As we move towards Christmas and Hanukah, sMAG has a short report to make for our Term 4 ENews.
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Sarina Iacono to the role of Vice Chair for sMAG. She was elected unopposed, and I look forward to working closely with her.
A Tidal Wave, Floats All Boats
Following the work over the last few years, by all major investors and stakeholders, we are seeing an increased take up of Music education across Victoria. The work delivered by Musical Futures, and the Richard Gill National Mentoring program has seen a significant increase in Music Education Engagement. Figures coming through data collection are telling the community that there are new programs being established in each region of Victoria. Beyond these formalized programs, up to 20 new programs are being initiated across the State. These programs have come to sMAGs attention in a more informal way – so we are pleased to see the effects of a ‘tidal wave, floating all boats’. If you meet someone starting a new program, please offer to network them in, mentor a graduate, or just generally help out where you can J. We’re all in this together!
sMAG Instrumental Music Teacher Working Party (IMT WP)
We have continued to discuss the VIT PTT draft policy with the VIT with the AEU Vic representatives. We are assured that Meredith Peace has taken up the cause with Mr. Merlino MP, and we are waiting on the final outcomes.
The sMAG IMT WP reminds everyone in the community that the Act of 2006 defines the duties of a teacher. Instrumental music teachers typically and unequivocally perform the roles and duties, and assume the responsibilities, of “teaching” as defined by the Act (2006) – assessing, curriculum development and formal reporting to parents against the VCAA curriculum documents. When an IMT is performing duties as defined by the ACT (2006) then the only classification open to a school is ‘Classroom teacher’. Further, all professionals need to be aware that there are measures to place an IMT before a class of 25 – 30 students at the principals discretion.
Typically Instrumental music teachers perform any or all of the following duties:
· report to AusVels or The Victorian Curriculum
· teach at VCE/VCAL/VET level and are responsible for teaching the 50% performance component of VCE music performance
· teach/produce the students who choose to pursue VCE music performance units
· conduct large scale ensembles - mostly before and after school, and/or at lunchtimes requiring high level specialization skill sets and similar skill sets to classroom music teachers with regard to classroom management, assessment, curriculum development and reporting.
· follow a sequential program of instruction, as recognised and recommended by the Inquiry into the Extent, Benefits and Potential of Music Education in Victorian Schools 2013
· are responsible for the recruitment and retention of students in school music programs
· may teach on the timetable, either assisting the classroom music teacher or taking their own large group class (e.g., some IMTs teach theory classes)
· attend numerous evening concerts and a variety of school musical productions throughout the year
· teach at multiple schools and so have multiple “out-of-school” teaching related commitments
· write and develop curriculum documentation
· attend parent/teacher interviews
· undertake excursions and camps, and organize incursions
· determine the number of students enrolling in Units 1 and 2, VCE music performance, preparing this pathway from junior secondary levels
We remind everyone to contact Jo Patterson of the VIT, should any cases of concern be brought to your attention. The VIT will then engage their compliance measures, commencing an investigation process and contacting the Principal concerned.
The sMAG IMT WP advocates that any funding model for the SIMP be devised around the HUBS or ‘Lighthouse’ concept: http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/making-our-schools-thriving-community-hubs/ With base schools for both SIMP and classroom music educators, staff can be provided with some security of employment at a major music center school, and then supply to local smaller schools for fractions of time as the student numbers permit. The sMAG IMT WP, has spent considerable time creating a discussion paper around accountability/leadership structures to secure the ongoing success of the SIMP. The discussion paper has been submitted to the Music Education Expert Reference Group, and will be on the agenda for the meeting in 2017.
FRAMEWORK and MUSIC EDUCATION GUIDE
Associate Professor Neryl Jeanneret, has been working extensively on a Framework for Music Education. Helen Champion from the VCAA has done extensive work to create a Music Education Guide, which is also near completion. We expect the launch for both to occur sometime in Semester 1.
Keep up the pressure, and make it STEAM! Science without creativity – would mean no invention, but simply analysis and data. To be the clever country, all scientists need creativity.
WHAT YOU CAN DO….
1. Establish Mentoring relationships
Throughout Victoria, new programs are opening up. If you are in a position to mentor a graduate commencing a new program, please reach out to them. Professional Learning Communities encourage everyone to network and support one another throughout the field. Please do so, and help create the vibrant community we are aspiring towards. If you are in Regional Victoria, Fiona Phillips has offered to assist establishing some mentoring networks. Please shoot her an email so that she can commence a database: firstname.lastname@example.org
Has your school received funding through the Musical Instruments Grant program? http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/helping-victorian-kids-to-embrace-music/ Share photos, celebrations and feedback here on the sMAG FB page, via the Music Education NING and email@example.com. We want to celebrate with you as the improvement implementations roll out!
2. Integrity in Partnerships:
Whenever a school requires a partnership with an outside music/arts provider - check the credentials. It is crucial that the outside provider has a qualification and can a) read music, b) sing in tune c) interact in a professional way with students d) are consistent so that students are not confused e) provide original works. If the provider does not pass the 'fair dinkum' test, find someone who does. There are plenty of private providers who can match the score to the performance, the rehearsal to the product at a high level - seek those providers out and reward them for their professionalism.
Please connect with sMAG on the Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/sMAGVic/
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah to those who celebrate!!