Australia & NZ – MUSIC:ED https://musiceducation.global The global community for music education Tue, 01 Sep 2020 10:32:24 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6 https://musiceducation.global/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/cropped-MUSICED-ident-f64c72-round-light-with-stroke-960x960-1-32x32.png Australia & NZ – MUSIC:ED https://musiceducation.global 32 32 Australian school music programme turns to signing during pandemic https://musiceducation.global/australian-school-music-programme-turns-to-signing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=australian-school-music-programme-turns-to-signing Tue, 01 Sep 2020 10:01:20 +0000 https://musiceducation.global/?p=146900 Music Count Us In 2020

Music Count Us In 2020While many music events have been cancelled by Covid-19, Australia’s Count Us In schools’ music programme will celebrate its 14th year in unique style and is hoping for all Australian schools to participate

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Music Count Us In 2020Music Count Us In 2020

While many music events have been cancelled by Covid-19, Australia’s Count Us In schools’ music programme will celebrate its 14th year in unique style and is hoping for all Australian schools to participate.

The development of Count Us In followed a report from the Australian government that expressed concern about the diminishing provision of music education in schools. The programme was created to assist teachers by providing a full term of pre-prepared lesson plans created by music educators in alignment with the Australian Arts Curriculum.

The programme encompasses instrumental and vocal ensemble arrangements, guided teaching demonstration videos and face-to-face or on-line professional development opportunities.

In normal circumstances, the programme culminates in a national celebration day when schools across Australia sing a new song at the same time via live stream. Aimed at being as inclusive as possible, the song is always supplied to schools with Auslan (Australian sign language) training videos, braille scores and indigenous Australian translations, which many schools teach to the children. The pandemic, however, has resulted in lockdown for many schools and restrictions on choral and wind instrument usage in those schools that are open.

So, for 2020, all schools are being encouraged to learn the Auslan translation of the song to be led by the Signing Choir from the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children’s Thomas Pattison School.


Video: The 2020 Program Song, You Won’t Bring Us Down.  The song draws on themes of young people standing up for what they believe in, inspired by climate change and the recent Australian bushfires.

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Additional NZ$4m for arts in New Zealand schools https://musiceducation.global/additional-nz4m-for-arts-in-new-zealand-schools/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=additional-nz4m-for-arts-in-new-zealand-schools Tue, 16 Jun 2020 07:41:11 +0000 https://musiceducation.global/?p=115242 Students and staff from Wellington High School and Royal New Zealand Ballet, alongside Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Jacinda Ardern and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Grant Robertson

Students and staff from Wellington High School and Royal New Zealand Ballet, alongside Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Jacinda Ardern and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Grant RobertsonThe New Zealand Government has boosted funding for its Creatives in Schools programme, providing work opportunities for an estimated 300 artists including musicians

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Students and staff from Wellington High School and Royal New Zealand Ballet, alongside Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Jacinda Ardern and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Grant RobertsonStudents and staff from Wellington High School and Royal New Zealand Ballet, alongside Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Jacinda Ardern and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Grant Robertson

The New Zealand Government has announced an increase of NZ$4m in its Creatives in Schools programme, providing work opportunities for an estimated 300 artists including musicians.

The new programme, which began earlier in 2020, supports artists and creative practitioners to partner with schools and kura (Māori-language immersion schools) to share their specialist skills and knowledge with students.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said:

‘COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the cultural sector, with some forecasts showing that more than 10,000 jobs could be gone in the next 12 months without Government intervention.

‘The $4 million boost in funding for the Creatives in Schools programme sits alongside the wider $175 million support package to help the creative sector recover.

‘The additional funding will expand the programme from 304 projects to 510 projects through to 2023 benefitting many more students and providing opportunities for up to 750 creatives by helping to offset some of the lost employment and income resulting from COVID-19.

‘A healthy cultural sector is central to the wellbeing of our communities. We want to keep growing the music and arts industries in New Zealand and it’s important that young people are aware of the opportunities in the creative industries.

The value of creative learning experiences cannot be over-estimated

Chris Hipkins, Education Minister, said:

‘The Creatives in Schools programme is designed to enhance students’ wellbeing, improve skills in communication, collaboration and creative thinking and raise their awareness of creative careers.

‘Particularly in the wake of COVID-19, the value of creative learning experiences cannot be over-estimated.’

Header photo: Students and staff from Wellington High School and Royal New Zealand Ballet, alongside Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Jacinda Ardern and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Grant Robertson.

