Tuesday, May 26, 2015

sMAG May ENews

May brings to the Music Education community a time of concerts, festivals and report writing.  It is a very busy time, yet very rewarding time.  Please remember to take time out for yourselves and re-energise throughout the winter!

We have received an expression of interest from Sue at Wyndam College, and comes to the sMAG committee with a long history in music education.  Having trained under the leadership of Peter Clinch, she has gone on to have a prolific career.  Currently the head of Music at Wyndam College, we welcome her expertise onto the committee, and onto the Instrumental Music Teacher Working Party.

Our ENews today is a long one, with attachments, so please grab a cuppa and enjoy!

Victorian Inquiry Implementation Update

"Music should be part of a modern curriculum, and the Budget provides $2 million to establish quality music programs in all government schools and help students buy musical instruments." 
Education Minister James Merlino

The Andrews government has met their election promise to provide $2M specifically towards music education as part of their broader education package.  In total $1.4 will be allocated to deliver PD to teachers in all areas (Regional and Metropolitan) of Victoria through Musical Futures Australia.  This is significant allocation of Professional Learning funding that connects to the 2013 Inquiry recommendations focusing on:

Recommendation 7: Developing further education opportunities for primary classroom teachers to specialize in music education
Recommendation 9: Delivering ongoing support and professional learning to primary classroom teachers (in music)
Recommendation 12:  Increasing music professional learning opportunities in rural and regional Victoria.

This significant allocation of Professional Learning funding feeds straight into the inquiry recommendations, and is ACTION 4 in a long line of partnership action opportunities for the music community to become involved in. 

ON May 22nd, DET published the bulletin on Edugate with the opportunity for schools to submit an expression of interest to the Musical Futures PD: https://edugate.eduweb.vic.gov.au/newsevents/schoolbull/Pages/Musical-Futures-Australia-Teacher-Professional-Learning-Programs-2015-2018.aspx
DET Schools Bulletin
Musical Futures Australia – Teacher Professional Learning Programs 2015 - 2018
Expressions of Interest are invited from schools to participate in Musical Futures Australia Teacher Professional Learning Programs to support the delivery of quality music education in Victorian schools. The program is targeted at students in years 3 to 9. Expressions of interest close Thursday, 18 June 2015.  You can find further information at http://www.musicalfuturesaustralia.org/victoria.html

A pdf document holding all the information, guidelines and EOI forms can be emailed by request at smag.schoolmusicactiongroup@gmail.com

In addition two further funding allocations were confirmed through the State budget.  Firstly an amount of $200,000 of funding has been approved for pre-service teacher education.  This aligns with Recommendation 8:  Developing an optional course in music education for pre-service primary classroom teachers
$400,000 worth of funding has been allocated to instruments and resources.  This announcement aligns to Recommendation 13: Supporting schools establish an instrumental music program
These funds have been allocated over the period 2015- 2018
Details of the instrument funding program and pre-service teacher professional learning programs have not yet been announced but are expected in the coming weeks.

Action 1: The VCAA is developing the Guide and will consult on a regular basis with stakeholders.  Inviting participation, via the Notice to Schools is one consultation strategy that will be used. Members of the education community are invited to email Helen Champion directly, as she will hear expressions of interest to participate in development of the guide: http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Pages/correspondence/notices/2014/81.aspx 

Action 2: ONLINE NING - contributing to the professional conversation.  The DET are engaging in this NING, empowering your public voice in policy development and are quoted here "Your engagement with, and input into the discussions in this space will provide guidance and direction to inform the development of policy, frameworks and advice on music education for Victorian children and young people." Please click:http://musiceducation.ning.com/main/authorization/signUp and make your thoughts known.

