Thursday, July 26, 2012

Invitation - please RSVP using the links

We are pleased to advise that ACARA has now released the draft curriculum for music and have given us a short consultation period.  As quite a number of you contributed to the Shape paper submission presented by sMAG (School Music Action Group) last year, we invite you to join us at a consultation meeting on August 16 to study the document and formulate a Victorian  response.  As this will be the last opportunity we have to offer input into the music curriculum to be taught to all Australian children for many years, I encourage you to contribute your knowledge and experience. There is no cost to attend this meeting but registrations are necessary. Kevin Kelley from AMUSE is organising the registrations. Please see below. 
We are fortunate in having Kim Waldock, a key advisor to the curriculum writing panel, fly down to from Sydney to discuss the document at the consultation meeting.  We are also fortunate that Browwyn Lobb from MSO is hosting the event and has secured the  Iwaki Auditorium in Southbank Boulevard for us. Bronwyn has also arranged the offer of discounted tickets for the 2nd opening concert of MSO at Hamer hall to follow this consultation meeting. 

Kevin Kelly from AMUSE has kindly set up the on-line registration (see below). There is no cost to attend this meeting.



Consultation for the Draft Australian Curriculum: 
The Arts Foundation – Year 10
Presented by the School Music Action Group
Date: Thursday August 16
Time: 5.00pm- 7.00pm
Presenter: Kim Waldock
Venue: Iwaki Auditorium, Southbank

An opportunity to hear Kim Waldock, member of the advisory panel for the Draft Australian Curriculum: The Arts Foundation – Year 10, and discuss the consultation questions and make comments on the draft.
There is no charge for  this event.

Bookings (online only – click on link below):
Download a PDF copy of the draft curriculum:
Download a printable version of the consultation questions from this URL:

Kevin Kelley
Executive Officer
Association of Music Educators (Vic) Inc
150 Palmerston Street
CARLTON Victoria 3053

Phone +613 9349 1048
Fax + 613 9349 1052

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Meeting with Minster Dixon

Dear colleagues

Over the past several months, members of the School Music Action Group (sMAG) have made approaches to the Victorian Government to put forward the case for greater Government commitment to the provision of a music education entitlement for all children in Victorian schools.  We were given the opportunity to meet with Martin Dixon, Minister for Education on July 11th.

Following a preliminary meeting last year with the Minister of Education?s Chief of Staff and a staffer from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, a document that we have entitled ?Developing a strategic plan for the effective delivery of Music Education in Victorian Government Schools??a proposal submitted on behalf of the School Music Action Group (sMAG) has been developed.

There have been several reports developed over the past few years?the National Review of School Music Education (Australian Government 2005), the Report of the National Music Workshop (Australian Music Association 2006) and the Victorian Music Workshop Report (sMAG 2007). 

Drawing on these documents and more recent developments both in Victoria and nationally, sMAG members have developed the ?Developing a strategic plan for the effective delivery of Music Education in Victorian Government Schools??a proposal submitted on behalf of the School Music Action Group (sMAG) document.  While this document may not incorporate all possible opinions, we believe that the overall tenor of the document brings together the major concerns and recommendations that Victorian music educators would identify with. This is the document that we presented to Minister Dixon in the meeting and which formed the basis of our discussions with him (attached). 

This meeting with the Minister went extremely well with him stating that he was supportive of the kind of direction we would like to see and that he will keep working with us. He also said he was keen to try and address the present situation and that he will ask the department to provide advice re the appointment of a person to oversee the development of the strategies articulated in the strategic plan. 

It would be very helpful if we had the endorsement of as many Victorian music educators and music education groups as possible.  If you are able to endorse the attached documents, could you please respond to this email message with a brief message indicating your support. 