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NZ government announces NZ$175m support for creative industries https://musiceducation.global/nz-government-announces-nz175m-support-for-creative-industries/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nz-government-announces-nz175m-support-for-creative-industries Fri, 29 May 2020 10:24:38 +0000 https://musiceducation.global/?p=107383 Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New ZealandNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a funding boost to support the country's arts and creative sector

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Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New ZealandJacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a funding boost of NZ$175m (US$109/€98m/£88m) to support the country’s arts and creative sector, which contributes nearly $11 billion a year to GDP and employs 90,000 people as well as supporting the wellbeing of communities.

The support package includes a NZ$16.5m (US$10.3m/€9.3m/£8.3m) New Zealand Music Recovery Fund specifically directed towards the contemporary popular music industry. $7.1m will boost NZ on Air’s New Music programmes, $5m will back a Live Music Touring Fund to support NZ acts on the domestic circuit as alert levels permit, $3m immediate support will enable music venues to have safe environments for audiences, workers and artists, and $1.4m will help musicians recoup lost income via Outward Sounds and NZ Music Month.

The support for new contemporary music and live music is expected to sustain a combined 2900 jobs over two years, produce 455 new song releases and 150 live music tours throughout New Zealand.

Other support comprises:

  • NZ$7.9m for jobseekers
  • NZ$70m over three years for a Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund to support the rebuild of the creative industries by commissioning and supporting creative projects at a national and local level
  • NZ$60m over three years for a Cultural Innovation Fund supporting new ways of operating, cross-sector partnerships, and create new ways to add value to the economy, particularly through digital exports. This will include supporting innovative approaches to Māori artforms and traditional knowledge
  • NZ$20m for a Cultural Capability Fund to focus on immediate needs in response to COVID-19, such as legal services, online delivery and audience development

Jacinda Ahern said:

‘The arts and music sectors have been decimated by COVID-19. Modelling based on Treasury forecasts suggests that without government intervention, the cultural sector will be hit roughly twice as hard as the rest of the economy, and 11,000 jobs could be lost within a 12-month period.

‘This suite of initiatives will help protect cultural sector jobs and create new employment opportunities, build skills, knowledge and resilience, protect Māori knowledge and artforms, and continue to provide inspiration for all New Zealanders.

‘A healthy cultural sector has many positive flow-on effects for other important parts of our economy, such as technical production, hospitality, venues and domestic tourism.’

Header photo: Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand; Young Global Leader speaking during the Session “Safeguarding Our Planet” at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 22, 2019. Congress Centre, Congress Hall. © by World Economic Forum / Boris Baldinger. Original photo cropped

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Will livestreaming become the new business model for venues in the post coronavirus landscape? https://musiceducation.global/will-livestreaming-become-the-new-business-model-for-venues/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=will-livestreaming-become-the-new-business-model-for-venues Wed, 25 Mar 2020 14:45:19 +0000 https://musiceducation.global/target/will-livestreaming-become-the-new-business-model-for-venues-in-the-post-coronavirus-landscape-4/ live-streaming

live-streamingOverseas livestreaming companies report being swamped with business. One, the nine year old Hollywood-based 'digital venue' Stageit, which has its own currency for paying and tipping, counted its best month in 2014 when it generated US$274,000.

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live-streaminglive-streaming

On March 16, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra played its first ever livestreamed show, at an empty Hamer Hall. It drew 5,500 people from around the world – double the capacity of the venue.

When Live Performance Australia and other music industry leaders met with federal arts minister Paul Fletcher for a A$850 million survival package, among the calls was funding for a ‘new funding to enable performances to be delivered through innovative online or digital platforms.’

Overseas livestreaming companies report being swamped with business. One, the nine year old Hollywood-based ‘digital venue’ Stageit, which has its own currency for paying and tipping, counted its best month in 2014 when it generated US$274,000.

This month, it made nearly $100,000 in a single day.

Click here to read the full story at theindustryobserver.thebrag.com

Header photo: Chris Martin, Stella Donnelly and Cyrus take to socials to perform

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World Symposium on Choral Music cancelled – coronavirus https://musiceducation.global/world-symposium-on-choral-music-cancelled-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=world-symposium-on-choral-music-cancelled-coronavirus Sun, 15 Mar 2020 22:54:41 +0000 https://musiceducation.global/?p=75275 WSCM cancelled

WSCM cancelledThe organisers of the 2020 World Symposium on Choral Music, the leading international conference for the choral community due to take place in New Zealand in July, have announced the event's cancellation because of growing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

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WSCM cancelledWSCM cancelled

The organisers of the 2020 World Symposium on Choral Music, the leading international conference for the choral community due to take place in New Zealand in July, have announced the event’s cancellation because of growing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement reads as follows:

It is with enormous sadness that Symposium 2020 Ltd, in conjunction with the New Zealand Choral Federation and the International Federation for Choral Music, has announced that the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music (WSCM2020), due to take place in Auckland, New Zealand from 11 to 18 July, is cancelled.