Action 3: National Music Teacher Mentoring Program - Victoria.  The focus - Singing in the P - 2 space!  Teachers already trained with a Bachelor of Education, some with a music background, some with a music specialisation, a few from the independent and Catholic school sectors all participated.  Of those, 16 will be selected to mentor 2 teachers each.  By the end of the year we will see around many teachers trained to deliver singing curriculum in P- Year 2 levels.  Martina Golding attended, and provided some enthusiastic feedback: http://smag-schoolmusicactiongroup.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/national-music-mentoring-program.html


The third DET sponsored Music Education Twilight Seminar will be held at Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership on Tuesday 9 June at 5pm to 6pm with Deborah Cheetham AO http://www.deborahcheetham.com/biography, renowned Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator.  She will speak on the topic Empowering young people through voice: Short Black Opera for Kids.  Her work in schools mainly targets primary students in years 4, 5 and 6, but this seminar is relevant to all arts educators.

Empowering young people through voice: Short Black Opera for Kids
Deborah Cheetham
Date: Tuesday 9 June 2015
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Free Admission. 

High quality music education makes a difference. This Music Symposium is the third in a series of seminars to explore innovative initiatives to increase opportunities for Victorian children and young people to participate in and experience quality music education.

In 2010, Deborah Cheetham brought together Australia’s first classically trained Indigenous ensemble to present the world premiere of ‘Pecan Summer’. The success of this opera led to the creation of Short Black Opera Company, providing performance opportunities for Indigenous singers in classical vocal music and opera.

Join this Symposium to learn about how Deborah has transformed the lives of young indigenous school children through the power of voice, through her creation of ‘Short Black Opera for Kids’ in regional and rural schools. Through this initiative indigenous school children in years 4, 5 and 6 work with her to create their own choir and opera performance for their community, ‘finding their voice’ and realising their potential.

Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership
603-615 Queensberry St, North Melbourne:

·       To participate via videoconference: please contact
Michael Randall, Project Support Officer, on 9651 0248 or by email: randall.michael.mr@edumail.vic.gov.au.Melbourne


VIT Permission to Teach Review (PTT)
The sMAG IMT Working Party submitted a substantial paper to the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) Permission To Teach (PTT) review.  As outlined in the April sMAG ENews, we focused on the disparity between the definitions of a teacher, the VIT regulations and the actual work carried out by IMTs in the workplace.  We put forward a significant case for ensemble programs to be recognised as ‘classroom teacher time’, and for IMTs to have equal status to teaching professionals.  Further, we highlighted the benefits of regulations to allow quality control mechanisms in HR, enabling school leaders to hire fully qualified IMTs, and provide ongoing PD.

IMT staff members are encouraged to speak to Marino D’Ortenzio for advice on any employment status concerns.

VET Funding Review
The sMAG Teacher Training Working Party submitted a substantial paper to the VET Funding Review with a focus on Music Education.  With a premise that most VET courses are delivered in the TAFE sector, we were led by the expertise of sMAG committee member Peter McIlwain: http://sonicdesign.com.au/.  Our submission focused specifically on the funding lag in the TAFE sector an the impact on course delivery; materials, instruments, lecturing time allocation and expertise in the field.  We outlined the need for an overarching strategy to implement a sequential learning program from Secondary schools, to VET courses and on to tertiary VET music delivery in TAFE institutions.  We suggested that the Labor proposed Secondary Technical Schools are a great opportunity to implement a new sequential program for music industry training in both music performance and audio engineering.  Further, we made suggestions that a link to any Year 9 – tertiary level training might draw links to the Federal Report Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers Report” as many graduates of TAFE music courses go on to do Dip Eds and become music teachers.  There may well be a place for AITSL to have regulatory influence in this area.

The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group Report was released on 13 February 2015: http://www.studentsfirst.gov.au/teacher-education-ministerial-advisory-group  The report “Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers Report”  can be read online at this address.

Following sMAG’S work on a response, and attending the ACEL Q and A with the TEMAG members and John Hattie, we have been in communication via email with all concerned.  AITSL has responded to assure sMAG that a consultation process will be put in place to allow stake holders a voice in the development of new processes to address the key concerns of the report.  sMAG will continue to focus on Recommendation 18, and voice the importance of Music Education as a field that required specialised training.

