» Age Range 12 to 15: Music Plus

Trop Jr Film Making Course 2013 (Melb)

June 21, 2013

Trop Jr Film Making Course 2013

This course offers young film making enthusiasts (Ages 8 – 15) the chance to learn all the skills needed to enter Australia’s largest short film festival for kids – Trop Jr,

and includes a wonderful module on composing music for the screen.

The Trop Jr Film Making Course is spread over five days which fall over 11 weeks.

During the course, participants will get the inside scoop on scriptwriting, cinematography, sound recording, sound design and original music composition. In their own time they’ll shoot their film while also learning the art of post–production using professional editing facilities and a vocal booth.

Dates: 1 July – 27 September 2013

Monday 1 July, 9.30am – 3.30pm
Thursday 4 July, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Saturday 17 August, 9.30am – 3.30pm
Saturday 7 September, 9.30am – 3.30pm
Friday 27 September, 9.30am – 3.30pm

Cost: $270 for the five day course

For enquiries, please email: digitallearning@artscentremelbourne.com.au

For booking please visit the below link:

Book Now

·         Or phone: 1300 182 183

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10 Excellent ways to use an Interactive Whiteboard in the Music Classroom

March 13, 2011
10 Excellent Ways To Use An Interactive Whiteboard in the Music Classroom

So you’ve been given an interactive whiteboard (IWB) to use and you know you should be using as more than a simple projector or place to screen videos.  The benefits of incorporating an IWB into your teaching are many: it allows you to create a bank of learning resources that can be used many times across multiple classes, you can replace some of your physical resources with digital versions so you don’t lose them.

Luckily, you don’t need to rewrite your curriculum.  By learning a few IWB basics, you’ll find that many of your current class activities can be adapted for use on an IWB.

Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

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19 free iPad apps for musical creativity

March 10, 2013


Thanks to Katie Wardrobe, here’s is a list of 19 free iPad apps which can promoted creativity and composition.

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Aboriginal inspiration for a Soundscape lesson

June 20, 2011

Aboriginal stories about life and life-cycles revolve around 4 different natural elements.

Sun, Moon, Water, Land

Divide your class into 4 groups, each labelled Sun, Moon, Water or Land. In 15 minutes they will choose classroom instruments and/or sound sources to depict their label … Each group performs to the rest of the class … Discuss and decide upon a logical order for the soundscape sections … Perform all 4 sections in their order.

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ACO + Dance October 2012

May 9, 2012
RAMEAU Dances from Dardanus, Les Boréades, Castor et Pollux and others

*Richard Tognetti Artistic Director and Lead Violin*
*Rafael Bonachela Artistic Director and Choreographer*
*Sydney Dance Company
*Australian Chamber Orchestra

Wed 31 Oct 12pm-2pm 2012
Sydney Theatre
A mutual passion for Rameau’s perfumed and powerful French Baroque dance
music sparks this new production by Rafael Bonachela and Richard Tognetti.
Rameau’s flair for rhythm and melody, and feeling for choreography, leads
many to name him the greatest-ever ballet composer, certainly the most
influential. Bonachela’s dynamic choreography, innate musicality and
theatricality serve to illuminate this brilliant music, performed live by
the ACO.

This performance will feature and introduction and behind-the-scenes
discussion by Richard Tognetti and Rafael Bonachela, and a question and
answer session at the end of the performance.

Tickets $30. Teachers may book online www.aco.com.au/Default.aspx?url=/matinee
or phone 1800 444 444.
Questions? Please contact Sarah Conolan on (02) 8274 3871 or at
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ACO Reef documentary (ABC)

February 22, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-EkRHRxSDY ACO is currently touring “The Reef” program around Australia – this 2 minute YouTube clip shows ACO’s multimedia approach – music + waves + technology. Ask students for other ideas re. uniting Art music with nature. View the concert program HERE.

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Age of Enlightenment – song writing project

January 25, 2011

Enlightenment Assignment – a Secondary school Music assignment for small groups. Lesson structure, assignment work and marking matrix are all included (free).

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aMuse Sample Units

January 11, 2011

Sample Units from Australian Music Educators Assoc (Vic) – under the heading “aMuse VELS Support Documents”

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Anti-Bullying songs

March 14, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTNVXlirF4Y Don’t Laugh At Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIDarYJHCpA Caught in the Crowd (for middle school)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOpx7VBeel0 It’s OK to be different

Play these three songs to kids, and ask what the common theme is. (anti-bullying & accepting difference)

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June 12, 2013

This morning, the Australian Human Rights Commission launched a new online anti-racism resource, What you say matters, to educate and engage young people about racism and to empower them to respond safely when they experience or witness racism.

