Welcome to the first episode of The Music Room Podcast. I am Mark Leehy and each week I will be interviewing music education experts, practising teachers, and pretty much anyone who has something to tell us, or teach us, about the many facets of this amazing space.
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Let’s start with a little background to make our purpose clear. Last year the ABC, Australia’s Government-owned broadcaster, screened a three-part documentary series called Don’t Stop The Music (see link below), which follows the journey of a primary school from an underprivileged area of Perth, Western Australia, as they embark on a music program.
It showed the transformative effects that this has had on the students, the teachers and the families involved. It was a landmark event resulting in something like 5,000 instruments being donated for use in underprivileged schools.
As it happens, Bushfire Press, the producers of The Music Room podcast, has a classroom music program called Music Room (see link below). One of the songs from this program, Twinkle Twinkle Rock Guitar, was used in the documentary where Guy Sebastian and the classroom teacher were working with some young students.
Now we were of course delighted to see Rob Fairbairn’s, fun little song being used, but watching the program gave us pause to think. Not every school can have a Guy Sebastian visit for a term or find the funding or the staff to bring a music program together, even if they do have a generous offer of donated instruments.
Music education is so much more than songs or instruments. It’s also teaching approaches and techniques, goals and strategies, curriculum and cross-curriculum possibilities and tips and tricks of course.
So it seemed to us that we could play our part in keeping the music going with your help by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and discussion and by finding a way to make as many views and as much information on the subject as possible freely available.
We are in the very fortunate position to do both. Firstly, Bushfire Press, of which I am a partner, has an open community Facebook page (see link below) and also some closed specialty groups. These are ideal places to ask questions, express and discuss opinions, and share information, and of course your tips and tricks.
This podcast will bring both experts and practising teachers into your headphones or earbuds, covering a diverse set of topics including approaches and techniques such as ORFF and Kodály, vocal and choral and instrumental techniques, including of course the recorder and ukulele, boomwhackers and xylophones, and all manner of percussion, to name a few.
We’ll also be addressing technology in the music room and following tertiary training, networking, and research.
Plus as many tips and tricks as we can get our hands on and that’s where you come in. We want your tips and tricks, and your suggestions for guests to interview, including you! You might well have something to share and we’ll be happy to interview you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might like to record your thoughts, your tips or your tricks on your phone or even film them. If so, simply send the files to the same email address email@example.com.
So please help us keep the music going by subscribing and sharing the podcast with your network.
And, here come the steak knives! With each episode, we’ll also give you a free recipe from a famous musician or composer for your dining pleasure. What more could you ask for?
We’ll be kicking things off in episode two with music teacher networks, a really, really, really important topic. And I have a special guest, the very, very exuberant Debbie O’Shea from Crescendo Music Education in Queensland who’s the networking queen.
Listen in and you’ll see what I mean.
Bushfire Press Facebook Community (for discussions and info)
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