Advocacy Material

“The Importance of Music” UK paper 2011

January 27, 2013

link to paper HERE


12 Benefits of music education

June 26, 2013


2011 Lobby Kit for school MUSIC

October 8, 2011

HERE you will find the new 2011 Lobby Kit for more music in Australian schools. The current version (just uploaded) has no photos … look out for the pictorial version, coming soon.

NOW is the time to lobby school Principals and Parent/Teacher Committees to get MORE and meaningful music into your school. Use the new Lobby Kit for ideas, statistics, models, quotes and inspiration.


25 Vic schools to specialise

September 19, 2011


Victoria is looking for 25 schools to specialise in a particular field. Let’s hope some of them become MUSIC specialists :-)


8 page music advocacy lift-out (USA)

September 28, 2011

In September 2011, NAMM created an 8-page “music education advocacy” lift-out included for the Washington Post!


a musical education is never wasted

August 20, 2012

Listen to the ABC (Adelaide) radio interview here


ABC Keys to Music podcasts

February 15, 2011

ABC Keys to Music – listen to a 4-part series of audio podcasts from May 2009. Richard Gill and Graham Abbott discuss the importance of quality school Music Education for all Australian children.

(Scroll down the webpage to the heading “Music Education Series”)


actors aim to turn around failing schools

May 4, 2012

US article HERE


Advocacy Paper Nov 2012

November 2, 2012

MCA Nov 2012 ADVOCACY ARGUMENTS This summary of Music Education advocacy is a powerful tool for persuading schools, politicians and parents to get more MUSIC into more Australian schools. It includes 20 reasons why school music is essential for ALL students, as well as strategies to make positive change.


Advocacy Papers re. Australian music

August 16, 2012

Here you will find papers issued by the Music Council of Australia relating to the Australian music industry and music education.


animated cartoon of MCUI 2012

October 7, 2012
You can view the animation at

The 'Music Matters' campaign has produced an animation inspired by this
year's MCUI song, "Different People (Stand Together)".
The animation follows the song's evolution, from writing and recording, to
the performance by 600,000 school children on 1 November 2012.
The animation was designed by Motionlab, a Sydney-based animation studio led
by Luke Heise and Aaron Bartlett.
"Being part of this project has been a great experience for the team here at
Motionlab. Being lovers of music ourselves, we're proud to get behind a
project that supports the future of young Australian musicians," says Luke.
Originating in the UK in 2010, the Music Matters campaign is a collective of
people across the music community, including artists, songwriters, labels,
managers, publishers and music stores, formed to remind listeners of the
value and significance of music, explains MCA's new Board member, Catherine
Gerrard, who is a member of the Music Matters Steering Committee and Chair
of the Australasian Music Publishers' Association.
"The Music Matters campaign is a fresh and innovative project designed to
reawaken our connection to the value of music. The idea for Music Matters
and Music: Count Us In to collaborate was warmly embraced from the outset.
It makes sense: two real-life examples of the importance of music," she

Art for Life’s Sake – Yo Yo Ma

May 19, 2013

Speaking of arts education, Ma explained that experts say there are four qualities needed in students and inside the current workforce: collaborative, flexible, imaginative, and innovative.

Ma said, “We know that our present educational system encourages knowledge acquisition and critical thinking, but what about these other qualities? How do we develop them?” He thinks the answers are in the arts through its integration into the entire school curricula.


article: Music can change the way we see the world

May 23, 2012

CONCLUSION: “So, just in case the premise that music alters our visual perception proves true in future studies and in more real world situations the next time you hit PLAY, choose wisely. Your selection just might make the difference between whether you see yourself walking on sunshine or want to see the sun blotted out of the sky.”


Article: Students hit right notes (MCUI 2012)

November 2, 2012

THIS article in the Canberra times includes an awesome photo of nearly 2000 kids singing outside Parliament House, Canberra.


article: The Benefits of Music Education

December 11, 2011

read article here


Article: Unlocking Kids’ Musical Gifts

August 8, 2011

ARTICLE: Unlocking Kids’ Musical Gifts

DO all children have the ability to be musical? Read all about it!


ArtPlay Big Jam in Melb 11/11/12

October 31, 2012


(and flutes, and violins, and clarinets, and saxophones, and bass guitars, and cellos, and marimbas, and percussion… and any other instrument you like)

Do you play an instrument? Would you like to join a band? Come to ArtPlay in the heart of Melbourne on Sunday 11 November to help us form the biggest band ArtPlay has ever seen or heard!

The event is ‘Jump on the Bandwagon’ and the aim is to see how many musicians – all ages, all playing together – it takes to fill ArtPlay with music. In the course of an hour we will create a brand new piece of music, with help from some of Melbourne’s most inspiring and innovative musicians from the jazz, classical and rock music worlds.

‘Jump on the Bandwagon’ is a Big Jam for the whole family, and everyone is invited – mums, dads, brothers and sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles – and anyone else! You can be any age and of any level of musical experience. More experienced players will learn new music, invent riffs and rhythms, improvise a solo, and work alongside musicians from the MSO, the Australian Art Orchestra, and Melbourne’s diverse freelance scene. First-timers will have the unforgettable experience of being part of a large and tight ensemble – like an orchestra but with a few more electric guitars and a lot more percussion.

BYO instrument or play one of ours on the day.

Jump on the Bandwagon

Sunday 11 November

ArtPlay (Birrarung Marr, behind Federation Square)

11am-12noon and 2pm-3pm (choose one session or come to both – no two sessions are the same)

$10 per family

Bookings – ArtPlay, 96647900

Created and led by Gillian Howell, leader of Big Jams for Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, City of Manningham, and others.


ArtPlay: 24 Sept 2012 (Vic)

September 18, 2012

ArtPlay is a children’s arts centre in the City of Melbourne. They run regular learning exchange sessions for adults about working in the arts with children.

Their next session, on September 24th, is in collaboration with the Music Outback Foundation. The topic is “Engaging with Children and Communities Through Music”. This is the booking and information link:


Arts curriculum can boost student school experience – advocacy article

March 26, 2011

22nd March 2011 – Peter Garrett Media Release


arts help stroke recovery

March 22, 2012

Study: Art Appreciation Boosts Stroke Recovery
HuffPost Healthy Living, 3/16/12
“An appreciation for the arts could be a boon to stroke survivors, a new study suggests. Research presented at the 12th Annual Spring Meeting on Cardiovascular Nursing shows appreciating art increases quality of life for stroke survivors, and stroke patients who find joy in music, theater, and painting recover better than those who don’t…Researchers conducted their study on 192 stroke survivors with an average age of 70. The study participants were asked whether they were art lovers or not. Then, the researchers compared the quality of life between those who said they liked art and those who said they didn’t like it. The researchers found that the ones who reported liking art were also in better health than those who reported the opposite—they had an easier time walking, were more energetic and less depressed, and felt happier and less anxious.”


Arts in ed are NOT fluff

August 20, 2013

Check out this six minute video with kids from Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School responding to the statement: “The Arts are extra-curricular and disposable.”

Please share this blog and video so that together we can bring national attention to the vital inclusion of the arts in education and change the perception that the arts are “optional,” “extra” or “fluff.”


Arts Outline Draws Heavy Fire

February 12, 2013

SMH article here.


Arts program closes Indigenous gap in 1 year (article)

November 30, 2012

Read more here:


ASME publication: Principles, Policy & Guidelines for Music Education

October 9, 2011;isbn=0959630481;res=IELHSS

Available for purchase is this 1999 research paper by ASME.


Australian Education Review ACER 2010

July 1, 2011

A research project conducted  through ACER with input from John O’Toole, very much advocating the importance of The Arts in education (and part of the National Curriculum).


Australian Music advocacy article – March 2011

March 26, 2011


Award for Moorambilla Voices & Festival

May 5, 2011

Moorambilla Voices and the Moorambilla Festival has won the inaugural NSW State award for excellence for an organisation at the 2011 APRA/AMCOS Australian Music Centre Art Music Awards at a Gala Event held in Sydney.

The event held at the Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay on Tuesday May 3rd honoured winners across nine national categories and seven State awards, spanning performance, composition, outstanding contributions to Australian music by individuals and organisations, music education and regional music. Julian Morrow of ABC TV’s The Chaser hosted the Awards.

In New South Wales, the State Award honoured Excellence by an Organisation – “Over the past five years Moorambilla Voices and the associated festival event held in Coonamble, has given hundreds of children from regional and remote New South Wales the opportunity to take part in the festival and participate in music workshops in their local areas.”

This is truly an extraordinary achievement for such a small arts organization deeply committed to equity and musical excellence whilst serving the most remote communities in NSW.