Many thanks in anticipation, Dr. Anne Lierse

“Developing a strategic plan for the effective delivery of Music Education in Victorian Government Schools”—a proposal submitted on behalf of the School Music Action Group (sMAG)

Key Messages (for discussion)

Action at DEECD level:

v  Every child in Victoria should have the entitlement to a developmental, sequential and continuous music education during their primary and secondary school years. The Victorian Government should commit to adequately fund the provision of music education in government schools (see Detailed Commentary section 2 below and Appendix 3 attached).
v  Findings from the 2005 National Review of School Music Education reveal that music education in a parlous state nationally with 10% of schools having no music program; the percentage in Victoria could be even higher. A Music Council of Australia study found a serious discrepancy in music education provision between government and independent schools (24% and 88% respectively). Urgent action is needed to redress the crisis situation of music education (see Detailed Commentary section 2 below and Appendix 2 attached).
v  There is an urgent need for a “stocktake” of school music in order to develop a long-term strategic plan to redress the crisis situation of music education in government schools, especially in country Victoria (see Detailed Commentary section 2 below and Appendix 2 attached).
v  At the very least, every child in Victoria should experience singing as a medium for understanding, appreciating, making and creating music.
v  DEECD should take advantage of the considerable expertise available from the music education profession and appoint a Music Education Advisory Group or Ministerial Advisory Committee (see Detailed Commentary section 6.2 below).
v  DEECD should appoint a music development officer (see section 6.1 below).
v  Music Performance Hubs should be established as well as adding to the number of schools recognised as specialist music education providers to create pathways for the gifted and talented (see section 5.2 below).

Action at Victorian Institute of Teaching level:

v  There is an urgent need for a substantial increase in the time allocated to music education within teacher training courses and remedial action in re-training of generalist primary teachers. VIT should stipulate that the registration requirement for primary teachers include a specialisation in one or more of the Arts (see Detailed Commentary section 4.1 below).
v  An accelerated course of teacher education with appropriate RPL should be provided for currently VIT-unregistered instrumental music “instructors” (see Detailed Commentary section 4.6 below).

Action at the Victorian Universities level:

v  Teacher education providers should redesign their pre-service primary teacher training programs to include a substantially increased quantum of studies in both music skills and music teaching methods to enable them to properly implement the approved music curriculum (see Detailed Commentary section 6 below).
v  Teacher education providers should provide opportunities for professional musicians to enter the music teacher workforce by offering appropriate training programs that include realistic RPL provisions (see Detailed Commentary section 4.7 below).
v  Teacher education providers (including PD providers) should be funded to provide Music Enrichment Courses at both pre-service and in-service training levels (see Detailed Commentary sections 4.2 to 4.6 below).

Detailed Commentary

1. The Vision
That every child in Victorian schools has an entitlement to a quality music education that is continuous, developmental and sequential and taught by professionally trained teachers.

2. Preamble

The new Australian [School] Curriculum: The Arts—that includes Music—is scheduled to be released for National Consultation by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) during 2012. After this period of consultation, the final version of the curriculum will presumably be published with the expectation that it will be implemented in schools throughout Australia.  It is assumed that, as in the other states and territories, Educational Authorities in Victoria—including the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD)—will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts in its schools from 2013.

In the meantime, there will be a “window of opportunity” for DEECD to plan for the implementation of the new curriculum that will also allow a “stock take” of the current situation of music in government schools to take place.  Obviously, the current state of music education in government school must be realistically evaluated so that effective planning can take place in preparation for the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. 

The following paper has been developed by representatives of the School Music Action Group for the information of DEECD.  It is presented in three sections: (1) an assessment of the current state of music in Victorian government schools (including a series of needs identified by the authors), (2) recommendations for strategies to enhance music education practice—in relation to both teacher education and curriculum implementation—during this “window of opportunity” prior to the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, and (3) recommendations for music liaison, facilitation and advisory support for DEECD. 

Music educators who have contributed to or endorsed this paper include Dr Anne Lierse, Assoc Prof Robin Stevens, Mr Ian Harvey, Mr Jeremy Ludowyke, Dr Richard Letts AM, Dr Neryl Jeanneret, Ms Jenni Heinrich, Prof Gary McPherson, Assoc Prof Richard Gill OAM and Prof Brian Caldwell (see attached professional summaries in Appendix 1).

