Monday, July 10, 2017

sMAG Winter ENews

With a semester of learning behind us, sMAG extends good wishes to everyone, and the hope of a well-earned winter break.

As mentioned in our Autumn ENews, sMAG Vic has focused all attention towards the Secondary Instrumental Music Program (SIMP).  Work has been quite intensive and time consuming, so we are pleased to report some progress.  Following a VIT review of the Permission To Teach (PTT) policy in early 2015, recommendations were finalized, and consultation with stakeholders proceeded.  A draft for a new PTT was put to the minister in 2015. After further consultation with stakeholders, The Education Minister, the Hon. Mr. Merlino, approved the VIT PTT policy in June this year. 

Regional Instrumental Coordinators have been, and will continue to be consulted with regard to the implementation of the new policy in due course.  IM Coordinators indicate that they are largely pleased with the new policy, and are happy to work through implementation discussions. The VIT will publicly publish the PTT policy according to their regulations and guidelines.  We expect the policy to come into effect in October 2017.

The AEU will hold meetings with the Hon. Mr. Merlino, and DET regarding to the new PTT policy and implications around workplace employment conditions.  Should anyone have concerns with any SIMP position employment conditions, we advise you bring the conversation to the attention of Sarah Parr at the AEU:

What you can do
All Music teachers, and particularly IMTs, are acutely aware of how intrinsic classroom, Instrumental lessons and ensemble pedagogy all intertwine and are essential to delivering the Victorian Curriculum, VCE or IB outcomes.  As a community we need to be able to articulate this clearly in every local school setting.
A few key phrases to embed in professional lives and documentation may be;
·       Instrumental lessons and ensemble delivery are intrinsic in delivering outcomes against the school’s approved curriculum (VicCurr, IB, VCE etc).
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors report against the standards stated in the approved curriculum, keeping accurate records of evidence and data.
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors document curriculum across The ARTs domain as required by the approved curriculum.
·       Instrumental teachers and ensemble directors meet with their Head of Music or upline managers to provide evidence of their documentation and student progress.
·       IMTs and ensemble directors set aside time for professional meetings with their faculty to ensure curriculum delivery is meeting the requirements of the approved curriculum.

Consultation around the sMAG discussion paper for strategic leadership architecture over the SIMP program has been ongoing.  With adequate structures around the SIMP, accountability and support processes can be implemented across the state, to see the program thrive.  The Music community highly values the SIMP, and understands the intrinsic value in developing high achieving music professionals, able to enter tertiary courses and perform on the global stage.  Prof. Gary McPherson is particularly advocating for the growth of the SIMP to ensure high quality delivery into the future.

Grants for schools to partner with professional artists are available through the ‘Creative Learning Partnerships’.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

sMAG Autumn ENews

As we moved into 2017, sMAG Vic has focused on various conversations around the Secondary Instrumental Music Program.  At this stage, progress is slow.  We await a progress report from the AEU on their negotiations with DET around the issues. We have reservations around some professional conversations regarding the future of the SIMP, and will continue to advocate for the strong contributions this sector makes to the overall success of Victorian music programs.  Should anyone become concerned with positions advertised as ES, we advise you bring the conversation to the attention of Jo Patterson at the VIT.

During Term 1, sMAG Vic Teacher Training Working Party made a submission to the Legal and Social Issues Committee of the 58th Parliament of Victoria: Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria.  Dr. Helen Farrell led the writing and research outlining the benefits of using Music Education in the rehabilitation of young people during juvenile detention.  
A summation of our final recommendations:
sMAG (Vic) recommends that the Legal and Social Issues Committee takes courage to develop and implement an exemplary community of practice in the juvenile justice system in Victoria (Wenger & Snyder, 2000; Wenger, 2004; Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002), e.g.,
·                improved culture, policies, practices and reporting, specifically, policy and research relating to exemplary performing and visual arts programs;
·                additional program options for keeping young people out of youth justice centres, specifically, exemplary performing and visual arts programs – such as DIG DEEP at The Arts Centre;
·                a more clearly defined role for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in overseeing practices that this complex adaptive challenge be mitigated, specifically, improved health and wellbeing of school aged children and young people through exemplary performing and visual arts programs, i.e., Rickard & McFerran, 2011, op cit.

Have a look at this press release: Helping Victorian Students Learn A Musical Instrument

Yamaha have published a series of videos promoting Music Education: