed and implemented he saw the beginnings of gains across most indicators and was convinced. The program to become more musical has evolved in response to the community. The following is an excerpt from a personal response of thanks to the CEO of the philanthropic organisation.
“I wanted to take the opportunity to write to thank you for your continued support of our school and community and to let you know some recent highlights for us as a school. 
These include
· Our music program is a success that we can all be proud of. Students are eager to be part of this terrific program. Our year 6 students anecdotally report that they have contacts with the secondary college and that this assists with transition. Once at secondary college they are able to immediately join the college’s intermediate band in year 7 and miss the junior band. Our year 6 have also had a number of opportunities to perform alongside secondary students. This is a terrific experience.
· Our academic results are showing continual signs of improvement. This is particularly true for maths. We are continuing to work hard to improve reading outcomes and have a clear evidenced based instructional model in place.
· We are also beginning to see that the integration of a KODALY/ORFF based pedagogical approach to singing and body percussion in the early years might make the best connections to THRASS and continue to lift these areas of spelling, reading and writing. It is a work in progress but this approach has the benefit of including songs from culture and celebrates the diversity in our community.
· Our student attitude to school survey results, a Department of Education and Training survey, (most recent 2017) show very high levels of connectedness with the school. Students report very high levels of agreement with all areas of the survey.
· Our recent survey of staff opinion (2016 and 2017) showed the highest agreement in all areas in more than a decade. This is evidence that our staff are very committed to working as a team to support all students and that we have developed a very supportive staff culture.
· Attendance data has improved significantly in the past 4 years. On average students are now attending about 7 days extra per year. This has continued to further improve in 2018
· Our student numbers have increased in 2017 and 2018. This is the first time in 15 years that enrolment has increased.
· We have strong future plans to work closely with our community to improve outcomes in the Early years.

Not all of this can be attributed to the music program and us 'becoming more musical' but anecdotally this focus on intentionally being more musical and the work to become more musical is the only thing that was introduced over this period and has remained. One of your trustees indicated that it would take time to become more musical and they were right. If you had not stepped in to support us becoming more musical we would never have continued the journey – we couldn’t have begun even - and we would never have experienced and known the benefits of what is continuing to be a more musical and successful place."
This is not the only school for which becoming more musical has equalled success – there are a number of primary schools that have become more musical and have experienced the benefits of this shift. What is significant, and somewhat alarming about this story is that becoming musical had to be funded by a philanthropic organisation. Unfortunately, it is reflective of an on-going climate change in ITE and in education generally resulting in conditions that are sure to end in a musical drought. Cultural institutions are trying to provide ‘bottled water’ and some NGOs disaster relief – if you get my metaphor – but what the regions really need is regular rain. Regular rain in the form of sequential developmental music education that is responsive to children and sensitive to the communities that they live in. It needs to rain locally and for a significant time. We must be diligent and keep encouraging each other to present the message that Music matters. Music not as another letter in a sequence of MMADD or STEAM or MINDFULNESS but music for music’s sake, for it is music and people in a school becoming more musical that has made the difference. Becoming more musical for this school equals success.

Fiona Phillips B Ed, Grad Dip Music Ed, Grad Cert Higher Ed, M Ed by research, PhD candidate.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

sMAG ENews – Good News

As we all move towards the end of term, many of us have written reports, hosted concerts, prepared students for examinations and moving towards more performances in the last 2 weeks of the term.  All while planning for Term 3 curriculum and hosting Parent/Teacher interviews. J  
I hope you are all able to access Barocca, coffee and chocolate at this time. J

For me personally, I am in the midst of the above, and recovering from a bit of whiplash after a little car bingle.  No need to worry, I am on the mend, and have traversed through worse in the past. ‘The sun will always come up tomorrow’. For sMAG ENews, it just means that I will stagger the ENews over a few editions.  This will allow me to move away from the computer every hour and do some stretches.  For you the reader, it will mean a few extra emails, but much shorter bursts to sit and read. I hope you understand, and are happy to read a few ENews deliveries in shorter bursts.  I also don’t really know if each edition of the ENews will be the last, as if I l move the wrong way, there will be a bit of pain and regression.  So I must tread carefully, daily. Never mind, there are people in the world far worse off – she’ll be right mate!