3. “Why make music education a priority”

The evidence supporting the powerful effects of music education regarding the personal and academic development of the child is compelling. Research shows that music education benefits the development of the whole child in the personal, social, and intellectual domains as well as in the acquisition of language literacy, numeracy, creativity, social skills, concentration, team-work, fine motor coordination, self-confidence and emotional sensitivity. Research also shows that learning an instrument further enhances the benefits to be gained from a class-based music program. Music education should be an essential part of every school curriculum.[1]

Educational authorities acknowledge that music is mainstreamed and mandatory in the countries with the highest PISA scores. PISA testing is part of an OEDC program for the international assessment of 15 year old boys and girls in reading, maths and science that includes China (Shanghai), Hong Kong, Finland, Singapore, and South Korea. Children in years 1 to 10 from these countries have approximately two hours of music each week.

It is notable that more than 36 million children study piano in China, and nearly as many learn violin. Few will earn their living by performing on keyboard or violin, but many will become much better scientists, engineers, physicians and businessmen as a result of the cognitive enhancement gained through a study of music.

While learning in other disciplines may often focus on the development of a single skill or talent, music learning nurtures the integrated development of significant affective, creative, motor, social and personal competencies.  An integral part of a child’s developmental stages is their auditory, rhythmic and aesthetic development.  Music education claims three major benefits:
1.         Success in society
2.         Success in school
3.         Success in life.

With the introduction of the Australian [National] School Curriculum in The Arts (that includes Music), we in Victoria have the perfect opportunity to get the balance of the curriculum correct and ensure that there is a music teacher in every school in the state. However, part of this process is the recognition of several, often long-standing deficiencies in the Victorian government schools. These include:

·       The lack of provision of competent music teachers in many government schools—too many students are missing out on a sequential, developmental and continuous music education because of this factor. Music Council of Australia research has shown that 88 per cent of independent schools compared to 23 per cent of state government schools have music programs.[2] In Country Victoria, nearly 40% of Victorian country primary students do not have access to a classroom music program.
·       The expectation that the classroom teachers in Victorian government primary schools will be able to deliver the music program has now proven to be totally ineffective due to poor standards of music training within teacher education courses. 
·       The often extremely limited extent of music discipline and music pedagogical studies included in pre-service primary teacher education courses. A recent Music Council of Australia research study found that the average time allocated to music studies over a four year course of primary teacher education offered at Australian universities is a mere 17 hours. On average, less than 1.5% of a pre-service primary teacher education course is allocated to mandatory music studies.[3]
·       The lack of adequate provision for re-skilling the workforce of generalist primary teachers as well as the up-skilling of specialist music teachers in government schools.

In order to remedy the current parlous of music in government schools, the following actions are necessary:
  • Education authorities need to facilitate recognition by school principals of the value of a music program, and support the setting up of structures for the establishment and maintenance of music programs.
  • Over time, education authorities need to increase the staffing budgets allocated to schools so that they provide for the appointment of a teacher with musical expertise in every primary school, as happens in Queensland and Tasmania. 
  • The development of innovative and creative ways to deliver music programs.
  • Education authorities need to recognise the importance of extra-curricular music opportunities for students. The Regional Instrumental music program, which provides many secondary schools with instrumental teachers, is the life-line for music education in many schools and provides students with the skills to proceed to VCE Music and tertiary music studies. However, there are not enough teachers to service all schools and this service is rarely available for primary schools. There is need for the appointment of additional teachers to service all schools.
  • Support should be given to community-based providers of music education to schools.  A highly successful after-school music program modelled on the Venezuelan “El Sistima” is provided by Sistema Australia.[4] Another community-funded initiative “The Song Room” has also achieved considerable success.[5] Other community based providers include Welcome to Music, Musica Viva in Schools, Melbourne Youth Orchestra, Pizzicato Effect (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra), Victorian Opera in Schools and Teacher PD programs, Orchestra Victoria’s strings program in disadvantaged schools, etc.  These programs make a very significant contribution to music education, particularly in bringing practising artists and school pupils together, and should be recognised with financial assistance to enable them to continue their work.
  • Education authorities need to identify already practising teachers as well as prospective teachers who are musicians, and provide them with opportunities for professional development courses to enable them to become specialist music educators as well as allowing them to continue as professional musicians.
  • Education authorities should develop and support innovative means of professional development such as video conferencing and online course delivery to up-skill the current music teacher workforce. A current example of innovative course delivery is being developed by the Music Council of Australia which is arranging for the delivery of Professional Development via video-conferencing that will be facilitated through the National Broadband.[6] Appropriate aspects of the school curriculum will also be delivered online.
  • Education authorities should better resource the activities of professional association providers; for example, the [Victorian] Association of Music Educators (aMuse) so they can continue providing a wide range of professional development activities and properly implement new initiatives such as a professional development project entitled “The Singing Classroom”.[7]  This project has the potential to significantly address the lack of singing in schools.  With the appointment of an additional staff member, aMuse could extend their services to regional and country Victoria.