For more information on the choirs of Moorambilla Voices and the Festival itself visit


background music vs bullying

May 1, 2013

“Can music soothe the savage sixth grader? Perhaps, according to a first-of-its-kind study from Israel, which finds that gentle melodies may help deter schoolyard bullying.”


Beethoven or Brittany? The great divide in music education.

December 21, 2009

Go to resource: Beethoven or Brittany? The great divide in music education by Associate Professor Robert Walker, UNSW, is a discussion on the current music education crisis in Australian schools. Read more…


Benefits of Arts Ed (USA)

April 3, 2012


Benefits of Music Ed (article)

March 25, 2013

Read the article HERE.

“A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,”


Benefits of Music Education

April 3, 2013

Read the article HERE (

According to the Children’s Music Workshop, the effect of music education on language development can be seen in the brain. “Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds,” the group claims.


Big Music Week – flash mob in Ireland

November 28, 2011
This massed singing event in an Irish shopping centre was part of Ireland’s “Big Music Week”

blog post on using creative technology in music education

August 10, 2011

read blog post here

Technology use in the classroom attracts political interest … but this article suggests that “technology in music” should be used to promote creativity. Read more …


booklet: Why we need music ed in our schools

May 27, 2013

Download the US advocacy booklet here:


British Music advocacy article

March 26, 2011

UK Education secretary pledges 82.5 million pounds for Music Education (Feb 2011)


choir survey

October 25, 2012
Please help spread the word about our Australian national Choirs survey. This is the next in
our series of grassroots research projects taking a close look at a particular
aspect of Australia's musical life. The survey is here
Results of our community orchestras survey here

combining school funding to create Arts facilities (article)

December 5, 2011

a must read :-)


Course: Music to enhance children’s experience and development

January 22, 2012

HERE is a link to an Open University course on using music to aid children in multiple ways.


Create a drum melody – “We’ve Got the Music”

June 19, 2011

Use the 3 main notes from the chorus of this year’s MUSIC: COUNT US IN program song “We’ve Got the Music” to create a 3-tone drum melody.

(1) Group your classroom drums or classroom percussion or junk percussion into three different groups (high, middle and low)

(2) Allocate the lowest drums to B-flat, the middle drums to C and the highest drums to E-flat.

(3) Re-create the chorus melody on 3 different drums: “Get on your feet, feel your heartbeat, we’ve got the music. We’re not too proud to sing it out loud, we’re not afraid to use it.”

Try the activity aurally, playing along with the MP3 found at

(4) Write the drum tune on the board using letters: L = low drums, M = medium drums, H = high drums

LM  LM  L MM M      M  M  LH  M

ML  M  M ML   LM   M            MMMM   LH    M

(5) If your school has signed up for “Music: Count Us In”, then you can access the free backing-track (‘For Teachers’ section) and play the drum melody along with the chorus.

This lesson was inspired by “Izo Beat” from Islington Public School


Cuban students turn to music for a financial future

February 5, 2013 Show this YouTube clip to students, and make a list of music-related jobs in our society.


CUP DANCE lesson with MCUI song 2011

July 7, 2011


An Orff-inspired plastic cup dance to go with “We’ve Got the Music” MCUI 2011. Thanks to Kristie Fudge (SA) for the free offering. The document also includes lesson plans for teaching the song.

click here for download link


Deaf Singing and Signing

October 17, 2012 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.


Details for TOMORROW’S Count Us In 2012

October 31, 2012

Dear Counters In

First of all, thank you! We’ve officially passed the 2000 schools mark, so this is the biggest year yet:

  • PERFORMANCE TIMES: If you can, try to make yours coincide with 12.30 pm AEDT. That means 9.30am in WA, 11.00am in NT, 11.30am QLD, 12 noon (SA) and 12.30pm in VIC, ACT, NSW and TA
  • We have set up a TEST for the webstream so you can roadtest your technology for tomorrow if you want to. Go to the home page and follow the instructions. If you can see the music video for the 2008 song (remember ‘Sing’?) then you should be fine for tomorrow. Again, website FAQs here.
  • If the test doesn’t work for you, then let go of trying to see the stream live tomorrow and simply plan to watch the video of it which we’ll post to the site as soon as we can afterwards!
  • When you introduce the performance to your audiences tomorrow – that is, if you’re not simply doing it for yourselves! – please take a moment to outline WHY Music: Count Us In happens. It’s all about raising awareness about the unique benefits to children of all ages and abilities when music education is part of their lives at school. Music learning helps build brain power, team skills, confidence, school engagement and it is a skill for life. There is a backgrounder on the program here. (You might find this a good memory-jogger if you are going to be interviewed by your local media, too).
  • There are many media events happening around the country tomorrow, including a Today Show live cross to Darlington Public school with Diana Rouvas and Carmen Smith (The Voice), a live cross by ABC News 24 to John Foreman at Gladstone Park school in Melbourne, Radio National’s Bush Telegraph’s story on Nothern Bay College in Geelong and, of course, the national media event with Peter Garrett outside Parliament House in Canberra. In Sydney, Mahalia Barnes and Prinnie Stevens (The Voice) will sing with students at Haberfield Public and students from Baulkham Hills North Public will join program songwriter, Sun Kim and the Thomas Pattison signing choir, with SBS TV. James Morrison will trumpet in the countdown at Virginia State School in Brisbane and AFL star and WA’s Ambassador for Children and Young People, David Wirrapunda, will lead the countdown outside the Perth Cultural Centre
  • Thanks to Christies Beach Primary (SA) and Mentone Girls Grammar (VIC) who are ‘BEACH’ schools for tomorrow.
  • A reminder to please make sure you register ALL your schools, if you teach at more than one, so we can get accurate commendation certificates out to each one promptly, for proud display.
  • Thanks again for your support for Music: Count Us In 2012.
  • Let’s hope the sun shines brightly as Different People Stand Together tomorrow.



Developing a Uniquely Australian school ed system 2012

April 23, 2012

The above speech by Hon Peter Garrett was delivered on 12 April, 2012.


doco and recording from USA school post-tragedy

January 17, 2013

A 3 minute documentary showing the ‘making of’ Somewhere Over the Rainbow – a track by Sandy Hook students to help keep the memories of loved ones alive. Music therapy in many ways.


Draft Curriculum meeting Aug 16 (Vic) & MSO tix

August 7, 2012

Consultation for the Draft Australian Curriculum: The Arts Foundation – Year 10
Presented by the School Music Action Group

Date: Thursday August 16, 2012
Time: 5.00pm- 7.00pm
Presenter: Kim Waldock
Venue: Iwaki Auditorium, Southbank

An opportunity to hear Kim Waldock, member of the advisory panel for the Draft Australian Curriculum: The Arts Foundation – Year 10, and discuss the consultation questions and make comments on the draft.

There is no charge for  this event.

Bookings (online only – click on link below):

Download a PDF copy of the draft curriculum:

Download a printable version of the consultation questions from this URL:

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra would like to invite teachers attending the Australian Curriculum Consultation on Thursday 16 August in Iwaki Auditorium the opportunity to enjoy anexclusive ticket offer of 1X B-Reserve ticket for $75* to the Orchestra’s Act 2 performance of Beethoven and Wagner at the newly refurbished Hamer Hall, which will take place following the meeting, at 8pm.

*Regular price $109. Conditions Apply as follows:


Dunalley Primary School donations

January 12, 2013

I am donating a set of classroom untuned percussion … who else wants to donate simple instruments, CDs, classroom music resources, CD player, etc for a Tasmanian school that has lost it all to fires? The kids will REALLY need LOTS of music when they start school later this month. Cheers and thanks. More details HERE.


Early music lessons = lifelong benefits

September 21, 2012

Read the article HERE.


Early Music lessons have longtime benefits: Article

September 27, 2012

Read the article HERE.


Education and the Arts Strategy

December 20, 2009

Go to resource: Education and the Arts Strategy was published by the Australia Council, following community consulation in 2004. Read more…


El Sistema: article in The Australian

September 21, 2012

Read article HERE



December 20, 2009

Go to resource: Ensemble is a music bulletin published by ACSSO (the parents and citizens organisations representative). Read more…


EQ Australia

December 29, 2009

Go to resource: EQ Australia (Education Quarterly Australia) is a print/online magazine for teachers, published by the Curriculum Corporation. Read more…


ESSENTIAL READING for Music: Count Us In 2012

October 10, 2012

TIME: This year’s performance time is Thursday 1st November, at 12.30pm AEDT (It will be 9.30am in the West).

WEBSTREAM: There will be just ONE live webstream this year, from outside Parliament House. John Foreman and Peter Garrett will be there, with 1800 school students from the ACT and other special guests. We will start the broadcast 30 minutes before the 12.30pm Big Sing. Just hook an internet-access computer up to a data projector or white screen, go to and follow the instructions on the home page. If you’re still not sure about what to do, check the FAQs here.