The resource has been developed after extensive consultation with young people. It includes a hip-hop video clip and online educational content, and is designed to encourage 14-17 year olds to reflect and to act safely in response to incidences of racism at school, in their peer group, sports club or communities. The music video clip features Indigenous hip hop artist Brothablack and was created with the participation of students from James Meehan High School in south western Sydney.

You can find the resource on the “Racism. It Stops with Me’ campaign website (http://itstopswithme.humanrights.gov.au/whatyousaymatters).

What you say matters seeks to answer the key questions that young people we surveyed told us they wanted more information about:

·         What is racism?

·         Why are people racist?

·         Who experiences racism?

·         Where does racism happen?

·         Why is racism a problem?

·         What can you do?

·         What does the law say?

We would appreciate any assistance you can provide in promoting the resource through your networks.

What you say matters has been funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) under the National Anti-Racism Strategy.

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Artology – applications

March 14, 2013

Dear teachers

Please see below information about a wonderful project that may interest your senior students (Australia-wide). It is a great opportunity to explore your creativity with like-minded students from across all arts disciplines. Please forward to students who may be interested.


Louise Barkl

Artology Remix 2013

Calling all teenagers | Entries close 15 March

How would you like to create a great work of performance art alongside some of Australia’s top performers, writers and other artists?

Artology Remix is a creative program that gives you exactly that opportunity.

If you are a budding artist from ANY art form (Dance, Music, Drama, Visual Arts etc.), we encourage you to apply. You do NOT need to be skilled in all the art forms – you only need to be proficient in at least one.

You will meet inspiring people and create art at the highest level. You will meet like-minded individuals and be mentored at every turn. You will emerge from this program with skills and knowledge you can’t imagine.

All tuition is FREE. If you are 15-20 years old, and passionate about your creativity, apply HERE (www.artology.org.au/remix)

You will meet inspiring people and create art at the highest level. You will meet like‐minded individuals
and be mentored (free) at every turn. You will emerge from this program with skills and knowledge you can’t
Applications are being accepted from students aged 15‐18 from anywhere in Australia. While this
program is designed with high school students in mind, we will also accept applications from older and
younger students who demonstrate strong aptitude and desire to participate.
The workshops will take place during school holidays in April and June/July 2013 as follows:
 WORKSHOP 1: a 10‐day period between 16‐ 25 April; exact dates to be announced
 WORKSHOP 2: a 14‐day period between 29 June ‐13 July; exact dates to be announced
 PERFORMANCE: occurs at the end of the July period at the Art Gallery of NSW in July 2013.
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awareness vs busy-ness

October 7, 2012

Here is a story I cut and paste from FaceBook — only takes a minute to read:

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it

was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

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Baraka lesson idea

May 24, 2012

HERE is a scene from Baraka called “Balinese monkey chant”. Baraka is a feature-length film without any script. Show this scene to a class, and discuss the role of music in eastern cultures, how a film can be created without any scripted text, the importance of music in films … Enjoy!

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Big Question blog

April 7, 2013

After watching the Mitra TED talk together (http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud.html), and discussing the future of learning for today’s teenagers, 12-13 year olds in a Music class were asked to get into groups, devise their own “Big Question” to do with music, and come up with a researched presentation. Grouping was flexible, and open to change. Each group had to appoint a ‘granny’ for encouragement. Presentation format was up to each group.

Questions included:

“Who first invented music?”

“How do people respond to different genres of music?”

“How do disabled people experience music?”

“How has music changed over the last 100 years?”

“How is music education different across the globe?”

After half an hour, any student who was without a group (and therefore without a big question) was teacher-guided to collect photos of unusual instruments to present to the class.

Only a few students took the ‘unusual instrument’ approach. Two students found a superficial answer to their question in 5 minutes and settled on it. The rest worked collaboratively and enthusiastically – even those students who avoid practical music making, which was pleasing!

4 lessons were given for the task – 3 of which were in a computer lab. The level of working noise was greater than normal, but very productive. Most students were on task for the vast majority of the time. Excitement was evident in most students. Collaborative work was predominant, with all students voicing their opinions at various times. Weaker students often found themselves working with stronger peers. Groups changed a little throughout the 4 sessions, finding a better balance. Questions of the teacher were few and far between, having encouraged students to seek answers from their group.

Presentations were predominantly in PowerPoint, with students taking turns to read from the screen. This Project-Based Learning (PBL) or SOLE (Student-Oriented Learning Environment) task formed one of six assessment tasks for the year, under the title of “Self Nominated Project”.

The teacher found the sessions lively and entertaining, having the rare chance to sit back and observe active learning as an interested spectator. From a teaching point of view, the SOLE experiment was fun, energising, painless, and surprisingly easy – students did as much thinking as the teacher, which is my new goal for classroom teaching!

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Build a school in the cloud

March 9, 2013

Watch this TED talk on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3jYVe1RGaU with Middle School students. Then ask them to self-organise into groups (with internet access) and pursue their own choice of ‘big question’ to do with music.

