Master Student Discussion

//Master Student Discussion

Students will identify and write a short blog piece about one of the issues from the Victorian Music Workshop.

Students must comment on at least two posts by your peers.

Further comment is invited from anyone who uses this ANZARME website.

Our aim is to make discussions more open and relevant to students.

Issue 15 – Accountability and reporting:

The current low status of music in many schools means that appropriate accountability measures do not often exist.

By |March 9th, 2015|Categories: Master Student Discussions|4 Comments

Issue 14 – Partnership development in Music Education:

Partnership development between school and community groups, including arts groups, individual musicians and industry can benefit music education practice.

By |March 9th, 2015|Categories: Master Student Discussions|3 Comments

Issue 13 – Music Education Support Services:

There is a need for continuing teacher support for music in Victorian schools if students are to have access to quality music education

By |March 9th, 2015|Categories: Master Student Discussions|6 Comments

Issue 12 – Technology in Music Education:

Ensuring that music technology is actively included in the music curriculum.

By |March 9th, 2015|Categories: Master Student Discussions|7 Comments

Issue 11 – Creating Time within the Curriculum for Music Education:

A significant barrier for the development of music education’s status and quality is its ability to secure time within the school schedule for students from K to Year 10.

By |March 9th, 2015|Categories: Master Student Discussions|8 Comments

Issue 10 – Curriculum:

A relevant, sequential and continuous curriculum that meets students’ needs is the core on which any extension of access to music learning for Victorian students must be based.

By |March 9th, 2015|Categories: Master Student Discussions|2 Comments

One Comment

  1. Charles M 05/04/2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Issue 10: Curriculum

    What’s really surprising about the music curriculum for primary school students is that there isn’t one. Actually there is, but the curriculum is mostly considered to be part of the ‘Arts’ domain, along with visual art, drama and media (ACARA 2015). This is kind of like my experience in primary school, where we’d do drama and music in alternating terms. So it’d be term 1: drama, term 2: music, term 3: drama, and term 4: music. All of this was taught by one teacher, who I now pity for having to juggle the two subjects for every single class in the school.
    In the US the No Child Left Behind Act was implemented in 2001, which some academics see as being a makeshift national curriculum for musical education (Walker 2007). In Australia- as previously stated- there is no national curriculum either so each individual states are responsible for their own music curriculum (Walker 2007). In December 2005 there was a national enquiry into music education in Victoria done by the Australian Federal government, which many academics consider to be a rarity, as very few reports on musical education in Australia have been published (Walker 2007). The report stated that music was a low priority in schools’ curriculum and teaching, and included several comments highlighting the importance of music lessons for students (Walker 2007).

    The Victorian Music Workshop Report, which was done by the National Review of School Music Education, recommended that a curriculum that was relevant, sequential and continuous would need to be implemented in Victoria to give students a proper music education (School Music Action Group). In addition to this, they stated that having a national curriculum for teaching music would make music more standardised (School Music Action Group). This would (ideally) result in all music programs having a fixed benchmark, but would they would also be fluid enough to allow teachers to modify the program to accommodate their own experience and knowledge (School Music Action Group). Some of the other changes the report recommended was that music be separated from the other ‘Arts’ subjects and that more technology would be used to teach students about music (School Music Action Group). I have to say that these ideas will make learning music far more appealing than it was in 2005.
    The lack of standardisation of music curricula in Australia has also been noted in a Senate review in November 2007 (McMillan 2011). This report claimed that giving every primary school student access to music lessons from a specialist would greatly benefit the students, and noted that there were no specific requirements for teaching music to primary school children (McMillan 2011). I think that giving music lessons to primary school children is a very good idea. I had music lessons throughout year 7 as part of the curriculum and it was one of the high points of the year.

    As part of the AusVELS, music is studied as part of the Arts curriculum and doesn’t have any particular focuses. It’s mostly wide- ranging and based around an outcome. For example, year 2’s are expected to use noisemaking objects and body percussion to accompany a song which they’ve learnt (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority 2015). At the moment, music curriculum in Australia is mostly defined by concepts, with specialist music teachers trained to teach performance, composition and listening (Walker 2007).
    A PhD in the US who has worked as a music teacher and designed several music education programs has stated that having a sequential music curriculum will allow a music teacher to build on students’ pre-existing knowledge (Guderian 2012). She also claimed that allowing students to creatively apply what they’ve learnt makes it easier for them to retain the knowledge, and simultaneously makes the subject more engaging for them (Guderian 2012). I have to agree with this. In primary school we did no creative music, instead simply regurgitating pre-existing songs and doing research on a famous music composer. As a result, no one was particularly thrilled to be doing music.
    The importance of schools having a good music curriculum has been continually stated in reports, studies, and a variety of research in Australia and overseas. A study done in the US showed that if a primary (or elementary) school had a comprehensive music program, then a student’s success in other subjects would be significantly higher than a student at a school which did not have a music program (Abeles, Burrton and Horowitz, 1999).
    In a recent conversation with a primary school teacher they told me that their school has no music curriculum at all, and instead concentrates on visual art. This is a prime example of the lack of a structured music curriculum in Australian schools. Since the benefits of music curricula are well documented and supported in a lot of academic texts I can’t understand why there is no proper curriculum yet, despite the calls for music subjects to be given a proper curriculum and a greater priority when deciding which Arts subject to teach.

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