For all teachers who have signed up (free) for MCUI 2012, there is now access to Music Pods – FREE short video segments to help you teach the song :-)  View a sample HERE.


Ex-Cathedra Singing Playgrounds

March 27, 2011

A UK education program which trains primary school students to lead singing games in the playground – with cross-curricular results!


EXCITING NEWS: watch this space on Monday

April 29, 2012

Exciting news for Music Education in Australia to be announced Monday 30 April, 2012!!!!!


Flame Award 2011 winners

December 13, 2011

READ HERE for information on the winners of 2011 Flame Awards – inspiring Australian school music programs. You can read more detailed summaries on the More Music Toolkit


FREE Music Forum magazine (Year 12+)

August 12, 2012

Music Forum 18.4 (August 2012 edition) is now online. It contains a special supplement on careers and tertiary study in music and, for a limited time, it is available to all schools in Australia, regardless of whether they receive the paper version. Please can you pass this information on to the schools and teachers in your jurisdiction or membership. It is of special interest to secondary students, their music teachers, and careers advisors.

They can find it at

The magazine is password protected. ID and password are both schoolmusic and access will be free until October 31.

Also for a limited time, we are offering a special discounted membership of the Music Council of Australia to school teachers and schools. Membership for addresses within Australia includes our quarterly print magazine, Music Forum, and access to the online version. Normal fee is $59. The discount for the joining year is a special offer, until October 31 only, of $39.

They can get the discount by joining online: Go to, click on JOIN MCA and then BECOME A MEMBER. Sign up as a NEW MEMBER. Then go to the bottom of the page to the DISCOUNT box. In the Coupon box, enter the code schoolmusic then follow through as instructed.

Alternatively they can join by mail, phone or fax as is made possible on the online site. Or they can phone 03 9507 2315.


free Music PD

June 29, 2011

One Song. One Day. Your School, More Music.
Thursday September 1, 11.30 am

Have you registered you school for Music. Count Us In yet? Visit the <> to register and access recordings of the song as well as FREE choral, band and classroom arrangements!

FREE teacher workshops will run early next term to introduce teachers to the song and all of resources and support material available.

Geelong, Mt Waverley, Bendigo, Swan Hill, South Gippsland,
Mornington Peninsula, Mitcham, Mildura, Cheltenham,
South Melbourne, Lilydale, Caulfield, Carlton,
Ivanhoe and Wangaratta

For details visit the aMuse website: <>


Order FREE teaching kits for your school
by emailing Sue Arney

To download ‘We’ve Got The Music’, and to register your school, go to
<> or check out the wiki<>


Free online song-teaching site

July 6, 2011

This is a fun way to learn / teach the Music: Count Us In song for 2011 (We’ve Got the Music). In fact, the song will teach itself, all ready for the massed-music-making MCUI event on 1st September, 2011.

If you don’t yet have a free login, and have registered for Music: Count Us In, please send an email to requesting a Jozzbeat login.



free podcasts on early Music education

November 5, 2011

BAM Radio Network offers free podcasts on Music education.


free podcasts on Music Education

July 1, 2011


free TED videos re. music education

December 7, 2011

10 great TED videos (free) re. music education


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

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


Hip hop, dance and music changing young lives in Cambodia

April 17, 2012

While working with Cambodian organisation “Tiny Toones”, Romi has watched young people throughout the Cambodia tackle drug issues through the power of music and dance.

Listen to the Connect Asia interview and find out how her work as an AVI volunteer and Tiny Toones is having an impact on young people in Cambodia.,-dance-and-music-changing-young-lives-in-cambodia.aspx

TED talk link


hold that date: MCUI 2012 (6 Sept)

December 13, 2011

We are working hard to secure repeat funding for MCUI 2012 … if it proceeds again, it will be Thusrday 6th Sept, 2012.

Join with us in crossing fingers re. repeat support from the Australian Government.


Hon Garrett 9 March 2012 speech: Hamilton

March 9, 2012

A great music advocacy speech from the Hon Peter Garrett MP (9 March, 2012).


Instruments for Peace

May 1, 2013

Read the inspiring article here: Discuss with your class how 1st world countries can help 3rd world countries to access music.


instruments of peace

May 5, 2013

This article describes a new global awareness of the need for all global citizens to have access to instruments.


Join a choir – feel better!

July 29, 2013

Read the article here – it is adapted from Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness While Singing With Others by Stacy Horn.


Karaoke Culture – TED video

June 17, 2011

How does one find authentic creativity? In his last talk before passing away, Malcolm McLaren tells remarkable stories from his own life, from failing school to managing the Sex Pistols. He argues that we’re living in a karaoke culture, with false promises of instant success, and that messiness and failure are the key to true learning.



Kinshasa scratch orchestra

May 19, 2013

The members of the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste – the world’s only all-black orchestra – are self-taught and started out playing homemade instruments. Now the band’s founder is to be given a major international accolade.


Labor boost funds to school music

August 17, 2013

Read the SMH article here, which refers to the Song Room, research by Educational Transformations, and Music: Count Us In.


Learning disabilities and the Arts

March 24, 2012

A US article on how beneficial the Arts are to students with learning challenges.


life after MCUI – what now?

November 9, 2012

Is your school still buzzing after last week’s HUGE music-making session? Now is the time to apply for musical professional learning funding for 2013. Learn the guitar or ukulele. Join a community choir. Enrol in an Orff or Kodaly course (Primary classroom music pedagogy). Enquire about Musical Futures (Middle School). Subscribe to online resources through Jozzbeat or Musica Viva. Register for ECCPA (Early Childhood Music). Investigate MEP (Canberra). Book the Singing Classroom (Vic). Browse the More Music Toolkit … or email for some more ideas.


Literature review – benefits of Music Education

August 31, 2013

Advocacy for Music Education

It often takes research outside music education to understand the reasons why music is pivotal to education. When one advocates for music education, one seeks that which music is and does for people, its purposes – not just students, but all people, because music is ubiquitous – there is no community on planet earth that does not engage in musical activity. One has to ask why, what it is that music ‘does’ for humans?

Stefanakis (2003) addresses this question through a literature review across a range of disciplines from neuroscience to philosophy.


live jazz over school lunch

April 17, 2013

This US article describes silent lunchtimes enhances by live musicians!


Making music increases kids’ empathy: article

April 29, 2012

Yet another reason to have a great music program at your school – making music together increases kids’ empathy towards one another. Click the link above to read the article.


Making the Progression: Report of the National Music Workshop

March 1, 2010

Go to resource: Making the Progression: Report of the National Music Workshop, published 2007, follows on from the National Review of School Music Education. Read more…


maths and music – articles

April 10, 2012

Rhythm and Music Help Math Students (podcast & article)

Kids who learned fractions through a music-based curriculum outperformed peers in traditional math classes.

Click HERE to see more about the publication …

"Academic music: music instruction to engage third-grade students in learning basic fraction concepts"

MCA Knowledge Base

February 22, 2011

Knowledge Base – a searchable treasure chest of articles and information on all topics to do with the Music Sector in Australia. Use the search bottom in the far left column to search (ie. type ‘education’ in the search box).

Music-related topics include education & training, copyright, funding, venues, research and information services.


MCA report 2012

May 9, 2012
If you'd like to become an MCA member, you can join at by clicking on "Join MCA" on the menu bar.
At 11.30am on September 7 last year, over 570,000 children from 1977 schools across
Australia sang a song. The song was commissioned, arranged, recorded and distributed
under the MCA’s Music: Count Us In project. It is the biggest musical event in the
country by far and it has had enormous benefits for music education in schools. The
majority of the participating schools become so enthused that they divert more
resources into their music programs.

It has been a cliff-hanger this year while we waited to discover whether the Federal
government would fund Music: Count Us In again. Given the budget squeeze going on
all around us, we were becoming gloomy.

But last week we were told we had funding.

A few days later, we were told we have it for four years! MCA is over the moon about
this because for the first time, we know we will be able to evolve the program to
take advantage of things already achieved and changes in the surrounding society.
And we won’t have to hang around cliffs for a while.

MCA thanks Minister for Education Peter Garrett, whose commitment to arts education
is clear.


A number of important government reviews have just been published. Let’s stay with
education for a moment.

The Productivity Commission released its report into the School Workforce. We are
extremely unhappy that in this 200 page document, the words ‘arts’ and ‘music’
appear only once – and the words ‘dance’, ‘drama’, ‘media arts’ and ‘visual arts’,
the other arts subjects included in the national curriculum, do not appear at all.
Is this because the report skirts discussion of subject disciplines? No, not at all.
For instance, there are 150 mentions of ‘mathematics’ /‘numeracy’.