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Cello Wars

April 28, 2013

Try this fun YouTube clip as an ice-breaker at the start of Music class – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgAlQuqzl8o. Would the same battle work on clarinet? Ask the kids for their own ideas on musical parodies.

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Charanga – digital learning community

January 25, 2012


Charanga is a digital learning community for music education – once paid up and subscribed, you have access to digital lesson materials and support.

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cinematic musical

March 19, 2012

Watch THIS TEDx YouTube clip about a collaboratively-made film by Daniel Johns (from Silverchair) and Josh Wakely. Discuss how music can be inspired by images, stories and pictures. Discuss how film can be inspired by music.

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Cuban students turn to music for a financial future

February 5, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq74FePwu6E Show this YouTube clip to students, and make a list of music-related jobs in our society.

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custom built orchestra

February 24, 2013


Explorations in sound, technology, recording techniques and instrument design by Diego Stocco.

“I always been fascinated by the raw musical power that an orchestra can express, so, after creating a series of videos where I’m performing a multi-track piece with an instrument I designed, I decided to take the concept a step farther and create my own orchestra made of unusually unique instruments.

The project started by handcrafting a diverse selection of instruments, then I wrote a composition where I could fit them all in and finally performed each part. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed doing it!”

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Deaf Singing and Signing

October 17, 2012

www.musiccountusin.org.au Watch the INSPIRING video clip with your class – how deaf students experience music, and sign the Music: Count Us In 2012 song. Then teach the Auslan signs to your class using the free MCUI 2012 Special Needs kit.

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Easy planning for the rest of the year

December 2, 2012

Show students the MusicCareer website with its list of ‘careers in music’. Students should choose a career which interests them, and spend the rest of the year undertaking career-related activities, eg. practising (= performer), writing a list of equipment they think school should buy, listening to songs and writing what emotion it evokes (= music therapy), changing songs to words … ENJOY!!!

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Eurovision is coming – lesson plan

May 9, 2012

Eurovision telecasting starts late May 2012. Introduce the concept to students with THIS YouTube clip – clips from 2011 Eurovision contest. Then show the 2011 winner HERE. Discuss with students the way visual effects and dancing can enhance (or detract from) a performance. ENJOY!

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Face the music: Which way to go (free lesson plans)

April 17, 2012

Face the Music: Which Way To Go‘ is an engaging education module aimed at both informing of, and developing empathy towards, student responsibilities as copyright users and owners. It is aimed at English and music students from years seven to ten.

After downloading the files, start with ‘face the music which way to go’.

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flash freeze – lesson idea

October 26, 2011

Watch the Bellingen Youth Environment group stage their “freeze” protest against plastic bags in NSW. Listen to the accompanying song “Change” (written and recorded by a Year 10 student) and brainstorm what other types of protest this song might accompany. Make a list of other songs which ares well-suited to peaceful protests.

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free workshop at your school (Vic)

September 3, 2012

We would like to invite you to host a FREE Music Count Us In/The Singing Classroom workshop at your school during September or October.

Here’s a final reminder of the opportunity to have a workshop in your school.

Bookings are filling fast – we already have more than last year!

Please send an expression of interest asap if you are interested.

The workshops will be 1.5 half hours long, run after school and open to all of your staff as well as other teachers in your area. Each participant will receive a resource booklet packed with useful songs, action songs, games and composition ideas, which includes this year’s MCUI song – and a CD!

This year’s workshops will be delivered by Susie Davies-Splitter and Sue Arney.

Below is a list of dates that we are available to come to your school/venue to run a workshop. All dates are open – we have indicated dates which would be best for us to come to country areas, however everything is negotiable and we are happy to discuss options.

Please let me know asap if you would like to book one of the dates below to host a workshop in your school.

Warm regards,

Sue Arney s.arney@bigpond.com

Project Officer

Association of Music Educators


Tuesday 11

Wednesday 12

Thursday 13

Friday 14

Tuesday 18

Wednesday 19 (country)

Thursday 20 (country)

Friday 21


Monday 8 (country)

Tuesday, 9

Wednesday 10

Thursday 11

Friday 12

Tuesday 16

Wednesday 17

Thursday 18

Friday 19

Monday 22 (country)

Tuesday 23

Thursday 25

Friday 26

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Indigenous music – Stiff Gins

October 13, 2012

These two YouTube clips feature the gorgeous music of the Stiff Gins, sung in Indigenous language.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8Iz2nyy6F4 Yandool

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikilFioL9SQ with Sydney Children’s Choir at TEDx

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Integrating Music with curriculum (Phil Tulga)

January 7, 2011

Go to resource: Phil Tulga presents a list of interactive activities and lesson plans which combine Music with Science, Language and Maths.

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IWB in music – new ideas

August 15, 2013


Some great ideas from Katie Wardrobe on digitising your music resources and creating your own IWB resources.

