Monday, September 29, 2014

September ENews

With Term 4 upon us, we enter into a season of seminars, and celebrations!  As we move into this busy election period, we will be in touch more often than our monthly ENews with updates, and tools to empower the community to lobby at local levels.

Inquiry Implementation Update

Following the Inquiry into Music Education The Bastow Institute will host the first in a series of Twilight Seminars: Professor Gary McPherson will be the key note speaker - "Realising the Potential of Music Education". To book click here: Please forward the invitation to school leaders, principals and school councilors.

sMAG then cordially invites attendees to gather at The Leveson  46 Leveson Street
 North Melbourne VIC 3051
 where we can continue the conversation. This pub is a short drive from The Bastow Institute. We will be in the front room, and all drinks/meals at bar prices.  All welcome.

Further, the DEECD will be forming an expert reference group by invitation, and will have their inaugural meeting in early October.  The role of this group is to provide guidance, information, strategic direction for actions arising from the Victorian Inquiry into the Extent, Benefits and Potential of Music Education.  This group will provide feedback and advice to inform the development, delivery and evaluation of policy, programs and resources in relation to music education.

Victorian election

sMAG, as a bi-partisan lobby group, has approached key ministers and staff from both the Coalition and Labor as we head towards the Victorian election campaign.  Letter writing and personal meetings have taken place.  In each we have encouraged political support of the Inquiry and a commitment to its implementation as part of each parties education platform.  We are seeking commitments from both the Coalition and Labor to implement the recommendations from the Inquiry.  Further, we seek a strengthening of commitment through provision of an aspiration, strategic framework, accountability structure and financial support during the next four years of a new parliament.

We are currently putting together a pack for individuals to bring the Victorian Inquiry and it’s implementation to the attention of their local candidates.  Generic letters for both sides of parliament along with their contact details in a database, coupled with pdf fliers will be created and distributed for everyone in the music community to assist with your local advocacy efforts during this crucial time – the Victorian Election.

One of the most effective tools for lobbying and promoting the positive music education work throughout the nation is the Music Count Us In Project scheduled for October 30th at 12.30 pm.  The project grabs the attention of the media at local and National levels: The Music Toolkit provides readily usable print releases that any music teacher can utilise to promote and lobby for music education at the local level.
sMAG hopes that the music community will take hold of this opportunity to highlight the need for more music across ALL schools.

Federal funding for Primary Music Teacher Mentoring.

Richard Gill OAM, has been successful in obtaining $360K grant over three years to establish a mentorship program for master teachers to work with a cluster groups of primary teachers in each State.  This pilot scheme would assist primary teachers to implement a P - Year 2 classroom music program based on the curriculum currently in use in a particular state.  This program will be administered in Melbourne by the Australian Youth Orchestra.  States to take up this opportunity at this stage include New South Wales and Queensland with other South Australia and Victorian at the discussion stage.  To take part in this ‘pilot’ States will also be required to contribute funding for a mentor teacher.

Our former and founding chair, Dr. Anne Lierse was awarded a Fellowship of the Australian Society for Music Education on Sept 24th at Graduate House, Melbourne University, for her valuable and long-standing contributions to Music Education. Anne's tireless work in research and advocacy was named in this substantial acknowledgement. We congratulate Anne, and extend our gratitude for her work in establishing sMAG.

aMuse Spring Colloquium
aMuse will honour many of our sMAG members both past and present through the inaugural aMuse Music Education Hall of Fame for their influence on the music education landscape in Victoria: Richard Gill OAM, Ian Harvey, Deborah Smith, and Prof. Robin Stevens.  Other music professionals to be honored will be Peter Lee, Lorraine Milne and Katie Wardrobe. Presentations will occur at the aMuse Spring Colloquium, Metropole Hotel, October 20 at 6 pm.  Address: 44 Brunswick Street, Firzroy.  To purchase a ticket go to:
ACMI – Alive Inside – A documentary by Michael Rossato – Bennett

Next Charity Limited are hosting the premiere screening of the internationally acclaimed and award winning documentary “Alive Inside” on Sunday 19th October. Winner of Best Documentary at the 2014 Milan International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Alive Inside follows the work of American social worker Dan Cohen as he showcases music's ability to ease the lived experience of people with brain related disorders and those who care for them. The premiere will screen in Cinema 1 of ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne at 7.30pm on Sunday, 19th October. The screening will conclude with a panel discussion and Q and A.