Why is this important? MCA members know that the biggest obstacle to music education
in primary schools is that the classroom teachers have been given almost no music
education. When the Australian Curriculum in music is ready to be taught, the
teachers will not be ready to teach it. For music, unless teachers are trained,
nothing will change and most public primary schools in the country will have no real
music education program – unless the parents are paying for it. We might have
expected a study of workforce competency to have noted this – especially since the
MCA submission spelled it out in short words.

The Productivity Commission also published a Report on the Early Childhood Education
Workforce. Negligible mention of music there, too, despite a first submission from
MCA pointing out the problems and a second one pointing out the Commission’s
omissions in its first draft.

MCA is writing a letter to the responsible Federal ministers, pointing out that it
is official policy of every government in the country that all children should have
an arts education and asking whether the Commonwealth will accept and endorse the
Productivity Commission report or require it to report again after reviewing the
situation of the schools workforce vis-à-vis arts education.

Every university music school in the country loses money. The minimum program they
can offer with any self-respect requires more funds than they receive from the
Commonwealth. The recent Higher Education Base Funding Review recognised the
problem, observed the need for more funds, and then in a most peculiar way, failed
to recommend them. All of these schools survive only because their universities find
some way to cross-subsidise them.

This all came home to roost late last week at the ANU, which itself is deeply in
debt. The Vice-Chancellor announced effectively that the School of Music would no
longer be subsidised by the university and would have to live within its budget. The
effect is to impose very serious cuts on the Faculty, the program and the standards.
There is absolutely no point in a music school of low standards attempting to train
music professionals. The students, teachers and indeed, the City, are devastated.


We heard Kimbra perform at the APRA Awards last year. The arrangement was special to
the event and probably not what we will ever hear on a recording by a pop goddess.
It was interesting, complicated and inventive.

Now she and Dutch-Australian artist Gotye are high in the charts in the US. Well, he
is at the very top, and has just made a world record number of digital sales in the
first three weeks of a release – 400,000. (How much income will he receive for that?

The money Australia makes from export royalties on its overseas sales has varied
between approximately $40m to $70m over the last decade. (Australia usually pays
royalties of around $230m on the music it imports. That’s a bit of a sad story.) The
export income can be influenced enormously by a single international hit. It will be
interesting to see the effects of Gotye and Kimbra and a couple of others who are
doing well at the moment. Might be a record year no pun intended.


MCA held its Music and Media Symposium on April 19. One of the things agreed by
everyone present (a few with reservations) was that it is essential to retain the
Australian music content regulations that oblige commercial radio to broadcast some
minimum amount of Australian music. The fear is that without the regulation,
Australian music would virtually disappear from commercial radio, and it certainly
is not without basis.

The Federal government’s Convergence Review had flown a kite: that since these
regulations could not be imposed on online music, they should not be imposed either
on terrestrial radio. This caused anxiety in the music industry.

The Convergence Review has reported and recommended that the quotas be retained and
indeed, extended to digital-only radio. Commercial radio will be very unhappy. The
music industry is delighted. It should be said, however, that the industry is very
keen on a rapprochement with radio. It does not enjoy this polarisation.

These are only the recommendations of a review. They don’t have any reality until
they are adopted by the government.


The Symposium provided an opportunity for participants to voice their desire once
again for a national body for the commercial music industry. MCA already does a lot
of work for industry interests (alongside its work in music education, community
music development and the non-profit music sector). There is advantage in an
organisation where all of these interests can be supported but also can speak to
each other.

As it happened, days later, the Contemporary Music Working Group, an informal group
that for 10 years had attempted without success to get government support for the
music industry, met to consider its future. (The problems did not lie with CMWG but
with governments.) The MCA offered to serve as CMWG’S convenor and secretariat. CMWG
would be a largely autonomous body within MCA, along similar lines to the Australian
Youth Music Council. The offer was warmly welcomed and creates a situation where
there is some assurance of continuity and the opportunity for effectiveness and
evolution. MCA is delighted.


The nation’s Arts Ministers met and agreed to create a special fund for the big
performing arts companies supported by the Australia Council Major Performing Arts
Board. The companies would apply for funds for activities that could be seen as
demonstrating ‘excellence’ – a word so far undefined in this context, as is the
amount and timing of the fund.

ArtsPeak is an ad hoc alliance of 31 national arts organisations representing all
art forms. MCA has signed a letter from ArtsPeak to the Federal Arts Minister saying
that while ArtsPeak commends the proposed extra funding for the majors, the small to
medium arts organisations and individual artists have long languished, and have as
great a claim to additional funding. It proposes an increase of 25% in funds over
four years with a first instalment of 10% immediately. Well, it’s worth a go…

(Yours truly invented the ArtsPeak name at its inception around 1999. It could also
have been written ArtSpeak.)


ArtsPeak has also written to decry the delay in the release of the very long-awaited
National Cultural Policy. It seems slightly uncertain, actually, whether it will be
delayed. There are varying reports and the Office of the Arts will not give a date.

It has been a major effort to pull this thing together. There were 400 submissions
to the Minister. MCA put in a 110-page submission, covering everything that blows,
bows, bangs, chirrups or burps – in retrospect, perhaps more than was needed though
it seemed a good idea at the time. (You can read it on the MCA website under
ADVOCACY. See if it includes your special interest.)

Arts people seem to be taking the National Cultural Policy very seriously. Maybe
it’s because there is that rare feeling that government, for this moment in history,
is taking us seriously. Maybe there is hope of a vision for the arts, endorsed by
the most powerful body in the land.

There is, however, a big problem of timing. Not just whether the NCP is released in
May or September, but whether Mr Crean is Minister for long enough to implement it.
And if as seems likely, he is not, what attitude will the Coalition take? Will it
throw the thing out just because it was a Labor idea? One would hope not.


Remember the UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of
Cultural Expressions? Of course you don’t. Who could remember such a title without
special remuneration?

Anyway, MCA had a big role in causing Australia to ratify it. So when we discovered
that Kate Lundy had been appointed as the newly created category, Minister for
Multiculturalism, we wrote to ask what the government is doing to implement its
requirements and recommendations.

She has written back saying that [as is required by the Convention] the government
is preparing a report of relevant activities, which it will publish. That could be
quite useful in showing where multicultural groups might ally with governments.

MCA has written back saying that is very good, but having accounted for the status
quo, does the government intend to further implement Convention proposals for
support to diverse cultural activities. We’ll keep you posted.


We finish with an interesting story from the USA. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry
Washington and Forest Whitaker are adopting some of the nation's worst-performing
schools and have just pledged to help the Obama administration turn them around by
integrating arts education.

The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities announced a new Turnaround
Arts initiative as a pilot project for eight schools with officials from the White
House and U.S. Department of Education. Organizers said they aim to demonstrate
research that shows the arts can help reduce behavioural problems and increase
student attendance, engagement and academic success.

The two-year initiative will target eight high-poverty elementary and middle
schools. The schools were among the lowest-performing schools in each of their
states and had qualified for about $14 million in federal School Improvement Grants
from the Obama administration. The public-private arts initiative will bring new
training for educators at the Aspen Institute, art supplies, musical instruments and
programs totalling about $1 million per year, funded by the Ford Foundation, the
Herb Alpert Foundation and other sponsors.

Of course, it’s not that the hypothesis needs further demonstration, nor that a mere
eight schools is more than a grain of sand in the US school ‘system’. But it’s not
the gift, it’s the thought behind it.


Next stop: the Federal budget. We’ll let you know if there is anything there of
significance for the arts.

Best regards

Richard Letts

MCUI 2012 : note time

September 18, 2012

Music: Count Us In (1st November) will take place at 12.30pm AEST in 2012. Please check your calendars.

There are lots of new, free resources on the website – including cartoons, interviews and videos. Great lesson material.


MCUI 2012 article in the Age

January 10, 2013


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.


MCUI 2012 song created

June 27, 2012

Yipppeee – the Music: Count Us In song has been written, polished, and is in the process of being recorded. Any requests for the teaching kit and arrangements can be sent to


MCUI 2013 – oh oh oh!

June 19, 2013 Check out the new Music: Count Us In song for 2013. MP3 and teaching kits are ready to use! This year’s song could be the best yet!!


MCUI 2013 trailer

May 7, 2013

Watch the new trailer for Music: Count Us In 2013 HERE


MCUI free “app” for iPhone & iPad & iPod

August 19, 2011

Greg Thwaites has supported the cause of Music: Count Us In by creating a free app for iPhone, iPod &iPad. By downloading this free program, students / staff / parents can learn the song from just about anywhere. :-) Ask kids to download the app and leave them to learn the song in their own way!