However, one of the most serious issues to be faced in Victoria is the shortage of music teachers in government schools.  Research shows there are reported shortages of qualified teachers to fill vacant positions and many schools in Victoria are without the services of a music teacher. Where there is an on-staff music teacher, an often restrictive time allocation means that music teachers are only able to provide music to a limited number of classes.

In most Victorian primary schools, music is the responsibility of the classroom teacher and, as most primary teachers are not trained sufficiently to deliver a music curriculum (the average contact time of music in pre-service primary teacher education courses is 17 hours out of a total of about 1250 contact hours), this results in a large percentage of schools having no music.[8] Primary teachers are presently not sufficiently competent to teach the five art forms when the Australian Curriculum: The Arts is ready to be implemented. The idea of combining all of the art forms into a “creative arts” subject cannot satisfactorily deliver the Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

One of the most serious obstacles to ensuring the primary teacher competence in music teaching is that the Victorian Institute of Teaching does not make it a condition of accreditation and employment that applicant teachers demonstrate the ability to deliver the music curriculum. If there is the expectation that generalist primary teachers will deliver the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, this situation will need to change. To provide every primary and secondary school in Victoria with a music teacher as well as offer students a music program which is sequential, developmental and continuous as recommended by the National Review of School Music Education,[9] a long-term action plan will need to be developed, particularly in relation to country Victoria. 
4. Proposed strategies—Music Teacher Training and Professional Development

It is proposed that a series of targeted pre-service and in-service teacher professional development projects which are evidence-based and realistically resourced should be implemented and independently evaluated.  Those proving to be the most effective should then be promoted to principals, teachers and school communities as exemplars of professional development that facilitate re-skilling of both primary and secondary specialist music teachers as well as of primary generalist teachers.  The current deficiencies in teacher confidence and competence have been amply documented over several decades and now only carefully targeted and adequately resourced programs of teacher professional development together with innovative curriculum development and implementation will arrest the decline of music education in Victorian government schools.  

As a general principle, projects should be cluster- or region-based in order to (i) facilitate peer networking and support, and (ii) demonstrate their potential to effect their wider application and potentially models for state-wide systemic change. 

4.1  At least one Arts specialism for all Primary Teacher Education Students
One of the possible means of ensuring that at least some future graduating primary teachers will be able to competently implement a classroom music program (based on the Australian Curriculum: The Arts) could be that the Victorian Institute of Teaching stipulates that the requirement for primary teacher registration must include a specialisation in one (or more) of the Arts.  This would also have the effect of ensuring that teacher education providers gave their students the opportunity study music and music education in sufficient depth to enable them to implement an effective classroom music program.

4.2  Music Enrichment Programs for Primary Teacher Education Students
This proposal for an elective co-curricular program is designed to train up to 1,000 primary teacher graduates per annum with the necessary skills to teach music in their classrooms and to be leaders of music in their schools. (This component of the proposed strategic initiatives is the key to achieving universal provision of music in schools.)
The scope of school music education should be extended to provision of optional co-curricular programs for teacher education students that are funded by government.  Such a program should be additional to the often totally inadequate core music education studies within pre-service courses of generalist primary teacher education and allow for either: (i) the training of generalist primary teachers who can deliver an effective music program within their own classroom, and/or (ii) the training of teachers with pre-existing higher level skills so that they might undertake the role of music “leader” or music “mentor” to other teachers within their primary schools.   Subsequently these teachers could be further up-skilled as specialists as was recommended as by the National Review. Both of these co-curricular programs would occur concurrently with the teacher education students’ undergraduate studies. 

