Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Media Release

Peak Music associations welcome the Labor announcements towards improving Music Education Delivery across Victoria and the financial commitment of approx $2M.  Direct initiatives toward teacher PD, teacher undergraduate training and provision of musical equipment to schools will go a long way towards improving student outcomes.

Music Australia, Australia’s peak music body welcomes the recent announcement by Victorian Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews, that the Musical Futures program will be rolled out in Victorian schools if Labor is successful at the November state election.

“We are delighted there is a commitment to improve music education in Victorian schools” said Music Australia CEO Chris Bowen.  “This new music initiative proposed for the State’s schools will complement and extend current provision and provide increase equity and opportunities for Victoria students.”

“Research has clearly shown that quality school music improves students results across literacy and numeracy areas, improves student behaviour and wellbeing, and enriches all involved. The State of Victoria will be a clear beneficiary if these new initiatives are implemented.“

“Musical Futures Australia is an existing Music Australia partner, and we are confident that this initiative, if implemented, will make a demonstrable difference to music education in Victorian schools.  This is the logical conclusion of a thorough and very well developed process driven by the State Parliamentary Inquiry into music education.”

The announcement in fact represents a substantial response to the Inquiry into the Extent, Benefits and Potential of Music Education in Victorian Schools released earlier this year.  In particular, it focuses on seven of the inquiry’s recommendations aimed at supporting teachers and schools.

A spokesperson for the School Music Action Group, said that, “a significant number of the recommendations from the Victorian music inquiry focused on supporting teachers, through  additional training and support.  This Labor response to the Inquiry provides that support especially for teachers in rural and regional locations, and those working in disadvantaged schools where professional development opportunities are limited.”

“Most important is the support being offered to primary teachers through increased professional learning through both pre-service and in service training.  The investment in teachers is most welcome and will lead to much improved student access and program quality over time.  Funding schools to purchase sometimes expensive musical equipment is a great initiative.”

Robert Walker, the Executive Officer of the Australian Music Association (AMA) also welcomed today’s announcement.  Walker said, “the AMA was originally responsible for the introduction of Musical Futures into Australia.  We had observed its early success in the UK and felt that it had a place here in Australia.  The fact that it offers all students the opportunity to participate in engaging, relevant and authentic music learning was central to its appeal.” 

“The fact that Musical Futures is also affordable and sustainable for schools means that the program when implemented should have a long lasting impact.”

“Daniel Andrews and his team should be congratulated for recognising the value that high quality music education can bring to Victorian students, schools and the community.”

Music Australia  Chris Bowen 0409 326 403
Australian Music Association ,  Robert Walker, 0438 564 960

Music Australia is a 50-member national peak music organisation for Australia and the only body in the country devoted to music in its entirety. As a national umbrella body our activities span education, community and the professional industry, delivering campaigns, information, resources, sector networking, community engagement, and participation and demonstration projects. Our members include major national music and educational organisations, and people from all areas of music, and actively contribute to expert Advisory and Working Groups. Our school music program Music: Count Us In reaches more than 2,000 schools and 500,000 students across Australia, and provides professional development in music to thousands of teachers.  

The School Music Action Group is a community advocacy group that believes that every child attending Victorian schools should have access to a quality music education that is taught by expertly trained specialist teachers, with protected specialist time protected by legislation.

The Australian Music Association is the industry body for the music products sector – wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers and associated services for musical instruments, pro audio, print music, lighting and computer music.  It is a passionate advocate for music education and its members support, donate to and sponsor a significant number of music education activities through Victoria and Australia each year.

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