Music Education


Will a Music Education Truly Make Your Johnny a Genius? PDF Print E-mail
Music Forum Sample Articles - Music Education

Vol 5 No 5, 1999

By

Dick Letts

For decades past, perhaps especially in Anglo countries such as the USA, UK, Canada and Australia, efforts of the music community to secure the place of music in the school curriculum have been frustrated. Advances are made, but as often as not lost again. Teachers and their colleagues have come to expect that so far from being won once and for all, the battle will have to be fought again and again, turning over the same arguments, the same prejudices, fighting the same fundamental ignorance of the value of an education in music.

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Why teach music in schools? Changing values since the 1850s PDF Print E-mail
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Changing values since the 1850s

Robin S. Stevens

Introduction

One of the most pressing problems for contemporary school education is an overcrowded curriculum. The so-called 'National Curriculum" developed as a result of the Australian Education Council"s Hobart meeting in 1989 and the subsequent publication of a series of 'Statements" and 'Profiles" by the Curriculum Corporation in 1994 consolidated the school curriculum into eight Key Learning Areas (Curriculum Corporation 1994a, 1994b). Since that time most states have moved away from school-based curriculum development and have embraced the National Curriculum but with adaptations to suit their own needs. In the case of Victoria there have been two iterations of the National Curriculum in the form of Curriculum and Standards Frameworks. In the original version, Music was one of the five arts strands specified for years P to 6 and one of the six strands for years 7 to 12 (Board of Studies 1995). With the CSF2, Music is now one of three possible arts form included under Performing Arts which, with Visual Arts, form the two strands specified for years P to 4 (Board of Studies 2000). Music is then included in its own right as one of six Arts strands for years 5 to 12. However, effectively the CSF2 represents a significant loss of ground for Music at the lower and middle primary school levels in Victoria.

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What honeymoon? PDF Print E-mail
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Helen Lancaster

Almost two decades ago, the then Federal Minister for Employment, Education and Training, John Dawkins proposed marriage among tertiary institutions on the premise that bigger makes for better economics in the higher education sector. Dawkins" policy required all institutions with fewer than 2000 students to amalgamate with universities. Although not the primary target, specialist institutions like conservatoriums fell well inside the quota. Despite substantial resistance, the green paper became policy with such speed that academics asked (with more derision than mirth) '"How do you turn a green paper into a white paper? Just photocopy it!""[1]

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Why Doesn't Your Town Have its Own Music School? PDF Print E-mail
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by

Dick Letts

If Australia were in Europe, it would have 600 publicly supported music schools offering instruction to all comers. Including the external programs of the conservatoria, it actually has about 25 or 30. Could the community music school be the solution to our endless problem in making music education universally accessible?

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What About Early Childhood Music Education? PDF Print E-mail
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Dr Peter de Vries, Monash University

 

I was very disappointed that the 2005 National Review of School Music Education did not have as part of its brief what occurs in music education prior to so-called formal schooling. That is, what happens in pre-schools, childcare centres and with private music education providers for the Under 5s?

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Training of Contemporary Popular Musicians PDF Print E-mail
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Michael Hannan

In attempting to articulate the issues relating to the training of contemporary popular musicians in Australia and to reflect on my own involvement in it, I feel I should firstly give a brief account of my background as a musician and as an educator.

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The impact of the arts on learning: CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE PDF Print E-mail
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Champions of Change

The Arts Education Partnership

Champions of Change is the title of a publication of The Arts Education Partnership and The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in the USA. It presents the reports of seven teams of researchers examining a variety of arts education programs using diverse methodologies to discover their impact on broader learning and socialisation.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Classroom Music PDF Print E-mail
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Thomas Canter

Intro

I have been sitting on my hands with my mouth taped shut while these high-level reviews of school music have been going on but the temptation to speak up has finally gotten the better of me.

You see, I am one of the people actually who actually do the work, a group sadly under-represented in the public debate. For most of the last ten years or so I have taught music in state, Catholic and independent schools in Queensland, mostly at primary level. Before that, I taught for years in Melbourne.

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The Future of Tertiary Music Training in Australia PDF Print E-mail
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by

Michael Hannan

Paper delivered at the Bach to the Future Conference in Melbourne on October 21, 2000.

In this paper I propose to talk about the present and future of tertiary music training. The focus will be on the tertiary sector in Australia, and on vocational training for musicians. To begin I would like to briefly describe my own involvement in this field as a way of putting my attitudes and observations into some context. In 1986 I was appointed to the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education (now Southern Cross University) to develop a program in contemporary popular music in response to the needs of the popular music industry in Australia. I'm still doing this job. Before that I held full time academic positions at the University of Sydney and at the Queensland Conservatorium. During the 1970 and early 1980s I also worked part-time at the University of New Wales, the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, and the Newcastle Conservatorium. In the same period I was also involved in the music industry as a commercial composer and arranger, rock performer, piano accompanist, music journalist and music editor. In keeping with the Bach theme of this conference, I should say that in the late 60s and early 70s I also fancied myself as a harpsichordist and continuo player.

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Tatachilla Connects PDF Print E-mail
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by

Tina Broad

Tina Broad went to the McLaren Vale and didn't touch a drop. Instead, she got intoxication of a musical kind at the Classic FM FLAME Awards winner"s concert

Unlike his peers around Australia busily packing their cossies and sunscreen for Schoolies Week, Tatachilla Lutheran College year 12 student, Peter Majoros, couldn't quite let his hair down just yet. As if the stresses of the HSC weren't enough, he had another big milestone to get through: playing his clarinet in a live concert, broadcast all over Australia on national radio as part of the FLAME Award winner"s concert. Maybe it"s his fascination with snakes and lizards which helps keep his blood cool (he"s hoping for high marks to get into Science at Uni, as a precursor to a career as a zoologist), for he didn"t put a foot – or finger – wrong.

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Remaking the Conservatorium Agenda PDF Print E-mail
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Music Forum 8/5, June 2002

Peter Renshaw

Key Issues

The challenge for music training institutions is much the same the world over. If the whole training sector within different countries is to engage with the continually changing demands of the 21st century, it needs to address certain key questions:

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Of music and oranges: Advocating the intangible? PDF Print E-mail
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Kirsty Guster

With the rise in various scientific cross-disciplinary studies into the secondary benefits of music, advocates for music are now finding themselves able to discuss the value of music in terms of educational outcomes. Yet how valid are these arguments and do they really support the case for music? Kirsty Guster makes a critical journey through the brain, oranges and intangibles

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Music Education–Its Role in Our Music Ecosphere PDF Print E-mail
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Professor Kim Walker

The urgent question today for all of us—posed originally by Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University[1]—is which institutions, outside of the usual free market, will assume responsibility for the health and vitality of a contemporary music culture in Australia?

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Learning to Sing: What's Happening Now? PDF Print E-mail
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by Rowena Cowley

Diva Teresa Stratas tells a dramatic story of her illness during the mid-eighties. Distressed by her inability to continue to care for her father during the final stages of Alzheimer's disease, she became unwell and was diagnosed with a pernicious cancer which, doctors told her, would kill her within two months if left untreated.

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Everybody Loves Virginia's Music! PDF Print E-mail
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Vol 12 No 3 2006

The words of school children

by

By Dick Letts

Regular readers know that last year, Music. Play for Life teamed up with ABC Radio and the Australian Society for Music Education to run a competition called the Flame Awards. This is a competition to find the most inspiring school music programs in each state, and nationally.

We attempted to make a level playing field so that very well resourced private schools would not automatically have an advantage over less well resourced government or other schools. That seemed to work, because winners came from both sectors.

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DEVIL'S ADVOCACY PDF Print E-mail
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Issues Facing Our Conservatoria as They Prepare Their Students for Careers in the 21st Century

By Dick Letts

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music has embarked on a major review of its courses. It invited Dick Letts to set the ball rolling with an address to Faculty members.

