Tuesday, April 17, 2018

sMAG Autumn ENews

The Quality Music Education Framework is published!! Please see the link to the framework below.
http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/teachingresources/discipline/arts/Pages/QMEF.aspx The document is dense, and you have to hyperlink it with other documents that DET provides to support professional practice.

As the leaves turn to Autumn colours, and brighten up our commute we are all ever busy!  sMAG commitments take up a lot of personal time, so I would like to extend thanks to all the volunteers who put in an effort.  Lobbying in private time for the needs of the whole community can be time consuming, so the work the committee does is very much appreciated.  Thank you!
In summary, committee members have met with the AEU leadership team, briefed the newly appointed Education advisor for the Hon. Mr. Merlino, held a forum in Geelong, and written numerous letters.  On top of a regular full time job, these voluntary efforts make a big difference to the whole community.  Well done to those who have invested this time!

Our collective work continues ……….

Music Education Expert Reference Group
During Term 1, members of the MEERG did not convene.  We have become concerned that substantive work around the VCAA Music Education Guide, and the Melbourne University Quality Music Education Framework has occurred yet we have not heard about publication dates. With the release of such substantive documents, the music education community would reap great benefits.  We look forward to these publications and will carry the news to our readers when we are informed of dates.

sMAG Events: Public Forum Geelong

We were welcomed to Deakin by Sue Buchan, and conversed around a beautiful boardroom.
We heard discussions from each delegate on the challenges and successes in their own contexts.  Thank you to everyone who made an effort to be in Geelong for the afternoon, and thank you to all those who responded to the Survey Monkey.

Based on the collective feedback, we finalized the key Inquiry recommendations to write to the Minister around future funding in the May 2018 budget:
The main targeted recommendations requested for 2018 funding outlined in the letter were as follows:
STRATEGY: Chapter 4 
Recommendation 4: Developing a new Victorian Strategy for School Music Education (p77)
Fund the development of a Statewide Music Education Strategy;
Fund a promotion plan for music education; Recommendation 5 (p.78).
TERTIARY SECTOR: CHAPTER 5 – Supporting Victorian teachers to deliver Music Education
Fund breadth and depth in teacher education ( both pre service and professional development) for long term, rich transformational change in Music Education; Recommendation 9.
RECOMMENDATIONS 13 – 17 Fund the STRENGTHENING of the SIMP in Victorian schools
Fund and instigate the inquiry Recommendation 17: Review the base school model for employing instrumental music teachers (p.142)
If you wish to receive a copy of sMAG's letter to the minister, please send an email to smag.schoolmusicactiongroup@gmail.com
Further, we wrote to the Federal Minister for Education, Mr. Simon Birmingham, and requested Federal funding towards the Tertiary Sector, to improve outcomes/numbers of teachers graduating with a Music Specialism.  We cited the Music Australia delegation in Term 3,2017, evidencing the strong support Music Education improvement outcomes has throughout Australia.

Future date: July School Holiday break – Most likely July 11 or 12.
VENUE: The University of Melbourne, Conservatorium of Music.

FOCUS: Victorian Music Education Charter
The forum will review the proposed Charter for everyone to put to all political candidates.
For ease of distribution, it will be loaded onto Change.org and then people asked to sign.  Individuals may then use the volume of signatures as a basis for writing to all election candidates in your own electorate.

sMAG Vic has focused significant attention towards the Secondary Instrumental Music Program (SIMP) in Term 1, 2018. The new Permission to Teach (PTT) policy came into effect on October 1, 2017. The policy is publicly available on the VIT website: http://www.vit.vic.edu.au/news/news/2017/permission-to-teach-policy-changes.

sMAG is dismayed that the outworking of this policy has not yet resulted in the outcomes we were looking for.  We have continued the conversations with the VIT and the AEU around the interpretation of the new policy. We anticipate the work will continue into 2018; and continue to be somewhat intensive.
The VIT Review, Report and Government response was published in Term 1, 2018.
The report and the Government response is available online here: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/vit.aspx
We wrote to Minister Merlino to convey a sMAG response with a clear focus on the SIMP.  You can read a summary of our letter here: http://smag-schoolmusicactiongroup.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/smag-response-vit-review-report-and.html

Furthermore, Professor Gary McPherson has made a public statement:

“Instrumental music education within Victorian public schools is now, sadly, well behind other Australian states. 
Nowhere in Australia is instrumental music treated so poorly within the system, and music teachers provided with so little support and recognition for the valued work they undertake in our schools. I’m alarmed that highly qualified musicians and music teachers are currently devalued to a point where the system is willing to push the classification of Education Support Staff - with a pay cut -  at the expense of VIT registered teachers who have equal status with other teachers within schools. Not only is this short-sighted, but it will impact on the education of a whole generation of students who are interested in music as a school subject.