Learning Journey

We all celebrated the Inquiry into the extent, benefits and potential of music education in Victorian schools 2013 https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/file_uploads/Music_Education_Final_041113_FJWsJhBy.pdf, and the 17 recommendations.  We have seen many positive outcomes as the recommendations and findings have been used to influence improvements under various auspices.  The current Victorian government, and Deputy Premier have provided extensive funding to improve outcomes.  DET ran the MEERG and invested 4 years of their capacity to see extensive improvement to policy and development.  sMAG and the extensive music community is very appreciative of this investment.

Over the last few years, I have learnt that there are many governing authorities that surround education.  Each have a specific auspice, and each may NOT cross over to the other's domain. There are so many auspices, there are too many to name! As I start to wind down, knowing I will hand over soon, my father's voice comes to mind, saying 'You would have to be an Oxford Scholar.....' to understand all the auspices and their respective regulation.  sMAG has been bringing the review and recommendations to the Federal and Victorian State government auspices.  It is my view that the Victorian Andrews’ government has provided generous funding, significant time and influence, and has done all within its auspice to generate the commencement of significant change against the Inquiry 2013 recommendations. Particularly in funding the purchase of instruments.  Instruments purchased wisely can have a whole of school, positive effect. I will tease this out in a moment – for now:  If ‘a tidal wave, floats all boats’, those of us receiving grants must (so to speak) ‘take hold of the bridge as captains of our boats, and ride the wave’.  For those, in this vast ocean of music education receiving grants, do have it within their auspice to make wise purchases to see long term, positive outcomes. There will be a few sharks circling, so later in this ENews, I will ask you to indulge me with listening to some of my thoughts on ‘where to throw your nets for a great catch’.  J

The Good News - QMEF

As reported in a previous edition of the ENews, the School Music Action Group Victoria we welcome the publication of the QMEF.  The Quality Music Education Framework is published. Please see the link to the framework below.
http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/teachingresources/discipline/arts/Pages/QMEF.aspx  The document is dense, and you have to hyperlink it with other documents that DET provides to support professional practice.  Mandy Stefanakis http://musictrust.com.au/loudmouth/mandy-stefanakis/ has already published an analysis on the ‘Music Trust’ website at: http://musictrust.com.au/loudmouth/the-quality-music-education-framework/. Mandy’s work unpacks aspects of the QMEF, and cites references to other major relevant works across the field.

The Framework provides specific advise to school leaders around policy and investment to support new and thriving Music Education programs, as well as support to the Music Specialist Teacher developing new programs.  Everyone in a school setting now has at their fingertips the professional framework to improve learning outcomes in their domain and auspice, in their corner of Victoria.
We applaud Dr. Neryl Jeanneret, http://unimelb.academia.edu/NerylJeanneret, as author, the Victorian DET as support authority and the Victorian Andrew’s government for funding a world first.  There is nothing else like the QMEF in the world.  Congratulations! “Bravo, Bravissimo – very well done!”

The Good News – Funding to Purchase Instruments

sMAG welcomes the 2018/2019 Victorian State Budget with news of specific funding for Music Education. 
The sMAG committee welcomes the commitment of $1M to further music education and we expressed the music communities appreciation at the MEERG, in our last ENews and in a letter to the Hon. Mr. Merlino on May 10.:-) -) You can view the public announcement here: https://www.budget.vic.gov.au/program_project/giving-every-child-chance-succeed and again here: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/giving-every-child-the-chance-to-succeed/

We hear from the MEERG that $600,000 will be allocated to schools to purchase instruments and related music education resources.  The selection process to receive a small allocation from this line item of funding will be available.  Low SES schools will be prioritized.  A new selection process will occur for this round of funding, as opposed to the previous selection process when the government allocated $400,000 http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/music-in-schools.aspx
The DET music team will publish their selection criteria at some point in the future.