4.3  Music Enrichment Programs for Practising Primary School Teachers
Given the long-standing problems and deficiencies in the provision of musical skills, knowledge and experiences within courses of primary generalist teacher education, most practising primary classroom teaching practitioners lack sufficient confidence and competence to teach music to their students.  Provision of an opportunity to learn to play an easily portable accompanying instrument such as guitar (in a small group situation) or digital piano (in a keyboard laboratory situation) would provide practicing teachers with basic skills in and knowledge of music which in turn provide a foundation for their implementation of a worthwhile music curriculum in their own classrooms.  If appropriately funded, a year-long course of tuition could be provided in guitar or keyboard together with ensemble practice experiences (most probably choral ensemble) and the use of some core music technology products.  Such courses could be made available to primary generalist teachers in school cluster areas and could be provided by a local commercial music school, local TAFE institutes and other tertiary education providers. 

An example pf this approach would be the provision of a weekly one-hour group tuition in guitar class that would cater for 8 to 10 teachers at a commercial music school that could provide teachers not only with a useful practical music skill (playing of guitar chords and singing to guitar accompaniment) but also with access to a network of colleagues within the immediate school cluster area who could collaboratively develop a singing-based music program that could be implements by members of the group. 

Approximately 35 contact sessions per annum in line with tertiary calendar could be provided.  The cost per student would be about $1,250 per annum with a continuous target of 250 students each year. The program could be funded through government professional development funding.  The total cost with some management and implementation fees would be about $450,000 per annum.  This approach is scalable and the teachers completing these courses could become the “beachhead” in re-equipping primary schools with competent music teachers.  If supplied with resource packages (see below), these teachers could fulfill a music advocacy and implementation leadership role in their schools.

It would be useful in such a scenario for a “contract” to be entered into by the participating teachers to ensure worthwhile objectives being attained during and at the end of such a course of tuition.  In addition, such a course could form credit for the Victorian Institute of Teaching’s requirement for on-going professional development.

There are more than enough providers able to deliver this program.  Professional associations such as ASME, aMuse, other approved private providers (including commercial music schools) and universities, TAFE institutes and other tertiary education providers.  Registration of providers should not be an issue.  Training delivery could be achieved in both metropolitan and regional areas.

4.4  Music Advocacy and Implementation Support
Provision of “one-off” grants to purchase music advocacy and implementation resources should be made available to the schools for teacher graduates from the above programs to take music into the classrooms and schools in which they commence work, and to act as a highly effective reward for those student teachers who put in the extra work required to complete a Music Enrichment Program as an additional part of their university studies.

The grant for schools is scalable but funding of between $5,000 and $10,000 per school would likely be sufficient to provide a graduate teacher with a set of resources on which to base a developing music program.  Therefore maximum investment would be in the order of $2.5 million.

These grants would not need to be ongoing.  They could be “sun-settled”, reduced or refined for example after a five year period.  Just five years would see a significant improvement taking place in up to 1,250 of our most musically-disadvantaged schools—that would represent approximately 40% of the government schools for an investment of no more than $15 million over the five years.

4.5  Government Subsidy for a Graduate Certificate in Primary Music as an Intensive Course
Courses leading to a Graduate Certificate in Primary Music Education, offered at university level, could be taught at weekends and/or during school holidays, and could be conducted in metropolitan, regional or rural centres, taught through a combination of online delivery and class meetings,  or in a number of other configurations. The suggested initial target cohort would be 30 participants. In order to encourage enrolment, government assistance in the form of scholarships which could include paying for the course, travel and accommodation could be offered.  The duration of the course could be spread over two years (one subject per semester) and this could provide a model for Graduate Certificate courses in the other four arts disciplines represented in the Australian Curriculum: The Arts.  Based on research by Heinrich, such a course would cater particularly well for primary teachers working in rural schools where there is the greatest need.[10]

4.6  Enhancement of the current teacher training model for Primary and Secondary Music Specialists
Provision should be made in Masters of Teaching (Secondary) and other pre-service secondary teacher education courses for music students to take Primary Classroom Music method subjects in addition to Secondary Music method subjects.  This would enable them to have an option of teaching at both primary and secondary levels.  All students enrolled in the Bachelor of Education (primary) who can play an instrument should be encouraged to take a specialist music elective within the course or, if approved, one of the Music Enrichment Programs for Primary Teacher Education Students outlined above. 