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Jersey Boys

January 11, 2011

Jersey Boys (the musical) has compiled free, high quality lesson plans for teachers. The resource includes lesson content for Drama, Music, English, Art, Dance and History.

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land-fill harmonic – instruments from rubbish

December 11, 2012


This video teaser is for an up-coming documentary on South American orchestra made from rubbish. Very inspiring! Also view HERE.

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Les Mis extended trailer

December 19, 2012

Les Miserables has been turned into a movie (with Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe) retaining the original music. Watch the extended trailer HERE – they describe the way the singers sing live during the filming, with a live pianist on-site.

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Live Binder of online music resources

September 5, 2012

Surf through the tabs of this ‘online binder’ for music teachers:


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Making Music Being Well

April 25, 2011

Have you signed up yet to be part of Making Music Being Well?

This national initiative, which takes place from 16 – 22 May, is a collaboration between
Music: Play for Life and the Australian Music Therapy Association and it’s all about a grassroots celebration of the links between music making and wellbeing.

When you register to participate – it’s FREE – we’ll send you event posters, stickers and brochures and you’ll get access to lots of downloadable resources including event planning and promotional tips.

How you participate is up to you.  The best way to be involved is to take something you may already have planned for that week and hitch it to the national wagon of Making Music Being Well 2011. You don’t have to do something on every day during the week – one event is enough. Your event will be outlined on the MMBW website and you and your group members or students will be helping to shine the national spotlight on an important fact: music is good for you!

Here are a few ideas based on previous years:

  • Open the doors to the community for your rehearsal that falls within the MMBW week and turn it into a free performance.
  • Take your choir or group to a nursing home, hospital or school.
  • Organise a big sing at your workplace.
  • Turn a school assembly into a musical celebration and tell students and parents about the value and benefits of making music.
  • Convene a drum circle in your school playground.
  • Run an open mic session at your local pub or club.
  • Organise a gathering of community music leaders and organisers in your area and discuss how you could pool resources and share skills.

Register to be part of it at www.makingmusicbeingwell.org.au

Don’t forget – registration for our biggest school music initiative, Music: Count Us In, opens soon too!

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Mash-Up lesson idea & ReCount

June 15, 2011

Talk about mash-ups with your middle school music class – where musicians take lots of songs and mix them into a new musical work. Try mashing up the MUSIC. COUNT US IN song for 2011 – the stem files (MP3) for which are freely available here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QspTBmTar5U Elephant Song medley from Moulin Rouge (a mash-up)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e5kJl9-oV0&feature=related The same Elephant Song medley from Moulin Rouge, but this clip inserts the ORIGINAL versions of songs

Sensitive New Age Cow Persons wrote a new Australian Anthem, which mashes 13 iconic Australian songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BiQxIP0-FQ

Adam Hills has put the words of the real Australian Anthem to ‘Working Class Man’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okHs4308nJc&feature=related

A lesson plan on mash-ups can be found in ‘Instant Lessons in Music – Book 4‘ available from Blake Education.

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MCUI 2012 for student orchestra

October 30, 2012

Watch THIS video of Bellingen Youth Orchestra rehearsing “Different People”. With the class, make a list of the positive effect music has on children’s lives. Ask students for their ideas to add to that list.

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Mus Ed literature review

June 10, 2013

A Brief Survey of Research into the Benefits of Music in Education

Mandy Stefanakis and Assoc Prof Robin Stevens, of the MCA’s working group for a National Strategy for Research in Music Education, have conducted a national and international survey of research in music education to identify research projects demonstrating a broad range of benefits of music education. The references below are to research outcomes supported by research methodology assessed as producing highly reliable results.

Where research reports are available online, links have been given. Otherwise, readers can seek them through the list of references at the end of this report.

Aesthetic development

Music provides the opportunity for aesthetic experiences. An aesthetic knowledge can be described as a deep perceptual understanding in which the senses, the emotions and cognition are combined to make meaning through the experiences of creating, making and interpreting aesthetic forms. (See Australian Curriculum: The Arts, 2013; Seidel et al )

Personal, Social, Cultural Expression and Identity Formation

Music through performance and creative experiences  provides a means for personal expression, communication and personal, social and cultural identity formation (See McPherson and Welch, 2012;  Damasio, 2012; Bowman; Australian Curriculum: The Arts; Seidel et al; Dissanayake; Bresler; Storr; 1992; Green, 2011; Hargreaves et al, 2012; Gupta; Campbell et al 2008; McPherson et. al, 2012; Stefanakis)

Music provides an opportunity to experience and differentiate emotional responses (see Juslin and Sloboda, 2001; Hodges; Storr, 1992; Seidel et al)

Music contributes to students’ personal well-being through developing self-image, self-confidence, self-esteem, etc. (see Deasy; National Association for Music Education, President’s Committee on the Arts and in the Humanities; Seidel et al.)