The Music Trust
Associate Professor Robin S. Stevens has published extensive research into an overview of Tertiary degrees towards Primary Specialist Music Teacher qualifications In Australia:  http://musicinaustralia.org.au/index.php?title=Tertiary_Pre-service_Courses_for_Primary_School_Specialist_Music_Teachers

The Music Trust continue engage in lobbying at Federal levels.  We will be interested to see and hear what implications are envisaged as a result of the recent Abbot government budget announcements, and lend our voice to any concerns that may arise.


The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and ABC Splash are excited to announce a live stream of the MSO's sold out Meet the Orchestra concert for primary school students on Wednesday 3 June.  Classrooms around the country will be able to watch the concert in a live stream direct from Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall, via the Splash website - the ABC's digital education portal. http://splash.abc.net.au/livestream/-/l/1869205/meet-the-orchestra-live-stream-
Teachers can access the MSO's free teaching resources, prepared by concert presenter Paul Rissmann, to prepare students for the experience and the featured audience participation piece, H2Oz by Rissmann.

ABC Splash is also hosting a Musical Art competition leading up to the concert. Students are asked to create artworks to accompany selected music. The best entries will be projected on a screen above the MSO while they perform the music during the event.

Visit www.mso.com.au/edweek/ for more information about MSO Education Week (1-6 June) or visit our competition page to find out more about the competition.

Sounds Great 2015 will be held in the outstanding facilities of Arts Centre Melbourne. The opening keynote address will be provided by the one and only Mr. Richard Gill, OAM A Happy Country is a Singing Country “Thursday 16 July 9.00am.  A focus on the National mentoring program.  Registrations for the conference are open now! Enquiries can be directed to the Conference Secretariat at the Association of Music Educatorsinfo@amuse.vic.edu.au

sMAG will be holding an Open Forum at Sounds Great so come along and be a part of the discussion.

Mentor relationships are rewarding for both mentor and mentee.  Across the field there are numerous graduates coming into the music education classroom with new energy and vivacity.  Some of us are closer to retirement and have a wealth of knowledge to share!  Why not speak to your principal and/or networks and see if there is a relationship that can be established in your local area?  The intrinsic rewards are far reaching, and may blossom ot have high impact at this exciting time in music education.

Become your own marketing manager.
Music Play For Life offer significant online resources to equip the local music teacher to speak out on behalf of their own programs, and the need for Music Education in Schools.  Have a look at the website: http://www.musicplayforlife.org/pdf/mpfl_lobby_kit.pdf and display some of the posters, and notices throughout your school, both in print and online.

Anita Collins has published numerous research papers, prepared Tedx Talks and now published some infographics directed towards school leaders: Anita Collins has released infographics aimed at school leaders about the benefits of music education. Both educational and economical benefits are outlined. Go to http://www.anitacollinsmusic.com/infographics/ for more information. Which school leaders do you think should see this?

Music Count Us In
Music: Count Us in (MCUI) is excited to announce the launch of its Meet Marcia competition. Australian schools around the country have the special opportunity to meet Marcia Hines, one of Australia’s musical icons and MCUI’s mentor by taking part in the ‘Meet Marcia’ competition. The competition is open to all schools that have registered for MCUI 2015.  Classes or groups are invited to submit a video performance of Marcia Hines’ latest single Amazing.  Entrants are supplied with a music pack containing the album version of the song Amazing, the backing instrumental track, competition guidelines and a lesson plan to teach the song in the classroom.
On being MCUI’s 2015 mentor Marcia says, “Here’s to sharing the gift of music and creating something very special. I look forward to our journey together.”  Entries close on June the 12th and the winner will be announced mid-June. Marcia and the MCUI team will select the winner based on the most inventive and creative entry. The winning school will secure a visit from Marcia Hines during term three, July 2015. Her visit will involve a performance with the winning class or group and they will also receive an MCUI/Marcia Hines prize pack. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to meet one of Australia’s iconic music artists! To register or for more information visit the MCUI website: http://musicaustralia.org.au/program/countusin/
sMAG ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/sMAGVic?fref=ts   Yet another way to network, and share your ideas and new finds in the music education area!

Please share our news with your friends, and post your ideas to our Facebook page – we love hearing from the whole community.

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