MCUI instrumental parts now online (FREE)

August 15, 2012

Music: Count Us In 2012 song parts for ALL school instruments are now online:

Obtaining a login is free and easy for Australian schools (and home-schools). If there are parts or arrangements you would like, but cannot find, please email:

All parts may be played along with the radio version of “Different People (Stand Together)”. ENJOY!!


MCUI song-writing 2013

April 16, 2013

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s songwriting mentor for Music: Count Us In is none other than the supremely talented Katie Noonan. Our lucky student songwriters will be working with her in Brisbane this week to create the 2013 Project Song!

Katie Noonan Solo ShotKatie Noonan is one of Australia’s most versatile and beloved vocalists. A mother, singer, producer, songwriter, pianist and business woman, this 4 x ARIA Award winning and 6 x platinum selling songstress first received widespread praise as the angel-voiced songstress of indiepop band George and has since taken audiences on sublime excursions through Jazz, Pop and Classical music.

Announcing our student songwriters

Four talented students from around Australia have been chosen to participate in the Music: Count Us In songwriting workshop 2013. Here they are!

Abbey SlatteryAbbey Slattery is in year 9 at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School in Victoria. She attends Vocal Art Studios for singing lessons and Glee Club. As well as doing horse riding, yoga, netball and guitar lessons, Abbey has played piano since she was 8. She is a passionate song writer and is always carrying notes in her pockets with song ideas written on them. She says that music is the most important part of her life and is the way she expresses her emotions. Last year, her Glee Club performed at Disneyland and attended workshops with Disney and LA songwriters.

AidanRolfeAidan Rolfe is in year 12 at Kardinia International College in Geelong, where he is studying music. He is currently a vocalist and songwriter in the band Square One. He aspires to be a musician, and to write songs for different artists. Recently, Aidan has performed on the Main Stage at Minus18’s Same Sex Formal, to over 400 people. He has supported acts with Square One such as The Woohoo Revue and The Sweethearts, and performed at festivals such as Anglesea Music Festival, Aireys Open Mic and at the Queenscliff Music Festival, in the Freeza Battle of the Bands. Aidan enjoys writing diverse music, from funk, to indie, to ‘psychedelic – folk’.

HollyWinterHolly Winter has been learning piano for 7 years, taught herself ukulele recently and has being singing as long as she can remember. She had written a few songs here and there, but had never shown anyone her work until she entered Music: Count Us In. Holly is in the worship band at her school, as well as the band at her church. Aside from music, Holly also loves photography and film-making, English, Drama, Art, and even Science lessons at school. When she leaves school, she hopes to work in a creative field where she is free to express creative ideas and work with other creative people. Holly is in year 10 at Emmaus Christian College.

Ritchell LimBlind virtually since birth, Ritchell Lim’s heightened awareness of sound has helped her to create vibrant, exuberant and joyous music. Her passion for singing began at an early age where the already musically inclined Ritchell began singing in her local church. She performed her first concert at the age of eight playing piano and singing gospel songs which inspired her to start writing her own material. Now 17, Ritchell is working on completing high school and also enjoys being part of a community band in Perth, singing, playing piano and writing original material. She attends Canning Vale College.


MCUI Vic Arts Centre 2012 – register by 19 Oct

October 17, 2012


11-1 free concert – sing and dance – ANZ Pavilion @ Vic Arts Centre (Melbourne) – Music: Count Us In


MiCN Award 2012

December 3, 2012

HERE is the announcement for MiCN 2012 award winner – Shellie Morris.

Listen to one of her beautiful contemporary indigenous songs HERE.


Minister Peter Garrett speaks about Music in education

November 30, 2012 Minister Peter Garrett speaks about the importance of music education to all students.



July 22, 2011

A FREE online tool to help teachers/parents get MORE music in Australian schools.

Just launched – check it out!

Includes case studies from award-winning Australian schools, as well as practical advice on overcoming potential hurdles.


More Music Toolkit

August 16, 2011

More content added to the ‘More Music Toolkit’ this week (more case studies on exemplary music programs around Australia)

Feel free to email me with feedback:


More Music Toolkit – 50 schools to browse

October 30, 2011

There are now 50 schools written up on the More Music Toolkit. Browse away! Be inspired!!

Let us know if you like what you see …


More Music Toolkit – more case studies added

October 23, 2011

We’ve added more Australian school Case Studies to the More Music Toolkit. Come and take a look — be inspired! We want to see more & meaningful music in Aussie schools …


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.


Music – Maths on the Move (article)

December 19, 2011

Article in Sydney Morning Herald …


Music Advocacy Top 10 (for parents)

September 26, 2012

This advocacy site is chock-full of reasons why parents should insist on a musical education for ALL children. ENJOY!


Music and academic performance

September 4, 2013

Article Highlights:

• Students who select music courses have better grades than the others in all subjects.
• Cognitive mechanisms related to overcoming cognitive dissonances are discussed.
• Enjoyment of music might cause academic improvement.

music appreciation in prison: article

November 19, 2012

music gives voice to feelings that would normally be kept silent

Read the touching article HERE.


Music Ed advocacy article in Science Daily

August 3, 2011

ScienceDaily (May 5, 2011) — New research shows that musicians’ brains are highly developed in a way that makes the musicians alert, interested in learning, disposed to see the whole picture, calm, and playful. The same traits have previously been found among world-class athletes, top-level managers, and individuals who practice transcendental meditation.


Music Ed must keep moving on

June 7, 2013

read the article here:


Music Ed: Pay for Play (article)

October 29, 2012

This article was published in the weekend Australian newspaper – a must-read by Richard Letts.


Music education & Music therapy

April 3, 2011

an article illustrating the great work done by music therapists with school-age students


Music Education Advocacy Kit (MCA/MPFL)

December 2, 2009

Go to resource:  The Music Education Advocacy Kit has been published by the Music Council of Australia and Music. Play for Life. Read more…


Music Education Advocacy Resources (MCA/MPFL)

December 2, 2009

Go to resource: The Music Education Advocacy Resources kit, as published by the Music Council of Australia and Music. Play for Life, gives further links to research into the importance of music in a child’s education. Read more…


Music education benefits many other life studies (article)

July 10, 2012
Music educatuin helps create a great start for better learning, stronger social skills, and
overall improved self-esteem. Read article HERE.

Music Education Online by Children’s Music Workshop (USA)

December 13, 2009

Go to resource: The Childrens Music Workshop provides instrumental education programs to schools in the Los Angeles area using CMW curricula.

Read more…


Music has charms to improve school results (The Age)

March 25, 2013

read the article HERE


Music in Communities 2012 Award finalists

October 25, 2012
A choir for retired rugby players, a ukulele group based in a regional aged care
facility, a country music competition exclusively for older musicians and a choir to
aid the recovery of stroke survivors are among finalists in this year’s Music in
Communities Awards.The national awards are presented each year by the Music in
Communities Network, Australia’s only national network for community music groups
and practitioners.

With a prize pool of $10,000, the Awards are designed to highlight outstanding
examples of community-based music making across the country.

Themed differently each year, the 2012 “Creative Ageing” theme has drawn out fifteen
finalists, each taking a special approach to engaging older Australians in active
music making.

The finalists hail from seven of the eight states and territories in Australia,
equally representing metropolitan and regional areas.   Local Councils and aged care
facilities play a central or supporting role for a number of the finalists, while
others are small, independent community music groups.

Winners will be announced in mid-November, 2012.  Click here to start browsing the
15 finalists.

* Albany City Wind Ensemble
* Campbelltown Arts Centre
* Canberra U3A Recorder Orchestra
* Catch Music
* The Daytones
* Goulburn Regional Conservatorium
* Intergenerational Music Group
* Lane Cove Concert Band
* Marian Grove Ukulele Group
* Rainbow Choir
* Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen
* Silver Beat Rock Choir
* Stroke a Chord Choir
* Ultra Golden Country Music Association
* Wagga City Rugby Male Choir

Read more about the awards ( and
this year's finalists ( on
our website.  Follow us on Facebook
( or Twitter
( for updates!

Music in Communities award 2012 – creative ageing

August 22, 2012

MiC Awards 2012

‘Creative ageing’ on song in national music awards

Entries close Friday 28 September 2012

Is there a project, group, organisation or activity in your community that gets older Australians making music?   With $10,000 in prize money up for grabs and national recognition, the Music in Communities Awards 2012 are now open for entries, recognising outstanding achievement in community music activity.

Inaugurated in 2008 and with a prize pool of $10,000 the national scheme is run by the Music Council of Australia as an encouragement to groups that are often the unsung heroes of national cultural life to step into the limelight for a public pat on the back.