Brain Function

With the introduction of more precise techniques to scan different areas of the brain, there has been a massive interest and increase in the amount of neurological research into brain function when engaged in a whole range of musical activities from passive listening to performing on individual instruments. Research specifically shows that both older and newer areas of the brain inclusive of sensory-motor, emotions, cognition, fine motor, equilibrium, aural centres, and both hemispheres of the brain are used to varying degrees and in different ways when engaged in musical activity with dependence on a range of factors. These include gender, age and experience of the musician, the task being undertaken, for example aural, performance, conducting, individual task, group task, and even the kind of music or sound used in a study. Additionally there are variations among individuals.

Importantly, evidence demonstrates that there is a more pervasive effect on the development of the brain (brain plasticity) when a child starts learning an instrument than learning that takes place as an adolescent or adult, but there is still plasticity in the adult brain. Sustained, structured practice with delineated outcomes enhances this plasticity. (Of note is the work of Levitin, 2012; Damasio, 2012; Evans et al, 2009; Hodges, 1996; Hodges and Gruhn, 2012; Juslin and Sloboda, 2001; Merrett and Wilson, 2012; Peretz and Zatorre, 2003; Asbury and Rich, Winner and Hetland)

Music contributes to students’ cognitive development including abstract thinking, aural and spatial awareness, verbal understanding (see above)

Music contributes to students’ kinetic / motor skill development (see above)


Music contributes to students’ creativity when engaged with composing, arranging, improvising tasks which call upon the individual or group to imagine, plan, organise, experiment with and develop sound in an abstract way (see Barrett and Tafuri, 2012; Harwood and Marsh, 2012; Seidel et al; Arts Ed Search, President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities).

Learning Outcomes across Disciplines

It is still not fully understood why, but music enhances learning in a range of non-musical domains. Current thinking centres around the fact that music stimulates so many different brain regions, or that it motivates learning through the brain chemical ‘rewards’ (such as dopamine hits), the joy that music provides, (McCarthy) or that the social connections and self-esteem it establishes in students has a carry-over effect. Although the reasons are not fully understood there is a great deal of evidence to show that there is a correlation between music learning and enhanced abilities in a range of areas:

·         Music contributes to students’ rational thinking—reasoning, critical thinking, logistical thinking and interpretive skills (see McGarity, 1986)

·         Music contributes to learning in other knowledge and skill areas such as numeracy, literacy (see Bahr, 1996; Geoghegan, 1993)

·         Music contributes to students’ concentration, memory, time management. A plethora of short-term and longitudinal studies, particularly in the US, demonstrate these effects as a result of Arts Education and the suggested sources list many of these studies (see Burnaford, Arts Ed Search, Fiske, Deasy, Nafme for the above).

Social Cohesion and Skills

Music connects people through sound, so that there is a sense of physical and emotional camaraderie and shared experience. It is what is most unique about the musical experience (see Todd, 2002; Brown, 2000; McNeill, 1995). This ‘shared sound’ leads to a greater sense of communication with others, team cooperation and enhances social confidence (see Welch and McPherson, 2012).

Music contributes to students’ social skills—communication with others, social confidence, team cooperation, leadership potential, etc. (see Stevenson and Deasy, McCarthy).

Music has therapeutic applications in relation to mental, physical and social disabilities (Stevenson and Deasy, Gupta, Catterall et al., Schlaug, McDonald, 1999; Stacey, 1983; Weidenbach, 1981).

Music provides a vocational outcome for some students (McPherson and Welch, 2012).


Barrett, M. S. and Tafuri, J. (2012) ‘Creative Meaning-Making in Infants’ amd Young Children’s Musical Cultures’ in McPherson, G. and Welch, G. (Eds.) (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Music Education Volume 1. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Bahr, N. (1996). Relationships between Musicianship and Mathematical Skill. MEd thesis, University of Queensland, Queensland.

Brown, S. (2000) ‘The “Musilanguage” Model of Music’, in N. L. Wallin, B. Merker, and S. Brown (Eds.) The Origins of Music (pp. 271-300). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Campbell, P. Connell, C., and Beegle, A. (2008) ‘Adolescents Expressed Meanings of Music in and Out of School,’ in Journal of Research in Music Education. Fall 2007, Volume 55, Number 3, pp.220 – 236.

Damasio, A. (2012) Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. New York:  Vintage.

Evans, A. C., Forgeard, M., Hyde, K. L., Lerch, J., Norton, A., Schlaug, G. and Winner, E. (2009) ‘Effects of Musical Training on Structural Brain Development: A Longitudinal Study,’ in The Neurosciences and Music III: Disorders and Plasticity: Annual New.York Academy of Sciences. 1169: 182–186.

