As one of 70 attendees at the National Music Mentoring Program in early May, I thought you might enjoy a personal report.
Richard Gill’s vision is for all primary school students to have access to quality music
education. A vision that is shared by many in the music education community and Victorian DET. The goal of the National Music Mentoring program is to enrich music education practice in primary schools by providing teachers with simple strategies and practices to engage students in quality music education.
Rachel Kelly is the co-ordinator of the pilot program, which has been underway in New South Wales. She explained how the mentoring process is working there. The vocally based program has music literacy and creativity at its core,
is non-prescriptive in methodology and has outcomes aligned with those in the
Australian curriculum. Rachel was articulate in her coverage of the mentor process,
the management of information, music content, planning and resources. She also shared some great activities that we could use with our students.
Andrew O’Keeffe, author of ‘Hardwired Humans’ and known for his collaboration with Dr. Jane Goodall, shared a wonderful and often humorous presentation on human instincts. I came away with a good understanding of the human dynamics involved in mentoring and the implications for relationships and making thoughtful choices in the workplace.
Richard Gill OAM addressed the conference on day two and he was truly inspiring. He reminded us that, what music does for children is different from all other disciplines and stays with them for their entire lives. It has intrinsic value, enabling children to express what is in their heart, mind and soul. It affirmed for me the significance of this initiative and the prospect of transforming music education in our primary schools.
In the future, a Mentoring Master Class is planned for developing and enhancing the skills of 16 mentors who will work with F-2 classroom teachers to improve their skills and confidence in teaching music.