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Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Australia PDF Print E-mail
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Carol-ann Bentley

Emile Jaques-Dalcroze [1865-1950], a Swiss composer-educator-performer, developed an approach to music education which is based on the relationship between music and the movement of the body. It involves the integration of rhythmic study through movement and ear training, and the exploration of musical language through improvisation.

The techniques taught can enhances skills of the performer, dancer, therapist, conductor and teacher, etc.

Heather Gell [1896 – 1988], studied in England and Switzerland and brought Dalcroze Eurhythmics to Adelaide in the 1920s. She presented 'Music Through Movement" broadcasts on ABC radio for 27 years, and for her many years of commitment to music education was awarded an MBE in 1977. Heather Gell left a bequest, and so the Heather Gell Foundation was established to support training and other projects it sees as appropriate.

Over the years State Dalcroze Societies were established to promote the work and a Dalcroze Council of Australia was formed with representatives from the states, plus a Director of Studies – Sandra Nash.

Recently it was decided to disband the States Societies and the Council, and to create a national body known as Dalcroze Australia with its own committee. Regional Groups will be set up wherever needed.

Training of teachers is a priority, and an Intensive Course is being planned for 2007-2008, to increase the number of qualified teachers.

For requests for funding or further information, please contact C.Bentley P.O.Box 489, Turramurra, NSW 2074.

 

Carol-ann Bentley is on the committee and a trustee.

 
Can Music in School Give Stimulus to Other School Subjects? PDF Print E-mail
Music Forum Sample Articles - Music Education

Maria B. Spychiger

Introduction

Recent reports on the effects of musical activity in school shed a very positive light on the topic addressed in this paper, the effects of musical activity on extra-musical learning and achievement. For example, the highly recognized weekly magazine The New Scientist reported on the Swiss school experiment with extended music education (called "Music makes the School") in an article titled "Children learn faster to the sound of music." Nature did similarly in presenting the results of an experiment with a special arts training in eight first-grade classrooms in Rhode Island, USA, under the headline "Learning improved by arts training." The German monthly magazine, Psychologie heute, portrayed an experimental school in Berlin, Germany, under the title "Musik macht Kinder klug" ("Music makes children smart").

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An alien context? PDF Print E-mail
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Teaching music in indigenous Australian settings

By Robert G Smith

Mine has been a long forty year journey as a music educator and yet still the slopes of the learning curve rise steeply!

Because a part, if small, of my New Zealand heritage is indigenous I entered the profession with a particular interest in Maori music. Consequently I taught across the 'sixties in primarily Polynesian contexts. I spent almost five years as National Music Adviser in the Fiji Islands. Subsequently my music education career has been a sort of love affair with indigenous musics, in the Pacific, North and Central America, east Africa, back again to New Zealand and across the past two decades, apart from a recent sojourn as International Music Consultant in Sri Lanka, here in the Northern Territory of Australia.

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Advocacy and Research in Music Education PDF Print E-mail
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Implications from the REAP Report

Susan Wright

The instrumental claim that the arts can be used to buttress the 3Rs has become a favoured strategy for keeping the arts in the schools and for making sure that every child has access to arts education. Yet such reasoning is a double-edged sword. If the arts are given a role in schools solely because people believe they cause academic improvement, they could lose their position within the school curriculum - particularly if academic improvement does not result, or if the arts are shown to be less effective than the 3Rs in promoting literacy and numeracy. The arts should not be justified primarily in terms of what they can do for maths or reading or any other subject. Instead, the arts should be justified in terms of what they can teach that no other subject can teach.

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A Postcard from Victoria PDF Print E-mail
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But do I spot a glimmer of hope?

Anne Lierse

If we are to prepare successfully for the twenty-first century we will have to do more than just improve literacy and numeracy skills, We need a broad, flexible and motivating education that recognises the different talents of all children and delivers excellence for everyone.

(All Our Futures: p. 6)

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