Geoghegan, N. (1993). Possible Effects of Early Childhood Music on Mathematical Achievement. MA thesis, Macquarie University, New South Wales.

Green, L. (Ed.) (2011) Learning, Teaching and Musical Identity: Voices Across Cultures. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Hargreaves, D. J., MacDonald, R. and Miell, D. (2012) ‘Musical Identities Mediate Musical Development,’ in McPherson, G. and Welch, G. (Eds.) (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Music Education Volume 1. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Harwood, E. and Marsh, K. (2012) ‘Children’s Ways of Learning Inside and Outside the Classroom,’ in McPherson, G. and Welch, G. (Eds.) (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Music Education Volume 1. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Hodges, D. (1996) ‘Human Musicality,’ in Hodges, D. (Ed.) Handbook of Music Psychology. San Antonio: Institute for Music Research.

Hodges, D. and Gruhn, W. (2012) ‘Implications of Neurosciences and Brain Research for Music Teaching and Learning,’ in McPherson, G. and Welch, G. (Eds.) (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Music Education Volume 1. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Juslin, P. and Sloboda, J. (Eds.) (2001) Music and Emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Levitin, D. J. (2012) ‘What Does it Mean to be Musical?’ in Neuron 73, February 23, pp. 663 – 637.

McDonald, L. M. M. (1999) The Response to Classroom Music Experiences of Students who have Learning Difficulties and/or Behaviour Problems. MEd research paper, Deakin University, Victoria.

McGarity, B.M. (1986) Relationships among Cognitive Processing Styles, Musical Ability and Language Ability. MEd thesis, University of New England, New South Wales.

McNeill, W. (1995) Keeping Together in Time: Dance and Drill in Human History.

Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

McPherson, G. E., Davidson, J. W., & Faulkner, R. (2012) Music in Our Lives: Rethinking Musical Ability, Development and Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McPherson, G. E., and Welch, G. (Eds.) (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Music Education Volumes 1 and 11. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Merrett, D. and Wilson, S. (2012) ‘Musicianship and the Brain,’ in Brown, A. (Ed.) Sound Musicianship: Understanding the Crafts of Music. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Peretz, I. and Zatorre, R. J. (Eds.) (2003) The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music. New York: Oxford University Press.

Stacey, B.J. (1983) Music Education and the Hearing-Impaired Child:  An Experimental Program. MMus thesis, University of Queensland, Queensland.

Storr, A. (1992) Music and the Mind. New York: Free Press.

Todd, N., Lee, C. and O’Boyle, D. (2002) ‘A Sensorimotor Theory of Temporal Tracking and Beat Induction’. Psychological Research, Volume 66, Number 1 / February pp: 26 – 39.

Weidenbach, V.G. (1981) Music in the Education of the Young, Multiply Handicapped Deaf / Blind Children. MA thesis, Macquarie University, New South Wales.

Welch, G. F. & McPherson, G. E. (2012) ‘Introduction and Commentary: Music Education and the Role of Music in People’s Lives,’ in McPherson, G. and Welch, G. (Eds.) (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Music Education Volume 1. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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Music – social change

October 23, 2012

Billy Bragg on Q & A about the link between music and social change:
“Young people ARE engaged in the debate. But let me tell you this (about social media): nobody
ever wrote a tweet that could make you cry, nobody ever toured Australia reading out their
facebook comments. If you want to see the world and get paid for it, learn an instrument, get on
it, step up, let us hear your voices!”
Lesson idea: Discuss this quote, then write two paragraphs about how music can create social change.

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Music can change your perception

May 24, 2012

Read this article as a class (HERE) . Discuss the implications of the article (ie. beware what you listen to, as it can change your view on the world). Brainstorm a list of bands / pieces that make students feel happy, and another list that brings your mood down. Then read THIS ARTICLE about how Top 40 Pop music has been getting slower & sadder. Brainstorm the reasons why this might be.

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Music Painting

July 21, 2011

A cute 4 minute video to share with any year level.


After watching the movie, ask your class to create some more musical artwork.

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Musica Surfica worksheet

September 6, 2013

The following worksheet is for use with ACO’s DVD”Musica Surfica” which explores the expressive tendencies of surfing and Classical music! Suits ages 10-18.


A preview of the DVD can be seen HERE

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MusicAtSchool.co.uk – free UK website for Music teachers

May 3, 2011

www.musicatschool.co.uk is a free website of Secondary Music teaching ideas, lesson plans and worksheets from UK Music teachers.

For example, here is a worksheet for Year 7’s learning about how orchestral players are seated:


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MusicCareer website & lesson idea

November 15, 2012

Send students HERE to read about career paths for musicians. In pairs, they should make note of 10 surprising facts. Share these with the class.