Unless addressed, the current situation will reach a point whereby music education within Victorian public schools will in no way compare with what students in independent schools are able to experience, and students in other state public systems are offered to enhance their overall education. 
 While the recommendations from the VIT review and report are encouraging, unless the salary and status of instrumental music teachers in government schools is immediately addressed, we stand to continue to lose good professionals to the independent schools system.

The situation must be addressed soon so that Victoria is no longer regarded in music education as the sad cousin of all other Australian states.”
Professor Gary McPherson 
Ormond Chair of Music and Director
Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
The University of Melbourne

Should anyone have concerns with any SIMP position employment conditions, we advise you bring the conversation to the attention of Erin Aulich at the AEU: Erin.Aulich@aeuvic.asn.au.

Erin has supported the conversations around resolving matters SIMP teachers face at every level. The AEU schools bulletin carries a clear article written by Erin.
If you wish to receive a copy of the article, please email your request to smag.schoolmusicactiongroup@gmail.com

Networking and supporting one another on Facebook provides for rich sharing at times.  Please join the group, and join the conversations: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1101931139911842/

The Australian Music Vault welcomed a few of us with a personal tour.  We had a great time, and it is well worth attending.  The Vault has an associated learning program for schools including new choir arrangements of Australian songs, teacher professional development, hands on workshops in lyric writing, music remixing and poster design and online resources in the areas of music, design and music journalism. Be aware that Australian Rock ‘n’ Roll includes subjects that are not permissible for student viewing by DET policy.  Ring ahead if you arrange an excursion!  Check it out here - https://www.australianmusicvault.com.au/learn For more information please email schools@artscentremelbourne.com.au

sMAG Committee Structure
After 4 years as Co-Chair and then Chair of sMAG, a substantial investment of my personal time has been contributed.  As seasons in life change, my personal time focus now needs to be around family.  As such, I intend to step down as Chair in the not too distant future.  Leadership will now move into a transitional phase. The committee has accepted nominations of Fiona Phillips and Sue Buchan as Co-Chairs into the future. Formalities will take place at the July public forum.

I want to thank the committee for the support, experience and expertise.  The last 4 years have been invested in significant work, with significant gains. Most hard fought are those matters around the SIMP.  We have much to celebrate; for the instruments in schools, for the free PD, and all the new interest in music education – we have A LOT to celebrate.  As sMAG moves forward, there needs to be a clear investment in the tertiary sector, rural and regional access/equity and continue to fight for the SIMP.
I have made many friends, and developed significant collegial relationships in role.  I want to thank everyone in the sMAG community for the support over these last 4 years, and hope that you would all bring your trust and support around the new leaders as the community looks to grow in the future.  I will continue to support sMAG in a minor role, and happy to talk to people as we move forward.

Recently, Dr. Robin S. Stevens published significant works on Music Ed-Net.  Dr. Stevens is held with great regard amongst sMAG colleagues, both for his tireless service to Music Education, and for his service as Vice Chair of sMAG for many years.  Thank you, Robin!  Your work is deeply appreciated.

                      Kind Regards,

Catherine Lyons
Chair | sMAG Vic
site: smag-schoolmusicactiongroup.blogspot.com.au

email: smag.schoolmusicactiongroup@gmail.com
address: P.O Box 4076, Box Hill South, Vic 3128

1.     Proposed new sMAG leadership structure
2.     Brief from Dr Robin S. Stevens on Music Ed- Net

CO-CHAIRS: Sue Buchan and Fiona Phillips
Strategy Working Party
SIMP Working Party
Tertiary Training Working Party
Special Needs Working Party

Future Co-Chair Introductions:

Sue Buchan
I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to the work of SMAG.   Much has been achieved under Catherine’s leadership and I thank her for her time and energy. 
My career has predominantly involved teaching classroom music to children in early learning contexts and from Foundation to Year 6.  I have taught in both government and non-government schools.  As part of my doctoral thesis, I sought to understand how music learning could be implemented and developed by primary school generalist teachers.  I am continuing to build on this in my work with pre-service teachers at Deakin University.  Currently in Australian education, disadvantage is the single biggest factor influencing educational outcomes.  The 2013 Victorian parliamentary inquiry into music education in Victorian schools has identified the need for improved opportunities for students in rural and regional areas to access music learning.   By working to address this and other issues identified in the inquiry, SMAG is well placed to contribute to the lives of some of Victoria’s least advantaged children.
As we move through a transitional period, I look forward to hearing from music educators. 