This decision is a direct result of the global outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 and has not been made lightly. The pandemic is still growing exponentially throughout much of the world, international flights are already severely affected, and the New Zealand Government has imposed stringent self-isolation rules on all incoming travellers, while also indicating that massed gatherings may soon be restricted. There is no guarantee that the situation will have changed markedly by July. We have no option but to cancel now and provide a sense of certainty for all those affected, despite the huge disappointment that will accompany it.

We were thrilled by the quality of the choirs and presenters we were able to select from a record number of applications, and excited by the programme that had been created around them. It is a devastating blow not to be able to present this now to an eager audience. All we can do is send our deep regrets and sincere thanks to every singer, conductor, partner, funder, administrator, registrant, staff member and volunteer who has supported us on this WSCM2020 journey.

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa. Our heartfelt thanks to you all.’

The cancellation represents the latest casualty of the global viral epidemic, following similar announcements about SXSW and, most recently, Classical:NEXT.

John Rosser, WSCM2020 Artistic Director, said:

‘We have all witnessed the massive impact the spread of COVID-19 is having on current and upcoming events across the world. There is no guarantee that this situation will have changed markedly by July.

‘The Symposium was to bring many of the best choirs and practitioners on the planet into New Zealand for a feast of concerts and other events before a large international audience. However, it has become clear that all the elements that made the event such an exciting prospect for our country also put it most at risk. After exhaustive examination of alternatives and consideration of risks, we have elected to cancel WSCM2020 now, in order to provide certainty for people who will be most affected.’

‘We are deeply sorry that all those who had planned to come to Auckland for this wonderful event will now not be able to enjoy everything we had prepared. All registrations and concert tickets will be refunded, but delegates and ticket buyers are asked to approach this process with patience as our team works through many enquiries.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage said ATEED supported the decision:

‘While we fully understand that some people will be disappointed, the uncertainty of the situation has left the organisers with little choice. We look forward to Auckland hosting some of the world’s most talented singers in the future.’

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How music can transform the lives of refugees https://musiceducation.global/how-music-can-transform-the-lives-of-refugees/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-music-can-transform-the-lives-of-refugees https://musiceducation.global/how-music-can-transform-the-lives-of-refugees/#respond Tue, 16 Jul 2019 07:20:25 +0000 https://musiceducation.global/?p=43353 Instruments from Music for Refugees arrive in Nauru © AMUST

Instruments from Music for Refugees arrive in Nauru © AMUSTSydney-based Music for Refugees and Melbourne’s RISE Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees serve the needs of Australia's refugees with a range of music programs.

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Instruments from Music for Refugees arrive in Nauru © AMUSTInstruments from Music for Refugees arrive in Nauru © AMUST

Sydney-based Music for Refugees and Melbourne’s RISE Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees serve the needs of Australia’s refugees with a range of music programs. Graham Strahle looks at both organisations and what they offer.


The situation facing asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Australia is as no-one would like to believe. Traumatised by circumstances in their home country, they are afforded little human rights protection at immigration detention centres, and they have to endure difficult and often degrading conditions while waiting for processing.

Simple joys like music that can lift the human spirit are denied them, but one organisation has set about changing that. The Sydney-based Music for Refugees has been running for 10 years and is the initiative of music teacher, composer and campaigner, Philip Feinstein. He began teaching piano at Villawood Detention Centre in 2009 and found that the immediate need was a total lack of instruments. In response, he drove a public donation campaign that quickly amassed enormous public goodwill and has yielded hundreds of guitars, keyboards and drum kits. Buoyed by this success, Feinstein subsequently expanded the music program to Manus Island, Christmas Island and Nauru detention centres – read more in Jasmine Crittenden’s story for Music Australia.

Christmas Island Detention Centre has since closed (in 2018), and the situation at Manus and Nauru has become ‘tricky’, says Feinstein. ‘We have sent large numbers of instruments there but have doubts if the refugees have access to them.’ That leaves Villawood, whose programs are ongoing.

He estimates the number of refugees who have been through Music for Refugees to date is two to three thousand. Feinstein says the benefits that the programs bring are transformative. ‘Because refugees have enormous stress, those who participate in the Music for Refugees music program gain stress relief and respite from their day-to-day trauma.’

The need for instruments is still pressing, and the program is looking for donations – ‘Guitars, ukuleles, keyboards and percussion are the best,’ Feinstein adds. Drop-off locations are listed on the organisation’s website.