4.7  Provision for an accelerated program of teacher training leading to VIT registration for Instrumental Music Personnel
One of the most serious problems facing specialist instrumental and vocal music personnel who have not completed a teacher training course who are currently working in both government and independent school is their downgrading from “permission to teach” (PTT) status to that of “instructor”.  This has resulted from changes to the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and the Victorian Institute of Teaching’s Permission to Teach Policy will operate from 1 January 2011. Under provisions applying to the appointment of instrumental music personnel, it is likely—regardless of the quality of their teaching—that those currently undertaking such duties will not be re-employed if a VIT-registered teacher is available to fill the teaching position. Moreover, those instrumental music specialists who are employed are likely to suffer reduced rates of remuneration.
Accordingly, some means of providing an accelerated program of teacher training leading to VIT registration is urgently required for instrumental music personnel currently working in schools with “permission to teach” which will revert to “instructor” status after the period of their PTT has expired.
Although there are several courses of teacher training available, there are currently or will be in future of two years duration, there needs to be special arrangements made for provision for an accelerated program of teacher training leading to VIT registration for instrumental music personnel.

5. Proposed strategies—Music Curriculum Advocacy and Implementation

5.1  Development of a “Vision for Music Education”
In order to promote music education in Government schools among teachers, school communities and the general public, a document similar to the recently published The Victorian Government’s Vision for Languages Education that could be developed by a Music Education Advisory Group (see below) and approved by DEECD could provide a much needed blueprint for the development of music education in Victoria.  The production of such a policy framework would be of immeasurable benefit for the promotion of music in government schools.

5.2  Provision of Specialist Music Schools
There is presently insufficient recognition of how the needs of the gifted and talented can be addressed and how the needs of students at upper secondary level can be better accommodated.  Pathways for the musically-gifted and musically-talented should be made available by establishing additional music specialist schools throughout the state.  This model was initially established in the 1960s and a number of the original designated schools are still providing excellent music training to our students many of whom go onto to become music teachers in schools and professional performers.

Music education in schools and outside schools should continue to be funded through a mixed economic model.  The government secondary school instrumental program (organised through Regions) is a musical life-line for both students and government schools.  It is highly valued by parents, schools and communities and its value cannot be over-estimated. Extending this in some form for government primary schools should be a goal for the future.  Along side this program, there are a number of community-funded programs such as Musical Futures and El Sistema and community-funded professional development is funded by the Victorian Opera, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria etc.

Some options to consider include:

·       The creation of a number of music specialist schools in every Region within travelling distance from a group of schools which would host instrumental and ensemble programs, and provide a centre for the professional development and support of music teachers in the area.

·       The extension of the Melbourne Youth Music program, or other similar community-based programs into regional and country areas to cater for children who achieve higher levels of excellence. The model provided in Bendigo which has such a centre should be emulated in other regions.

6.  Music policy, liaison, facilitation and advisory support for DEECD

Unlike the situation in some other Australian states, there is no music liaison officer, specialist music adviser or other person who is able to represent the interests of or even speak for music in Victorian government schools.  This has been the situation since the subsequent disbanding of the then Victorian Department of Education’s Music Branch in 1975 and the abolition of the position of Supervisor of Music (who headed the Music Branch) and the position of the Inspector of Music in Secondary Schools.  By default, the DEECD has often referred policy issues relating to music—both classroom and instrumental—to a musically-trained Arts Curriculum Officer in the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.  However this situation results in DEECD having no access to expert advice from practising teachers and other experts from the wider music eduction profession.  This situation is most detrimental to the maintenance and promotion of music education in government schools.

Accordingly, we would like to put forward the following two recommendations.

6.1  Appointment of a Music Development Officer
Particularly in view of the imminent need to implement the music component of the forthcoming Australian Curriculum: The Arts, a music development officer should be appointed to liaise with ACARA, VCAA and other relevant curriculum authorities and professional associations and to facilitate the implement of the new music curriculum framework in Victorian government schools.  In addition the music development officer should also be responsible for promoting music education in government schools as well as coordinating and facilitating the various strategies proposed above.

6.2  Appointment of a Music Education Advisory Group
The idea for a Music Education Advisory Group is based on the desire to offer both expert professional advice and a community voice on all aspects of music education in government schools in Victoria.  The model recommended here is based on a similar group established by the Howard Coalition Government in 2007 by the then Minister for Education Brendan Nelson and the then Minister for the Arts, Rod Kemp, in response the findings of the National Review of School Music Education (2005) and the National Music Workshop (2006).  Although maintained to the expiration of its period of appointment (2009), the Australian Government’s Music Education Advisory Group was unfortunately not re-appointed for a further term by the subsequent Rudd Labour Government.

The members of the proposed DEECD Music Education Advisory Group could be appointed for a two- or three-year term and would act in an honorary capacity.  The following categories represent a range of stakeholder representatives able to provide advice on music curriculum policy and implementation to the Victorian Minister of Education and/or to DEECD officers.
·       Music Education Advocacy Representatives
·       Classroom Music Teacher Representatives
·       Instrumental Music Teacher Representatives
·       School Principal Representatives
·       Professional Organisation Representatives
·       Extra-/Co-curriculum Provider Representatives
·       Teacher Education Provider Representatives
·       Community Music Representatives


  1. Summary of the professional profiles of contributors and supporters of this proposal.

  1. Summary of Jenni Heinrich’s Recommendations on Music Education in Victorian country primary schools (2012).

  1. Music makes the Difference (advocacy pamphlet) produced by the Australian Music Association with funding from the Australian Government’s Music Education Advisory Group (2008)

[1] For further information, see Australian Music Association (2008), Music makes the Difference  and Music: Play for Life (2011), Lobby Kit.
[2] Stevens, R. S. (2003). National Report on "Trends in School Music Education Provision in Australia". Sydney: Music Council of Australia.
[3] Hocking, R. (2009). National Audit of Music Discipline and Music Education Mandatory Content within Pre-Service Generalist Primary Teacher Education Courses: A Report, Sydney: Music Council of Australia.
[4] See the Sistema Australia website at
[5] See Vaughan, T., Harris, J. & Caldwell, B. (2011), Song Room Bridging the Gap in School Achievement through the Arts, Abbotsford, Victoria: The Song Room.
[6] Music Council of Australia (2011), Strategic Utilisation of the National Broadband Network to Expand Opportunities in Music Education – see
[7] See The Singing Classroom website at
[8] Hocking, R. (2009). National Audit of Music Discipline and Music Education Mandatory Content within Pre-Service Generalist Primary Teacher Education Courses: A Report, Sydney: Music Council of Australia.
[9] See Pascoe, R.,Leong, S. et al. (2005), National Review of School Music Education: Augmenting the Diminished, Canberra: Australian Government.
[10] Heinrick, J. (2011). The provision of classroom music programs to country Victorian primary schools, MEd thesis, La Trobe University, Victoria.

[1] For further information, see Australian Music Association (2008), Music makes the Difference  and Music: Play for Life (2011), Lobby Kit.
[2] Stevens, R. S. (2003). National Report on "Trends in School Music Education Provision in Australia". Sydney: Music Council of Australia.
[3] Hocking, R. (2009). National Audit of Music Discipline and Music Education Mandatory Content within Pre-Service Generalist Primary Teacher Education Courses: A Report, Sydney: Music Council of Australia.
[4] See the Sistema Australia website at
[5] See Vaughan, T., Harris, J. & Caldwell, B. (2011), Song Room Bridging the Gap in School Achievement through the Arts, Abbotsford, Victoria: The Song Room.
[6] Music Council of Australia (2011), Strategic Utilisation of the National Broadband Network to Expand Opportunities in Music Education – see
[7] See The Singing Classroom website at
[8] Hocking, R. (2009). National Audit of Music Discipline and Music Education Mandatory Content within Pre-Service Generalist Primary Teacher Education Courses: A Report, Sydney: Music Council of Australia.
[9] See Pascoe, R.,Leong, S. et al. (2005), National Review of School Music Education: Augmenting the Diminished, Canberra: Australian Government.
[10] Heinrick, J. (2011). The provision of classroom music programs to country Victorian primary schools, MEd thesis, La Trobe University, Victoria.