I can be contacted at: smagsue@gmail.com 

Fiona Phillips

Fiona has been teaching and educating in and through music for over 25 years. She has taught in Early childhood settings, Primary and secondary settings as both Generalist and Performing Arts / Music Specialist. Fiona has had extensive experience in working with voices of all ages and spent some time as Director of the Geelong Youth Choir. Fiona has conducted choirs in many community and educational settings and has also worked in Musical Theatre and Church organisations. Fiona has held positions in both the Government and Private sector and has for the last 15 years has taught and mentored at the tertiary level at Deakin University where she is currently completing her doctorate. Fiona is particularly interested in building capacity and confidence in primary and early years educators. Fiona holds certificates in Orff and Kodaly and is comfortable with technology.

Her compositions for voice and instrumental are simple and open with layers that reference environmental or emotional sounds and focus on interactional rhythms and harmonies.
Fiona will be an artist in this year’s Mountain to Mouth celebration at Geelong.

As we move through a transitional period, Fiona also looks forward to hearing from music educators.   Contact: smagfiona@gmail.com 

New online music education resources at music-ed.net
Robin Stevens[1]
The music-ed.net series of websites has been developed to provide information on several aspects of music education, particularly those dealing with the historical background of music education, as well as links to other websites of interest to Australian music educators.  The objectives of this series of websites are to provide a resource for both music education professionals and the wider community and to act as an archive of information that may otherwise be unavailable in the future.  Links to the series of websites are included in the following order on the main index page at http://music-ed.net/.
The Bibliography of Australian Music Education Research (BAMER) website
Begun in 1989 as a collaborative project between the Australian Society of Music Education (ASME) and Robin Stevens (then Research Editor of The Australian Journal of Music Education), BAMER is a database of music education research studies undertaken at Australian universities or by Australian music education researchers at overseas institutions covering the period 1936 to 2012/13.  There are over 570 entries of ‘completed’ and ‘in progress’ research studies that include not only masters and doctoral theses and dissertations held in university libraries, but also smaller research studies such as research papers and other research reports undertaken for MEd, MMusEd and MMus degrees that are generally held only in departmental libraries or by the individual researchers concerned.
Given that the National Library of Australia’s Trove website at http://trove.nla.gov.au/ now lists all Higher Degree by Research studies undertaken by postgraduate students at Australian universities, it was decided to discontinue the updating of the BAMER database.  Many of these Trove listings have links to a digitised version of these research studies which may be downloaded from university websites as PDF files.  Accordingly, the BAMER listings of research studies on this website covers a period of seventy-seven years from 1936 to 2012/13. The BAMER website will continue to be available through both the dedicated music-ed.net website at http://music-ed.net/bamer and will also be available for access through the Music in Australia Knowledge Basehttp://musicinaustralia.org.au/—which is a project of The Music Trust (http://musictrust.com.au/).
The History of Music Education in Australia website
This website at http://music-ed.net/History/ includes an overview of the development of music education in Australia, a listing of bibliographic sources on Australian music education history, and a ‘gallery’ featuring brief biographies of and references for ten notable early Australian music educators.   
The Curwen Method (Tonic Sol-fa) website
This website includes a general summary of Curwen’s Tonic Sol-fa music teaching method, and pages providing a more detailed history of the development of Tonic Sol-fa, a detailed summary of the Tonic Sol-fa pedagogy, and details of the Tonic Sol-fa system of music notation.  There is also a link to The Curwen Bicentenary 1816–2016 which celebrates two hundred years since Curwen’s birth on 14 November 2016. The URL for The Curwen Method website is http://music-ed.net/Curwen/.
The International History of Music Education website
This extensive website is a project of the History Standing Committee of the International Society for Music Education. Initiated in 2011, it is an attempt to  provide music educators and music education researchers with a series of country-specific histories of music education that will represent a source of information, references and additional resources. Each of the national profiles—which will be progressively added to over time to include as many ISME-affiliated countries as  possible—will include an historical overview (a summary of the major developments, some including a timeline of significant  events), or one or more key reference(s) (published article or book chapter sources), or an external website for each country. In  addition, several of the national profiles also include a listing of representative bibliographic sources including theses, journal articles, conference papers and other documentation of the history of music in educational settings in the various countries. Some national  profiles may also have information about prominent music educators (including portraits and brief biographies) for the particular countries.