This year, the Awards are themed around ‘creative ageing’ and will highlight activities that encourage older Australians to participate in music making, get people playing later in life when they otherwise would not, or that nurture inter-generational music activity.

The Awards are open to all forms of music groups including choirs, bands, orchestras, ukulele groups and drum circles; community and volunteer organisations delivering and supporting music programs in communities; local Councils; aged care facilities; schools and individuals.

What is it? The 2012 Music in Communities Awards

Who is it for? Community-based music groups, organisations, programs and activities including bands, choirs, uke groups, music therapy programs, music programs run by nursing homes or local councils…anything that encourages Australians to make music in their community!
You can nominate your group/organisation/project, or nominate others.

Process: The awards are open until September 28, 2012.  A panel of judges will consider the nominations and winners will be announced in November 2012. The prize pool includes $10,000 cash. 

How to enter:

1. Download and save the nomination form here.

2. Complete the questions in the word document

3. Save the word document with the nominee group/organisation/individual as the file name

3. Go to the online nomination form.  Complete the questions on the form then upload your nomination form.

Questions? Contact

Want a nomination form in alternative formats? See MS word (2003-2007) PDFPlain text


Music in Communities report

July 30, 2012
The first report from our series of research projects focusing on grassroots
community-based music making has been released. Community Orchestras in
Australia looks at how many groups we have in Australia, how many people are
in them, what repertoire they play (and would like to play more), and how
orchestras source their music.  

*        Read the report online
*        Download Community Orchestras in Australia (PDF)
*        Read a blog post about Coffs Harbour City Orchestra
*        Read a blog post about the SBS Youth Orchestra
what other groups can learn from its successful long-standing support from
*        Find out more about our new Repertoire Bank

Registrations are now open for the
network's first conference focusing on a particular type of community music
group (in this case, orchestras). It will be held in Sydney on Saturday 22
September, 2012.

music in prisons

October 1, 2011

read article here

Venezuelan prisons have half of their inmates playing in orchestra or singing in choir. Read more …


Music Makes the Difference (MCA/MPFL)

December 2, 2009

Go to resource: ‘Music Makes the Difference’ is an advocacy kit for parents who are considering music lessons for their children. Read more…


Music makes you smarter … and better behaved!

March 24, 2012

Read this article about how Drumskool in the UK (ages 5-18) is even reducing crime.


Music Monday in Canada: article

May 9, 2012

“Music Monday exists to celebrate the galvanizing power of music and demonstrate how that power is rooted in school music programs … Our society needs to be producing students who are creative as well as self-disciplined, who can work in teams as well as on their own. Learning music teaches these skills. We need all our children to have the opportunity to enjoy music in all its forms. And remember: If a student holds a musical instrument, then he or she can’t hold a knife, or a joint, or a needle or a crack pipe — or a gun.”



Music Outback Foundation

December 28, 2012

View videos of the Music Outback Foundation at work in Australia’s OUTBACK.

“Through songwriting, students can engage deeply in English and first language learning activities, developing content that is meaningful to them, and supporting community desires to work in the context of local language and culture.  Music activities encourage attendance at school, and can build important partnerships between schools and their communities.  They can also provide avenues of employment for community adults with music skills.”


Music Training Helps Learning & Memory (article)

June 28, 2011

Music Training Helps Learning & Memory

An article by William R Klemm from Psychology Today


music uplifts people with dementia

June 2, 2013

Read the article here:


Music. Count Us In (MCUI)

February 4, 2010

Go to resource: Music. Count Us In is a music advocacy event that draws attention to the value of music education in schools. Read more…


Music. Play for Life

February 16, 2010

Go to resource: Music. Play for Life is a program established by the Music Council of Australia, in partnership with the Australian Music Association and the Australian Society for Music Education. Read more…


Music: Count Us In

July 21, 2012

This year’s Music: Count Us In resources are about to be released – ready for 1st November, 2012 performance date. HERE is Fairvale High School’s 2011 MCUI concert. Play it to your class, and ask how THEY would like to perform the 2012 song: “Different People (Stand Together)”. Note that the local primary school came to the concert too!!


Music: Count Us In – wikispace

June 14, 2011

This year’s wiki site for ‘Music Count Us In’ is up and running. So far there are lyrics, scores, mp3’s, a sing-along movie and  a karaoke movie. Keep looking because more resources will be added over the next weeks. Just follow this free link:

Hope you enjoy it, Sally


Musica Viva Forum podcasts

March 8, 2011

free podcasts – Musica Viva held a discussion forum in February 2011 on the topic of Arts Education in Australia. They recorded the sessions and have made them available online as a 4-part podcast. Click on the arrow on the far right of each clip to download it (for later listening) OR listen online to each podcast.


Musical Futures longitudinal survey

February 9, 2012

Half of the students who took part in  Musical Futures agreed that they felt better about school as a result. Read more on the above link.


Musical Futures meets MCUI 2011

July 16, 2011

Lesson Idea: In the spirit of “Musical Futures”, give your students access to the MP3 of “We’ve Got the Music” … divide them into groups of 4-6 with drums / guitars / keyboards / ukuleles / percussion, etc  … ask them to come up with their OWN version of “We’ve Got the Music” (about 30 mins) simply by using their ears, playing along with the MP3, experimenting and supporting each other … share their performance attempt with the class.

The key factor is that the student performance SHOULD sound different from the original MP3, reflecting the group’s creative interpretation.

“We’ve Got the Music” is the 2011 program song for MUSIC: COUNT US IN


MusicEducationUK free magazine

March 12, 2012

There’s a new online (free) magazine published in UK to support Music Education …


MusTech (USA)

February 21, 2010

Go to resource: MusTech (USA) is a music education website that specifically focuses on music technology. It was established in 2006 by Professor Joseph Pisano.

Read more…


NAAE Media Release – July 2012

July 11, 2012
11 July 2012
The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) welcomed the draft of The
Australian Curriculum: The Arts, released on Monday by Schools Minister
Peter Garrett.

NAAE celebrated that at last all Australian students will have an
entitlement to learn in, through and about the five arts subjects of dance,
drama, media arts, music and the visual arts from Years F-6. Students in
Years 7-10 will be given art form choices in secondary school in line with
available resources.

Chair of NAAE, Julie Dyson, said, "The arts curriculum provides for basic
entitlement for every child - it does not replace the excellent programs
already being delivered across Australia. Australia now leads the world in
introducing a national curriculum that privileges all five art forms as a
learning entitlement."

NAAE recognises that there is still work to be done in refining the
curriculum, and each arts subject association will be working with the
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to achieve
further revisions. However, acknowledged are the years of work by the
writers, advisers, professional associations and industry members who have
advocated for and contributed to the draft curriculum.

Following representations to Schools Minister Garrett and Arts Minister
Simon Crean, NAAE will now address concerns about implementation. Dick
Letts, Executive Director of the Music Council of Australia, said, "We will
be joining with industry and education colleagues to advocate to responsible
state and territory ministers for improved teacher education and
professional development, particularly in primary schools".

We look forward to a constructive and fruitful debate through the
consultation period, and to the release of the final document and its
implementation from 2013.

For media comment: Julie Dyson on 0412 211 513; Dick Letts (02) 9251 3816

national arts funding re-think!?

May 8, 2013

Arts educators call for national funding rethink

A newly formed alliance of Australia’s senior arts educators is calling on both sides of federal politics to urgently support increased funding to the tertiary arts sector.

The Australian Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts (DDCA) inaugural President, Professor Su Baker from the Victorian College of the Arts at the University of Melbourne, said creative arts education should be a national priority.

“Politicians should recognise the importance of arts to the national curriculum, to Australia’s sense of nationhood and culture, and to the development of a vibrant ‘creative economy’,” she said.

“And they should look at what our international competitors are investing in higher arts education. We are way behind their level of commitment!”

The Council was formed in Hobart in February and includes representatives from 22 Australian universities that teach art, dance, design, theatre, music, film and television, screen arts and creative writing.

Professor Su Baker said the arts are an essential part of the creative industries, which is one of the country’s fastest growing employment sectors.

“With expanding digital media capacity, the NBN and fresh approaches to online education, it’s crucial the Australian arts sector can compete on the global stage,” she said.

“There is an urgent challenge to create 21st-century higher arts education that contributes directly to the sustainability of practices and the resilience of artists, researchers and professionals in the field.”

Professor Baker said world-class creative arts education also had benefits for students of other disciplines.

“It provides students with the opportunity to build capacity and skills in a wide range of disciplines whilst also equipping students with research skills, which are central to a modern arts training,” she said.

“The Council will fiercely advocate on behalf of the creative arts education sector and strive to highlight the important role played by the arts in Australia.”

Ryan Sheales | University of Melbourne, Australia.