Wow – as a teacher working in a Primary school setting, this is significant.  Such investment is ‘a tidal wave to float many boats’.  An image comes to mind - the story of ‘The Little Ships of Dunkirk’. 300,000 ordinary citizens floated their boats across the English channel in 1940 and succeeded in a strategic evacuation.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunkirk_evacuation

So, indulge me a little here – I would like to speak specifically to all Primary School Music Specialists. If you are not swimming in this ocean of music education, you can skip a page or two J.

Dear Primary School Music Specialists,

Funding for instruments is extremely precious.  It can be allocated one year, and withdrawn the next – meaning that a one off grant to purchase instruments may be all that you ever receive.  You may also be unaware that there are various other funding lines to draw from, which assists in a frugal approach.
Here me now, make any dollar allocated go as far as possible.  Having worked in this ocean for many years, I have a few pearls of wisdom to give you.  Applying the approaches I am about to share led to my local Secondary School HOM paying me a visit to ask ‘How do you do it?  The students we inherit from you are extremely literate in music – I’m keen to see and hear your approach’. So I share with you now, what I shared with Wendy Harvey then.

Many of us agree that the shared vision is to create sequential, continuous and developmental programs from P – Year 8.  It is within the Primary School Music Specialists auspice to write their own programs against the Australian Curriculum (and in our case AUSVELS) to engage and meet the needs of the local community.  In every curriculum document, in every overview, in every school marketing/communications portal or website I write ‘the music program is sequential, continuous and developmental’.  Foundational to all thinking and approaches, ‘the music program is sequential, continuous and developmental’.  With this, no money has been spent, yet a foundation is laid. J

Glockenspiel and Marimba approaches provide a P – 6 ‘sequential, continuous and developmental’ program when delivered to the whole school in one unit per year.  Personally, I use

Jon Madin’s books http://www.marimbamusic.com.au/ and select tunes that are age appropriate, and developmentally appropriate.

The Glockenspiel 27K retail for approximately $65.00. I started  my program by buying 15, and said ‘One between two children’ then played every piece twice J.
A class set of 25 will set you back approx.: $1650 with postage – cheaper if you pick them up!
So for this price, I delivered the foundations for keyboard, ensemble and singing skills….

Keyboard skills: Obvious by the set up of the glockenspiel.
Ensemble skills: Jon’s books are developmental, and as such the later books include tunes with parts.  The parts come not only with SATB for glockenspiel but also with percussion and Marimba parts.
Singing skills: Every tune I teach, must first be sung.  The C Major scale is taught in Prep, the C major tonic triad in Grade 1, and the 12 Bar Blues in year 2.  All must be sung as they are played along with Jon’s CD that comes along with the book.
As the tunes are sung, I point to the corresponding nots on the notation poster.  Once children get to year 6, and I start the C Major Scale song with the Call “Oh The Cows and The Calves”, students involuntarily respond with “CCC” in perfect pitch!!
Singing is free – you haven’t spent money there.
The poster is about $30 or $40.
From Year 3 – 6, the marimbas are introduced, and students get to play tunes like ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ – now made famous again by Disney.

Marimbas.  Grandparents made these instruments about 25 years ago. They were crafted out of spare or discarded wood that was lying around. J
Do you have some spare wood on a farm somewhere?
Is there someone out in your region who really likes carpentry?
Is there a STEM project going at your place?
Here is the design: http://www.marimbamusic.com.au/

Cost to your budget: $0.00 J

Jon Madin is happy to come out to schools and provide incursions.  Funding for incursions comes out of a different funding line – the incursion/excursion levy.  Parents pay a levy at the start of the year.  You can work collaboratively within your school setting to secure an incursion/workshop from Jon, and really inject some vitality into the day – without touching your precious funding for instruments.

