On September 2nd, 2008 three member of sMAG, Ian Harvey, Robin Stevens and Anne Lierse made an appointment with Dianne Peck- General Manager of student learning programs division of the Officer of School Education , Dept of Education and Early Childhood Development - to discuss the implementation of the National Review of School Music Education in Victorian Schools. The outcome of this visit, Dianne Peck chose to implement a review of Primary Education in Victoria. Neryl Jeanneret from the University of Melbourne was selected to conduct the Review.
Objectives of the Review
· Identify and document best practice curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and reporting practices of specialist teachers at the primary school
· Identify and document best practice curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and reporting practices of generalist teachers, providing a music program, at the primary school level
· Identify and document examples of best practice and processes in schools making effective use of available budget and other resources implement music programs
· Recommend strategies to support all schools to make effective use of budget and other resources to implement music programs
· Document examples of best practice professional learning strategies for generalist teachers that enable them to provide music programs in schools
· Perform a scan of effective music programs both nationally and internationally.
This review was due to be completed by May 2009. This has been postponed to May 2010. When completed, it will be placed on the Student Learning Arts Domain Website as a resource for schools and will contain case studies.
In addition, a large amount of money has been given by the Government to Soundhouse to train teachers to implement Music Futures. This will be implemented in 8 Victorian Primary Schools including country areas.
Contents of the submission forward to ACARA in December 2009 included the following statements.
1. Submission to ACARA
• sMAG (School Music Action Group) has consulted with, and has the support of the principal professional music educator organisations in Victoria including -- the Association of Music Educators (Victoria), the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Society for Music Education, and the Association of Directors of Music in Independent Schools
• sMAG supports the inclusion of the five arts -- Music, Dance, Drama, Visual Arts and Media -- as discrete discipline areas within The Arts Learning Area as part of the new Australian [School] Curriculum
• sMAG strongly supports the principle that music is a core educational entitlement for all Australian students from the first year of school until Year 10, after which they should be provided with opportunities to specialise in music during Years 11 and 12
• sMAG strongly supports the adoption and adaptation where necessary of the ‘Guidelines for Effective Music Education’ (Part 4, pp.81-104) of Pascoe, R. et al., National Review of School Music Education: Augmenting the Diminished (Canberra: DEST, 2005) as the Music Program for the new Australian [School] Curriculum.
• sMAG draws attention to the shortage of qualified music teachers and recommends a coordinated initiative at the national level in conjunction with state authorities to remedy this shortage.
• sMAG strongly supports a national approach to music teacher registration in order to most effectively utilise the existing highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce of musicians who are currently unable to obtain teacher registration and for whom a pathway for Recognition of Prior Learning and/or part-time teacher education in music (levels P to Year 12) should be established and promoted.
Chair of sMAG