National Review of School Music Education: Augmenting the Diminished

December 2, 2009

Go to resource: The National Review of School Music Education, published 2005, is a 279-page report on the issues facing music education in Australian schools. Read more…



May 9, 2012

Music: Count Us In will happen in 2012. This year’s culminating day is Thursday, 1st November.

Join 500 000 Australian students in a massive music-making opportunity. Watch this space for FREE music, resources and lesson plans.

Read more:


New Evidence Links Music Ed with Higher Test Scores

September 4, 2013

Research from Canada finds high-performing students do even better if they are enrolled in ongoing music classes.


new LOBBY KIT for music in Aus. schools

October 17, 2011

The new and fresh 2011 Lobby Kit has just been uploaded to the More Music Toolkit (free). Feedback always welcome.


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.”


NEW PowerPoint for Music Advocacy in schools

September 22, 2011

New PowerPoint just uploaded – please check out the latest music advocacy tool – helping to get more music into more Australian schools.

If you test run it on School Executives and/or Parent & Teacher Committees, please let us know how you go!


new SSO conductor points out the power of music education

July 5, 2012

This clip from ABC TV news features David Robertson talking about the personal value of learning music.


newspaper article – Advocacy for Music Education

March 6, 2011

Visual arts are often left behind, to the detriment of education, says Ainslie MacGibbon.

Australia seems to be ignoring a global move towards understanding the significance of art in education, the president of Art Education Australia, Marian Strong, says.

read more …


nice slide show to inspire music teachers

January 20, 2013



NSW Record of School Achievement

May 14, 2012

The new Year 10 certificate for NSW students may include details of AMEB exam achievements. Further down the track, it may extend to participation statements re. school musicals, ensembles, concerts, etc. Read more HERE.


Open Letter calling for MORE Music education in Australia

November 10, 2011

Dick Letts (MCA) has just published an open letter to the Australian community – calling for more Music education and more teacher training (in music) for Australian schools and teachers. Read it here (top link). Distribute it to newspapers, P&C committees, school executives, blogs …


Playing for Change (Mark Johnson)

January 8, 2013

Combining music and musicians from around the world … Playing For Change (Peace through Music) is a movement to connect the world through music. – the making of the movie - interview and clips from the movie


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.


Pop focus in music education panned (Newspaper article)

December 2, 2009

Go to resource: Pop focus in music education panned, written by Justine Ferrari and published in The Australian April 13 2009, the article outlines criticism of the inclusion of pop music in school music education programs.

Read more…


power of Music Therapy – video

May 9, 2013 Please watch this with your classes – the video shows a young disabled girl making amazing progress with regular music sessions.


PowerPoints on Early Childhood music ideas & Primary music advocacy

July 4, 2011

The first powerpoint has some examples of early childhood / lower primary songs and teaching ideas. It starts with a cute tree which illustrates how music fits into the various components of a child.

The second powerpoint on this site is an advocacy presentation for music education in schools.


Premie babies, music and brain development

August 8, 2011

ARTICLE: premature babies, brain and music – what’s the relationship?


Reading and Rhythm

October 31, 2012

Juvenile justice centres in USA are using drumming skills to help young people learn to read.

Read the article HERE.


Reasons to save the Music in our schools

March 19, 2011

An American Music Education advocacy video clip on YouTube.

advocacy video


Reasons why we Sing and Make Music

April 3, 2012


from Community Music Victoria’s ‘Music In Schools’ Statement


Singing and music making together develops memory capacity, attentiveness, pattern recognition, rhythmic understanding and facility, body/mind coordination, volume control, connectedness, curiosity and creative initiatives.

Singing together is particularly good for learning literacy and numeracy. It develops language structure and grammar, playing with language (eg: rhyming, alliteration), pronunciation, accents and rhythm of language. Because there can be limited text and much repetition with singing, it helps to reinforce many of these concepts in an enjoyable way.


Singing and music making is an effective memorisation device and an engaging introduction to history and culture. It’s great for mood control, for example: facilitating relaxation and calm, focusing and energizing learners as well as content delivery, integration of play and instruction, and the enhancement of events and occasions.


Making music together brings an awareness of self and others, provides emotional expressions and outlet, and develops identity, confidence, self-esteem, a sense of achievement, expressiveness and health (mental and physical).


Making music together fosters cooperation and interaction (together we can do more than we can alone), simultaneous listening and vocalisation, group awareness (bonding/sense of belonging), the direct experience of synergy (the sum is greater than the parts), and embodies the values of diversity and respect across gender, age, culture and skill level.


Studying and practising music is valuable as an end in itself (not just as a way of becoming better at literacy, mathematics or personal development). It develops an understanding and appreciation of a beauty that is uniquely musical. We learn that by manipulating the elements of music we produce different results and can explore this unique and ephemeral art form.


• The focus should be on inclusive practical music making with an emphasis on singing.

• Classroom teachers should feel empowered and equipped to lead or provide the opportunity for their students to engage in singing and music making activities.

• Music Specialists as well as providing more in depth musical experiences, including music literacy and instrumental experiences, should be helpful in resourcing the classroom teachers as well as sharing ideas and expertise with classroom teachers.

• The daily classroom music practice need only be a few minutes at the start or end of a session.

• It can be integrated into a current classroom theme or used as a teaching method or tool for other subject areas (see ‘Learning Capacities’ and ‘Teaching Methods’ above.)

• It is important to develop a culture of singing and music making and for it to feel like a normal classroom activity. Five minutes at the start of each day will be more effective for developing a culture than one half hour per week.


regional schools music inquiry Vic

May 19, 2013


Richard Gill @ TEDx – Music Ed advocacy

July 28, 2011

Free online video – a must watch!


Richard Gill in SMH

August 13, 2013

August 2013


Richard Gill on ABC Life Matters

January 27, 2013

For a short time, you can download Richard Gill speaking on Music Education in Australia on ABC Radio National (Jan 23, 2013).


Richard Gill talk (ABC FM) 9/14 August 2011

August 6, 2011
Richard Gill presents the annual ABC Classic FM Music Makers Address and will be talking of the joy of singing, the importance of imagination and the inspiration that music education can bring to all ages.

One of Australia’s pre-eminent conductors and a passionate advocate of music education, Richard specialises in opera, musical theatre and vocal and choral training.

Join us for this second Music Makers Address, hosted by ABC Classic FM’s Mairi Nicolson.
Plus, performances from 40 young singers from Southern Voices.

The Address will be recorded and broadcast in ABC Classic FM’s Music Makers on Sunday, August 14 at 1205.

DATE:                                    TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2011
TIME:                                    7pm – 8.15pm
No reservation is required and admission is free.
Doors open from 6pm.
VENUE:                                The Iwaki Auditorium,

ABC Southbank Centre,
120 Southbank Boulevard,
Southbank  (cnr of Southbank Boulevard and Sturt Street)
Please join Richard Gill and Mairi for refreshments in the Green Room at the conclusion of the evening.

For further information contact:
Ngaire Duffield, Producer, ABC Classic FM, Melbourne
p: +61 3 9626 1716 | m: 0408 052 336


role of core knowledge in music & language

May 23, 2012

From 29 May 2012 through 1 Jun 2012 at The Lorentz Center in Leiden the workshop Core Knowledge, Language and Culture will be held.

This workshop will address the relation between core knowledge, language, music, and culture, with a view to assessing the current understanding of these questions for a theory of the mind/brain.


sample press release for MCUI 2012

September 3, 2012

XXXX School is proud to be taking part in Music: Count Us In on Thursday 1st November at 11.30am (AEST).
At that time, half a million school students from across Australia will simultaneously perform a song called “Different People (Stand Together)” – a fantastic song written earlier this year by Australian High School students and Josh Pyke.
The aims of Music: Count Us In include: promoting the value of Music education in every school and fostering well-being through Music and singing. In some towns, a cluster of smaller schools are bussing students to a central meeting place to heighten festivities and strengthen the bond between communities.
You may access downloadable logos and support materials from


School Band & Orchestra online magazine (USA) free

March 20, 2011

free online magazine for School Band and Orchestra teachers – an American publication – free online

Includes advocacy material, interviews with successful teachers, product reviews (and lots of advertising)


School Music Lobby kit (free)

May 10, 2011

The intention of the kit is to provide arguments and methods for school parents and school music teachers to establish music programs in schools where there are none, and gain greater support for music programs in schools where they already exist.



Seriously Singing (ABC TV)

August 10, 2011

description of TV show here

ABC aired a TV show highlighting the choral direction of 91-year old Jessie Carmichael.


SMAG – School Music Action Group (Vic)

October 9, 2011

SMAG is a Victorian-based advocacy group, pushing for more music in Australian schools. This website contains blogs about their latest activities, and links to policy documents.