To date, thirty-two countries are represented on the website together with other relevant information on historical research in music education and links to relevant website such as The Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. This website site can be accessed via the ISME website URL at https://www.isme.org/our-work/standing-working-committees/history-standing-committee-hsc or via music-ed.net at http://music-ed.net/ihme/.
Some lesser-known Australian Musicians and Music Educators website
The purpose of this website and its constituent webpages is to provide an internet resource that celebrates the lives and work of Australian musicians and music educators whose achievements have often gone largely unrecognised. The lives and work of many such people may not qualify as being well known and therefore nationally prominent.  Nevertheless, they have made a contribution to the nation in their particular spheres of influence and to a greater or lesser extent have left a legacy of new knowledge, artistic achievement and/or exemplary practice as musicians – composers and/or performers – and as music educators. 
This website attempts to document and celebrate the lives and work of these musicians and music educators. Aside from biographical summaries, the respective webpages for these individuals include (where possible) downloadable PDF copies of relevant research reports, articles, books, compositions, etc. or links to these where available at other websites. The direct link to this website is http://music-ed.net/aust-musns/.
The John Curwen Bicentenary 1816–2016 website
This website aims to promote and celebrate the life and work of John Curwen, the developer of the Tonic Sol-fa, and to recognise the contribution of Sarah Ann Glover (1785–1867), inventor of Norwich Sol-fa upon which Curwen based his music teaching method and its notational system. Aside from celebrating the bicentenary of Curwen’s birth (14 November 2016), the website records some of the special events that were organised as well as including listings of Curwen’s publications and major secondary references (with downloadable documents where available) and a summary of the contemporary applications of Curwen’s method. The direct link to this website is http://music-ed.net/curwenbicentenary/.
The Australian Online Journal of Arts Education website
The Australian Online Journal of Arts Education was established as an internet-based, open-access scholarly journal in 2005.  It aimed to promote the arts at all levels of education as well as to encourage research, discussion and debate regarding the role, development and implementation of arts programs in both formal and informal educational settings. The journal provided an avenue for the publication of articles by both individual researchers and research groups as well as arts education practitioners. One of its aims was to support the work of undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as practicing arts educators by providing a freely-accessible source of information about and research findings in arts education. The journal was established as fully peer-referred by a panel of international referees (the Editorial Board) and was managed by an Editorial Committee appointed annually from members of the former Arts in Education Faculty Research Group within the then Faculty of Education at Deakin University.  With the retirement of the founding editor—Robin Stevens—in 2008, the journal ceased accepting articles for publication. The Australian Online Journal of Arts Education is no longer hosted by Deakin University but in order allow on-going access to its published articles, this music-ed.net website will host the AOJAE archive. The direct link for AOJAE website is http://music-ed.net/aojae/.
Music in Action: An archive of issues of the magazine 2003-2009
Music in Action was published by the Australian Music Association as an educational resource that aimed to enrich, empower, inform and support Australian educators in their work as music teachers. Its regular features covered five major topics in each issue: Advocacy (how to promote music in schools), Technology (using technology in new classroom environments), Profile (the opportunity to learn from curriculum initiates of colleagues, Nitty Gritty (practical suggestions for curriculum implementation) and Project (showcasing activities beyond the classroom, often involving community music making). Most, if not all, of the articles published in Music in Action are still relevant to present-day educational settings.  The direct link to this archive of downloadable PDFs is http://music-ed.net/music-in-action.
Links to selected music education podcasts and documents
This webpage includes links to ABC radio programs which focus on music advocacy and its benefits to the education of young people. In addition, there are links to important documents – mainly government reports – that advocate for music education in schools.  Included in this list of document resources is the only current link to a downloadable PDF of the 2005 report of the National Review of School Music Education.  The direct link to this webpage is http://music-ed.net/podcasts/.
All of the above websites are accessible from the main index page at http://music-ed.net and all the constituent websites at this URL will be progressively updated.  Comments and suggestions are most welcome – please contact Robin Stevens at .

[1] Robin Stevens was formerly an Associate Professor of Music Education at Deakin University and is now a Principal Fellow in the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, The University of Melbourne. His email contact is robinstevens@music-ed.net.

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