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My Singing Monsters – app

July 29, 2013

“My Singing Monsters is a world-building game where the player collects and breeds adorable monsters. There’s a big difference to this game, however, that sets it far apart from others of the genre; these monsters sing, play, and dance! Each island has its own song and is packed full of incredibly cute monsters! ”
http://www.mysingingmonsters.com/home/ – free, unless you buy items in-app.

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National Folk Festival – free education resources

April 19, 2011

The National Folk Festival (Australia) is developing educational resources. These include a free CD of 2009 festival highlights & IWB resources about the fiddle.


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New Millenium Records: Classroom

January 13, 2011

New Millenium Records – a rich resource for free lesson content. Most lessons are paragraphs of typed information embedded with free audio files or video clips to support the text.

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New playlist to help young people recover from trauma

November 20, 2012

Red Cross has joined with national youth broadcaster triple j to develop a recovery playlist of new music and expert advice to help people who have experienced trauma.

Red Cross National Recovery Coordinator, Kate Brady, said recovering from a traumatic event, such as a bushfire, flood or medical emergency, can be a long and difficult process with particular challenges for teenagers and young adults.

“Our experience in the aftermath of disasters like the Black Saturday bushfires is that people aged 12 to 25 need dedicated resources to help them engage in the recovery process,” said Ms Brady.

“We have partnered with triple j to produce the playlist which is full of new music, recovery messages from well known triple j identities and advice from a number of experts.”

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One-handed violinist helps disabled make music

April 3, 2013


Share this article / video with your class, then ask if they know any other musicians with a disability. (eg. Beethoven was deaf, percussionist Evelyn Glennie is deaf, Tony Melendez plays guitar with his feet, Ray Charles was blind)

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Peter and the Wolf ballet video

February 24, 2013

Here is a live student ballet of Peter and the Wolf (in 4 YouTube segments) from 2012.

Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCoBFTw64b0

Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwrtNxCLFx0

Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEmq9O_ifNw

Part 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHhHVnBguS8

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PLEASE play this to every class at school

June 28, 2012


The Goulburn Conservatorium has commissioned an electronic book and piano music to encourage students to learn piano, enjoy music, and compose. This link is free. ENJOY it with your students! Afterwards, ask them for their personal responses.

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power of Music Therapy – video

May 9, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z78Mzkl9rTk Please watch this with your classes – the video shows a young disabled girl making amazing progress with regular music sessions.

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Powerhouse Museum teacher notes

April 15, 2013

A while ago, the Powerhouse Museum ran an exhibition called “Spinning Around”. HERE are the free teaching notes – Australian pop music and recording technologies.

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Richard Gill: Memoirs

December 28, 2012


“Give Me Excess of it” – Richard Gill’s memoirs (released Nov 2012).

“Richard Gill is one of Australia’s best-known – and best-loved – musical figures. His career has taken him from teaching music in Sydney’s western suburbs to Music Director of the Victorian Opera, and along the way an involvement with almost every major opera company and orchestra in Australia.

What truly distinguishes Richard is his passion and enthusiasm for spreading not just the joy of music, but its myriad benefits. He is our greatest musical educator, and his life’s work – alongside his other roles – has been advocating music in our education system, and furthering the development of those who’ve gone on to choose music as a vocation. He brings music to life, and his knowledge and deep enjoyment of his subject is as inspiring and enlightening to a class of primary school students as it is to the cast of a major opera.

Give Me Excess of It is Richard’s memoir, tracing his life from school days to the highs (and lows) of conducting and directing an opera company. It’s warm, extremely funny, highly opinionated, occasionally rude (where warranted) and always sublimely full of the love of music.”

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Score It! = Queensland composition challenge

October 8, 2012

A film-scoring competition for secondary school-age students.

SCORE IT! throws down the gauntlet to young film composers across Queensland to create a unique and original composition to accompany a scoreless short film.

Entries will be judged by a panel of leading practitioners in film and composition and the winners of each category will be announced and awarded at a presentation ceremony during the Queensland Music Festival in July 2013.

For more information about SCORE IT! or to register your expression of interest visit QMF.ORG.AU. Please note this program is open to Queensland entrants only.

SCORE IT! is presented by Queensland Music Festival, Brisbane City Council and Cutting Edge. Queensland Music Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government.

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Song to Sing – Archie Roach

January 20, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2c7zk8Grp8 A great new song by Archie Roach about the healing power of singing and song-writing. Play the clip to your class, and have them devise 3 different movements: slow section (beginning), upbeat chorus, and gospel groove at the end. Older students might talk about the message / story behind the video clip.

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songs for graduation ceremonies

November 19, 2012

THIS link takes you to suggestions for graduation ceremonies for all ages – with a religious slant.

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Speed = distance / time singing video

July 19, 2013


A fun (or funny) video using song to recall a formula

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January 13, 2011

TeachersNetwork.org – an excellent website (by US teachers for teachers) with free lesson plans. Most lessons require computers as a resource or tool for quality Music lessons – from Bach to Rap! Some lessons include rubrics for assessment.