SMAG message 2013

January 23, 2013

A message from SMAG:

Regarding the current Vic inquiry into music education – we hope to encourage all members of the community to make submissions.

The sMAG blog now has support guides for both instrumentalists and classroom music specialists.  All voices in the industry are welcomed.  Information on how to engage the local media – especially in rural areas, as well as encouraging schools to use any format, including ICT tools and/or survey monkey, to present their data.  School principals will be trickling back to work now, so it’s probably a good time to get them on board:

Official Press Release:

Best wishes to everyone in the music community at this important time.  Thank you to all those that have already submitted.


SMAG update April 2013

April 22, 2013

“What is revealed in the submission is that we currently have a major problem with the status of music education in schools with up to three quarters of Australian school children missing out. Not to mention an ongoing diminishing of school music education provision.  ACARA appears to be leaving the issue of the provision of music and the arts provision to the States and schools so this inquiry has come at a critical time in Victoria. We have one opportunity to convince our state government that music education is fundamental to the development of the child and is a human right. We must keep working to turn the tide on music education. Pease keep up your support. We still have a way to go.”


SMH article: Tognetti plays at Matraville Soldiers Settlement Public School

June 1, 2011

Richard Tognetti and members of the ACO played for students at Matraville Soldiers Settlement Public School (thanks to the support of the Australian Children’s Music Foundation). The article’s content includes advocacy for music education in schools.


song-write for $1000 due 25 May 2012

May 13, 2012

Here is a powerpoint presentation to show students … before asking them to write a song for 500 000 students to perform on November 1st, 2012 in Australia. Write individually or as a group. Keep the lyrics positive and optimistic.

Music: Count Us In has full details – due 25 May, 2012. $1000 up for grabs!


song-writing competition MCUI 2013

March 6, 2013

Music: Count Us In offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a talented young person to have their song sung by over half a million students.

  • A small group of students will be selected by our judging panel to work with a celebrity mentor for the songwriting session in April.
  • Their song will stop Australia in its tracks on October 31st.
  • Students must be quick, work to the brief and send us an optimistic, upbeat song idea of 1-3 minutes by 22nd March.
  • Successful students will receive payment for their work.

Download the brief at


Study: Music Training Boosts Brainpower

January 28, 2013

Study: Music Training Boosts Brainpower
Pacific Standard, 1/23/13
“Want your child to get better and better with words? Put a musical instrument in his or her hands. That’s the implication of a new paper from Germany, which confirms and augments research conducted in Canada and Hong Kong. Across cultures, it appears, training on a musical instrument improves kids’ verbal memory. The results of an 18-month study suggest ‘a positive transfer effect from musical expertise onto speech and language processing,’ writes a research team…[they] note that no similar effect was found for kids taking an enriched academic curriculum. The study featured seven- or eight-year-old children (37 boys, 36 girls), recruited from seven primary schools scattered around Germany. Twenty-five received special music training above and beyond the basic school curriculum. Specifically, they participated in weekly 45-minute lessons, where they played the instrument of their choice.”


“Playing music requires continued monitoring of meaningful chunks of information,” they write. “Rather than individual notes, these chunks entail clusters of notes that are combined into meaningful melodic gestures and phrases.”

There’s an obvious parallel between that process and the way clusters of syllables, meaningless in themselves, combine in our brains to form words. And in contrast with the verbal results—and in line with previous research—there were no similar increases in visual memory.


teacher blog re. school band rehearsals

August 28, 2012

School band rehearsals from a different perspective: read the blog here


TED video on Music & Passion

June 17, 2011

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.

Watch the video here


testers needed for More Music Toolkit

October 5, 2011

If you are an Australian school / campus wanting to get more music into your school / program, please surf around the following website and email me with feedback (as to how useful the site was or was not!)

Emails to



Thank school admin for the Arts

March 24, 2012

This blog and sample ‘letter from a parent’ are an example of how powerful ‘parent letters’ can be – boosting acceptance of the Arts in schools.


The Arts are Essential – article

February 8, 2013


The origins, purpose, function, results and value of music

August 19, 2013

A comprehensive article about the benefits of music to ALL of humanity!


The Singing Revolution

July 4, 2012

“The Singing Revolution” movie trailer HERE … a documentary film about Estonian people using the power of massed singing to achieve political independence in 1991. More info HERE.


The young person’s guide to the orchestra … is lacking (article)

September 25, 2011

SMH article by Richard Gill here from 2009

It is a national disgrace that music education is not a central part of every child’s schooling, writes Richard Gill.


Transforming Education through the Arts (book)

April 11, 2012

Published in November, 2011, this timely book (by Brian Caldwell and Tanya Vaughan) takes up the challenge of maintaining programs in the arts in the face of unrelenting pressure from two directions; the increasing focus on literacy and numeracy in schools, teamed with the cut-backs in public funding that often affect the arts most severely. Drawing on the wealth of evidence already available on the impact of the arts, including the findings of a landmark experimental study in Australia, this text considers:

The social and educational impact of neglecting the arts

Research evidence on engagement in the arts

Why there is a need for educational reform

How to transform schools through engagement in the arts


treating nursing home patients with music

March 25, 2013

read the article HERE


TROVE – research tool

September 13, 2011

National Library of Australia has a new online catalog called TROVE – research for books, journal, video, audio, websites, pictures and more. You can even click through the website to purchase many of the items, if you wish.


TV promo for MCUI … & free PD / PL

September 18, 2012

A quick update on Music: Count Us In 2012:
The TV promo starts to air around the country next week. Watch it here.

FREE professional learning is being provided to primary teachers all over Australia, via videoconference or face to face sessions. Register your school, then email us here and we’ll put you in touch with the right person in your area.


TV: Artscape

July 18, 2012

Artscape: Dr Sarmast’s Music School

Currently available on ABC iView (free) in 2 episodes:

“Melbourne-based Afghan musicologist Dr Ahmad Sarmast, returns to Kabul after 15 years, with a dream to create the first national institute of music and return their musical rights back to the children of Afghanistan.”


UN report on the right to artistic freedom & expression 2013

June 4, 2013

Read the report HERE

“The issue of artistic freedom is crucial to any nation. It is not ‘just’ about the artists’ rights to express themselves freely, it is also a question of the rights of citizens to access artistic expressions and take part in cultural life — and thus one of the key issues for democracy,”


US High School Music programs – article

October 3, 2011

read article here

How to enliven and save high school music

“Instead of trying to defend traditional band, choir and orchestra classes, music educators would do well to embrace the craft as a way to teach creativity, problem-solving and cultural harmony — truly 21st century skills, for artists and engineers alike. If we do so, the demand for music will return stronger than ever.”


USA report on Music in schools (2012)

April 20, 2012

“The NEA report, released last week, shows that high levels of arts engagement by the lowest socioeconomic quarter of students corresponds with greater numbers of students who, for example, complete high school calculus, exercise the right to vote, do volunteer work, finish a Bachelor’s degree and choose a professional career path. In short, the arts help create young adults who have better academic outcomes, are more civically engaged and exhibit higher career goals.”



Vic report on LIVE MUSIC – economic benefits

August 9, 2011

article in

A recent report reflects on the positive impact on Victoria’s budget, thanks to LIVE music.


Vic review on Music Ed 2012/3

December 5, 2012

Notice of an inquiry into Music Education in Victoria. More info HERE on SMAG website site and HERE on Vic Parliament website.

“An inquiry will be held into music education in Victorian schools amid fears it is not taught in many primary schools and is being cannibalised by preparation for NAPLAN tests.”

AN INQUIRY will be held into music education in Victorian schools amid fears it is not taught in many primary schools and is being cannibalised by preparation for NAPLAN tests.
Read more:


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


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 :-)


Who Stopped the Music? ABC interview

June 6, 2012

“Who Stopped the Music” discusses the state of Australian music education (2009) on ABC Radio National. You can listen at the above link.


Winning America’s Future through Creative Schools

April 3, 2013

This publication is from the White House (USA)


Wrap-up video for MCUI 2012

November 30, 2012 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!


Your thoughts on the future of music education

March 21, 2013

1001 Voices on Musical Futures: Call for Videos

While over a thousand music professionals are expected to gather in Brisbane from 21-24 November 2013 for the 5th IMC World Forum on Music, we know that many others won’t be able to join us for a variety of reasons. To ensure that their ideas and opinions can feed into this important event, a dedicated YouTube channel has been created. Between now and November 2013, we hope to post ‘1001 Voices on Musical Futures’, where, in no more than five minutes, interviewees summarise the key issues they identify as crucial to sustaining music and engaging communities as we approach 2020 and beyond. The first recordings are now live at