In my setting, I have the children write the traditional notes for each tune, into their books in the last 5 minutes of every 50-minute protected, and timetabled session.  The books come out of the book levy charged to parents at the start of the academic year.  The bookshelves, that each music book class set is stored in, were purchased through the furniture budget – a different line of funding.  I negotiated this with my principal when all the classrooms were upgrading their furniture.  I wanted the music room to look the same as parents toured the school. J
My supportive principal agreed.

A good student Ukulele will set you back about $60 or $70 each.  A half set of 15, and everyone plays twice costs approx.: $1,000.  No doubt, full class sets are better.  Get the best deal in your area.

The Guitar hooks for the wall came out of the furniture budget.

Installation came out of the maintenance budget
Protect your funding for instruments!  Make that dollar stretch J
The Ukulele community is worldwide. You can find free lessons for a continuous, sequential and developmental program on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vJ6kN5H7FA

And Google.  There are iPad applications, phone apps, communities, performance groups, incursion performers and conferences.  The Pacific Ocean of Uke is wide and deep – go swim! J

Djembes cost between $50 and $70 each.  At the most expensive end, a class set could set you back $1800.  Worth every penny! You can provide a continuous, sequential and developmental program on drumming, delivered to every year level.  My preps learn how to hold the djembe, and play a bass, and maybe a 4 beat rhythm.  By Year 3 and 4, they are independently composing original pieces in pairs or groups, and notating the sounds.
Out of the incursion budget, African Performers entertain our assembly once every year or two.  Then they run workshops, out under the tree on a warm summer’s day.  The performers then impart culture, and story around the djembe to the students.
Research also demonstrated that drumming regulates heartbeat, and is great for welfare outcomes in schools.
I had enormous fun attending one adult workshop, to base a whole unit of classroom teaching around what I learnt.

Again, community around djembe is as wide as the Indian ocean! Go fish!

Singing is free and worldwide.  Every song that was ever written is now available on Youtube, and in Karaoke version.  Anyone can create a P – 6 continuous, sequential and developmental program around singing, at little to no cost.  The voice connects to culture – sing! Sing everything: lullabies, instructions, the national anthem.
Networking is low cost or free.  The joining fee out of your classroom instruments budget is well worth spending as the association provides you with access to every expert in the field, PD opportunities and more.  https://www.amuse.vic.edu.au/

A different line to any musical instruments budget funds Musicals.  Some aspects might come out of a classroom music budget, yet this must be discussed with each individual principal.

I wish you all happy travels on the oceans and seas of Music Education.
Happy to come and visit country towns if you are happy to invite and play host J.
Yours sincerely!

Welcome back everyone, hope you are ok with skipping a couple of pages, and allowing me the indulgence of sharing.

So for all of us swimming the 7 oceans of Music Education, what will your contribution be? We are all in this together.  Early years education leads to primary education, which leads to secondary education and the SIMP, which then feeds tertiary.  The tertiary graduates then come back and join us, giving forward to the next generation.
How can we strengthen our sector?  How can we turn a tidal wave, into a national movement? What will your drop in the ocean be?   Come along to the forum, and let’s discuss J


Date: Thursday July 12
Time: 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm
VENUE: Federation Hall - VCA: 234 St Kilda Road, Southbank, Melbourne
FOCUS: Victorian Music Education Charter 
Music teachers, SIMP providers, Tertiary lecturers, Music Industry professionals, Performing Musicians and all those interested in Music education are invited to the July Forum. 

Speaker: Prof. Gary Macpherson
Retiring sMAG Chair: Catherine Lyons
New sMAG Co-Chair induction: Ms. Fiona Phillips and Ms. Sue Buchan.
The forum will review the proposed Victorian Music Education Charter for everyone to put to all political candidates. 
Formal hand over of leadership will occur at this event, where reflections over the last 4.5 years will occur and Fiona Phillips and Sue Buchan will be welcomed as new Co-Chairs of sMAG.

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/

Kind Regards,
Catherine Lyons