Music for Refugees is now expanding internationally. Late last year, Feinstein visited Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya to introduce the program ‘to the many thousands of Burundian refugees sheltering in those countries – there is a revolution happening in Burundi resulting in the many refugees taking shelter all over East Africa,’ he says. They now have access to the Music for Refugees program ‘by way of local Burundian bands using the instruments we sent. Their music is really great – some is on our Facebook page.’ See here.

‘I am now also trying to organise water and medical aid for the refugees in a huge camp in Uganda called Nakivale plus sending items there.’ Find out more on the above link.

Meanwhile, Music for Refugees has just been involved in Refugee Week, conducting talks and raising public awareness. Feinstein says it was ‘an inspiration all round – we gave talks at a few different functions’.

Another organisation, this time based in Melbourne, sets out to help refugees who have made it through the system and are establishing their new lives in mainstream society. RISE Refugees, Survivors & Ex-Detainees is an advocacy organisation that operates a drop-in centre in Flinders Lane in Melbourne’s CBD, and it offers resources and welfare support that includes workshops in music, poetry, creative writing and drawing, as well as social networking across the creative industries.

Run entirely by refugees, asylum seekers, and ex-detainees, RISE describes itself as ‘a safe-haven for community members to be themselves’ where they can engage in arts and educational programs that create ‘a sense of belonging and participation in a larger community, reducing isolation’. Its various projects in music and arts, it says, ‘act as a medium for engaging with the wider community through events and festivals and enable us to showcase the various talents and cultural assets that our refugee and asylum seeker communities possess’. See more in the above link.

Since 2012, RISE has been operating a community-based music studio for young asylum seekers and refugees. It expressly aims to allow ‘their voice to be heard, recognised and acknowledged in addressing the various challenges they face’, and to that end the facility offers a recording space, equipment and instructors across four areas: beat-making, mastering, recording and audio mixing. Find details about RISE Music Studio here.

Inspiring stories of just how powerfully music can transform the life of refugees have recently come in the experiences of rap artists, P-UniQue, Arig and DyspOra. They made it out to Australia as child refugees. DyspOra, who could not speak a word of English when he arrived, won Best Male Artist at the 2017 South Australian Music Awards. Read about their stories here.

Refugees and asylum seekers can find assistance and access a large range of support services through the Refugee Council of Australia.


About Graham Strahle

Dr Graham Strahle is Music Australia’s Senior Writer and the Editor of Music Journal.

An experienced music journalist, he writes regularly for The Australian and The Adelaide Review and has contributed to Limelight and Artstate magazines and UK publications, The Works and Managing the Arts Worldwide.

Graham is a former Music Australia Councillor (2002 to 2009), served on the Music Australia Board (2002-2004) and has been a regular contributor to Music Forum.

Graham is an Editor at Journal of Music Research Online, holds a PhD in Historical Musicology and plays the Viola da Gamba in various ensembles including Adelaide Baroque.


This article was written by Graham Strahle and first published on Music Australia’s website here.

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New open-access online course from Musical Futures https://musiceducation.global/new-open-access-online-musical-futures-course/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-open-access-online-musical-futures-course https://musiceducation.global/new-open-access-online-musical-futures-course/#respond Fri, 03 May 2019 10:00:13 +0000 https://musiceducation.global/?p=42099 Musical Futures

Musical FuturesMusical Futures International has launched #MFLearn19, a new six-week online course which focuses on the informal learning practices of popular musicians, using the five principles identified by Lucy Green in her book, How Popular Musicians Learn.

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Musical FuturesMusical Futures

Musical Futures International has launched #MFLearn19, a new six-week online course which focuses on the informal learning practices of popular musicians, using the five principles identified by Lucy Green in her book, How Popular Musicians Learn

The overall aim is to develop a better understanding of how these principles can transfer into the classroom. Each week will focus on a different principle with a different guest speaker.

​The main content is generated by the participants through blogging, discussion, networking and sharing of practice. The course is free of charge and open to anyone who would like to take part.

How Popular Musicians Lean – five principles (Lucy Green 2008)
How Popular Musicians Lean – five principles (Lucy Green 2008)

#MFLearn19 will bring together a global community of music educators to improve our shared understanding of applying informal music learning practices in the classroom. The course is open access and free of charge to anyone that wishes to participate.​

​The course has been created by Musical Futures International Asia Program Co-ordinator, Steve Jackman. Presenters include Ethan Hein and Gareth Dylan Smith (USA), Anna Gower (UK), Emily Wilson (Australia), Ken Owen (Australia), Gwen Moore (Ireland) and Anna Mariguddi (UK).


Registration and further information: visit the Musical Futures International website here.

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