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All sessions available online for free – links have been emailed to all registrants.

Melbourne Music Summit is supported by the Erica Foundation.

Day One: Monday 26 July 2021

Keynote: The Ups and Downs of Music Advocacy

Dr Anita Collins

There is wide ranging support for music education as well as extensive research into its benefits. Yet we are still placed into positions where we must once again remind others of why music learning is good and valuable, both for its own sake as an art form and for the development of every child. Why do we need to keep repeating ourselves, why doesn’t everyone get it and what works when it comes to advocacy? These are just some of the topics that Dr Anita Collins will explore and debate in this keynote address.

Day Two: Tuesday 27 July 2021

5pm: Specialist/Years 3 and up

Harnessing the Power of Digital Portfolios in Music Education

Katie Wardrobe

Digital portfolios are an effective way to capture student learning and there are an excellent range of tech tools available (including free options!) which makes the process easy. In this session, we’ll explore the what, why and how of digital portfolios and how they can transform your student presentations and assessment tasks. We’ll discuss the two main components of a digital portfolio and explore ways to create artefacts through the use of video, images, audio recordings and text using tech tools you already have. A variety of cross-platform publishing tools will be shared, allowing students to share their work in a cohesive and engaging way.

5pm: Specialist / Generalist / All levels

MSO for Classrooms: Making a Curriculum Work for You and your Students

Helen Champion

Teachers know their students and they know how to teach them. So, is a curriculum necessary? This presentation looks at curriculum as a planning tool that can be used in many different contexts and for many different purposes, including classroom and instrumental teaching. Using Australian Curriculum: The Arts - Music as a model, participants will explore the flexibility that a curriculum can offer for planning learning that delivers on the essentials and differentiates learning to meet students’ diverse needs. Participants will be encouraged to think about how their teaching practice uses key ideas from the curriculum and how they balance and integrate the different components of music learning.

MSO for Classrooms is supported by the Department of Education and Training, Victoria, through the Strategic Partnerships Program.

6pm: Specialist / Generalist / All levels

Using Indigenous Content in the Classroom

Jess Hitchcock

Incorporating Indigenous content into student learning is a priority for the classroom at all levels. In this session, Jess Hitchcock will perform and teach attendees Deborah Cheetham’s Long Time Living Here - the MSO’s commissioned musical Acknowledgment of Country, now being performed at the beginning of every MSO concert. Attendees will learn how to respectfully and meaningfully engage with Indigenous content and what is considered important essential knowledge. Resources will further be provided to support the musical exploration of our First Peoples culture. Together, host Sylvia Hosking and Jess will have a conversation around the big issues around language and other topics. There will also be a Q&A for attendees to pose their burning questions.

6pm: Generalist / Specialist / Primary

MSO for Classrooms: Rhythms and Rhymes

Brianna Kavanagh

Learn how to plan and deliver a scaffolded lesson sequence or brain breaks that require no instruments, little to no prior musical experience, and that promotes inclusive student engagement and participation. This session is suitable for specialists and non-specialist teachers and uses the body, words, and rhymes to explore and develop various musical elements including rhythm, tempo, and dynamics.

MSO for Classrooms is supported by the Department of Education and Training, Victoria, through the Strategic Partnerships Program.

Day Three: Wednesday 28 July 2021

5pm: Specialist / Generalist / All Levels

Making space for music: The art of cultivating safe and creative space

Dr Gillian Howell

As a young music educator, one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking pieces of advice Gillian received was to ‘pay attention to the space’. Specifically, the social dynamics and the degree of autonomy and agency being experienced by learners. In work contexts such as war-affected cities, refugee camps, and schools with high numbers of displaced people – paying attention to the space was what ensured music was a place of solace and welcome for the young learners.

In this presentation, Gillian will share a trauma-aware approach to creating and cultivating space in music making and music education, and how to ensure the musical spaces we foster as teachers and teaching artists are safe, welcoming and inspiring, as well as great learning spaces. Gillian will share stories from young people in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, and Australia to illustrate the difference that paying attention to the space – and getting the space right – can make.

CANCELLED – 6pm: Specialist / Secondary

Aiming High: Choral and Educational Opportunities in Secondary Schools

Due to event restrictions for the Victorian lockdown, this session will not proceed as scheduled.

Day Four: Thursday 29 July 2021

CANCELLED – 5pm: Specialist / Secondary

Decoding Sound - An Immersive Way to teach Interpretation & Analysis

Due to event restrictions for the Victorian lockdown, this session will not proceed as scheduled.

5pm: Specialist / Generalist / Primary

MSO for Classrooms: Classics for Kids

Dr Emily Wilson

This session focusses on getting the most out of a single piece of music through performing, composing and listening across Years F – 12. Connections with the Victorian Curriculum, the Quality Music Education Framework, literacy strategies and indigenous perspectives are discussed and there is a special focus on showing the use of some of these activities with a Grade 3 class.

MSO for Classrooms is supported by the Department of Education and Training, Victoria, through the Strategic Partnerships Program.

6pm: Specialist / Secondary

Inclusive Instrumental and Ensemble Programs

Karen Kyriakou

The benefits of learning and playing music extend to all students — regardless of ability. Music can be made accessible for each member of our class and ensemble. This session focuses on how to make your ensemble and instrumental program inclusive for all students, with an emphasis on secondary programs.

  • Ideas for increased engagement and learning
  • Accommodations to make for students who require additional support
  • Planning your curriculum for all students

6pm: Specialist / Generalist / Years 5-8

MSO for Classrooms: Engaging the Middle Years

Dr Emily Wilson

This session examines engaging ways to involve middle years students in composing, listening and performing though creating their own music online using cloud-based digital tools.

MSO for Classrooms is supported by the Department of Education and Training, Victoria, through the Strategic Partnerships Program.

Day Five: Friday 30 July 2021

Keynote: Why Music? The Power of Beauty

Graham Abbott

Everyone with genuine involvement in music - whether as teacher, performer or music lover - knows the power of music to transport and excite. In this talk, Graham Abbott meditates on the power of music's beauty, and the importance of beauty more generally, in both our young people’s lives and our own. The need for beauty in the world is greater than ever before - sharing beauty in the form of music is not only a joy, but also a powerful means of human transformation.


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