An online research project, dedicating one department to music.  Various films outlining the benefits of music engagement are all listed:

Doveton College engages an experiential, engaging program approach to learning.  Students want to be in the musical classroom, where peer to peer learning is encouraged.  The Musical Futures approach underpins the teacher’s professional practice.  A clear communication video with student voice, teacher voice and Director Ken Owen can be seen here:  Celebration of the learning occurs in public performances supported by the Principal class at Doveton College.  The approach taken aligns with operationalised learning discussed in new thinking in education:

Doveton is also highlighted in this YouTube clip by Roland HS-5 Session Mixer:  Managing the sound output from any music classroom can go a long way to winning the support of Principals and Department Heads.  As in any school, many subjects require a quiet learning space.  If a music room happens to be placed adjacent to these learning areas, the Roland HS-5 Session Mixer can go a long way to managing the sound.  For the music room, several Session Mixers, means that you can have several bands rehearsing simultaneously and in close proximity!  What a great ICT innovation!

As you meet your local election hopefuls, raise awareness of the inquiry with each personally.  As previously mentioned, we will release our generic assistance packages for you.  We will be emailing you more often throughout October.
Please forward the information about the Twilight Seminar to your local principals with a personal invitation to attend.

News of music teachers forming DEECD professional networks has come through to us.  Great news!  We hope to hear of more such networks being developed through Melbourne municipalities and regional Victoria, as it will bring such strength to our community.  If you would like support or information about getting one started talk to your Principal or email us at:

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership provide a wide variety of resources to support and develop teachers.  Personalised learning (mentioned in the video) has been a key characteristic for music practitioners over many years as curriculum approaches have included open-ended compositional tasks etc.  Technology is also an area, which has readily been embraced by music teachers and music industry.  Aitsl have released a video ‘Horizon Scan of Global Trends’ providing further research and ideas around utilising collaborative online platforms to develop personalised learning approaches.  Embracing these opportunities may see music rooms develop rapidly, producing higher student outcomes.

Anita Collins regularly publishes research into Neuroscience and Music Education. 

The 6th Annual Piano Accompanist Summer School is set for Melbourne Jan 19 –22nd.
Playing for AMEB, VCE and other examinations is a skill required of accompanists across Australia. The Piano Accompanist Summer School will focus on a range of vocal repertoire in 2015, to assist accompanists from early-in-career to professional, playing for vocalists at all levels of development. There will be daily hands-on tuition with four outstanding leaders to help you develop and refine your skills to work collaboratively with the soloists you accompany. You will learn also from others’ development in tutorials and from the master class. You will have plenty of opportunity to share experiences and to network with pianist colleagues.

The school is intended for piano students from schools and universities, solo pianists and accompanists interested in extending their skills, amateur musicians and as professional development (attendance certificate provided) for singing and piano teachers and school music teachers.  See the ACCET website for full details.

Melbourne Youth Music Summer School for students:
Extension for any instrumentalist wanting to spend time with like minded peers.

Please pass these connections to colleagues that use these platforms – particularly graduate teachers!   Facebook:   Twitter: @sMAG_Vic 
Social Media assistance: Should there be a willing volunteer amongst you, with skills in the social media paradigm, we would be happy to hear from you.  Please send an email through to if you are willing to contribute in this space.

Thank you for your continued support.  We hope to make significant progress over the next 3 months as we press forward into a Victorian Election campaign.  Please forward to colleagues you believe would be interested in supporting sMAG. 

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