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TES connect – free teaching resources

January 10, 2011

Go to resource: TES Connect collates free teacher-created resources from UK. This link is for Secondary Music resources and links. You will need to sign up to view resources – signing up is free and simple.

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ThinkQuest – orchestral symphonies

January 23, 2011

ThinkQuest - an interactive guide to the symphony, including information and quizzes.

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Top Gear – mood music

May 22, 2011

Top Gear’s “Middle East episode” sees the 3 Top Gear presenters driving up some Iraqi hills (towards the start of the episode) with sinister music in the background. Soon after, they have an epiphany that the region is much safer than they had imagined. As they drive back down the Iraqi hills, the scenery is the same but the background music is fun and light.

LESSON IDEA: Watch the Top Gear episode up until the Iraqi hills re-appear. Pause each time music is played and discuss the mood and instrumentation of the background music. Finally, discuss the effect that music has on our perception of TV images.

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TPN (including free trial resources offer)

April 17, 2012

The TPN (Tech Production Network) encompasses a vast library of teaching resources for music and technical production in secondary schools and beyond. It also ties in to an Interactive Study Guide which is an online music resource with over 200,000 words of text, interactive multimedia features, video tutorials, quizzes and activities for students studying music and tech production via the TPN.


There are a couple of pricing models (from $99 per month) based on different education sectors and dependent upon whether the school is offering VET music/tech production courses or standard school music programs. Resources are mapped to the SA, WA, NSW, NT and Tasmanian music curricula to encompass the differences between these state-based training packages.

COSAMP also provides auspice services for schools wishing to offer nationally recognised training outcomes.

Currently they are offering FREE trials of an Interactive Study Guide website to interested teachers (via our Alive Drive technology interface).

More info: College Of Sound And Music Production

766a Hawthorn Rd, East Brighton VIC 3187

(03) 9592 4801   www.cosamp.com.au

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TropFest score writing competition

November 12, 2012

Due December 2012, students are asked to write a short film score. There are 2 categories – U15 and 16+. More info HERE for 16+ and HERE for U15. $2000 and $5000 prize money!

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TropFest winner – fun lesson idea

May 17, 2011

On Sunday 20 February 2011, Damon Gameau took out first prize for the 19th annual Movie Extra Tropfest in front of crowds of 150,000 nationwide. The film was titled “ANIMAL BEATBOX”. It creates a type of beat-box using only animal words – verbal percussion of sorts!

Watch the YouTube clip of Animal Beatbox (giggle and smile) then ask students to come up with a list of animals with 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 syllables. Next, they can form groups to create a poem, rap, beat-box or verse. Finally, practise saying the animal beat-box creation over a djembe beat, drum-kit beat or electronic loop. ENJOY!!

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Venn instruments lesson

February 15, 2012

Bring 2 instruments into the classroom (I used cello and guitar). Ask the students to find similarities and differences. Students should put the characteristics into a Venn digram (= 2 over-lapping circles, with the over-lapping portion being for the common characteristics) in pairs or individually. Play a CD in the background, which features the two instruments you have chosen. Suits middle school students.

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Victor Borge: What does a conductor do?

October 6, 2012

Comedian Victor Borge entertains us with this YouTube clip: What Does a Conductor Do?

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Wallace & Gromit – create the music

November 25, 2012

THIS website takes you to free downloads of film clip (MP4), script, storyboard and teaching ideas (PDF). Australian students cannot enter the competition, but can certainly enjoy the process. Suits Middle School.

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We’ve Got the Music – learning online

June 28, 2011

We’ve got the Music & Music: Count Us In online resources are up and going, Jozzbeat-style. They are accessed via this page:


Jozzbeat will give each school a free log-in (after the school has registered for Music: Count Us In at www.musiccountusin.org.au)


Existing customers of Jozzbeat that come through as MCUI registrees can just use their existing JozzBeat website password/username to access the resources.

Grab a group of kids, log on, learn the song, add some percussion, and have a fun lesson :-)

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Wrap-up video for MCUI 2012

November 30, 2012

http://youtu.be/pAV-fJOl0J4 Watch this well-edited video with your class, then discuss the benefits of music-making to students and teachers. Make a list of songs that make kids feel happy and positive. Brainstorm why massed singing makes us all feel special on the inside!

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Year 8 Film Music

October 6, 2011

Here are some links I’ve created with ViewPure to allow students to view/listen to scenes from various films:

Shrek: Hallelujah Harry Potter: Hedwig’s Theme (no visuals) Moulin Rouge: Elephant scene Shrek: Dance Party Top Gun: Highway to the Danger Zone Man from Snowy River: the descent

Lesson ideas: describe how the music matches the images, try to figure out melody/chords, listen for mash-ups, discuss whether the music was written to match the film scene (or vice versa).

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