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Dr Ros McMillan
Senior Fellow in Arts Education, University Melbourne
Every student has a voice:
making music the "best" subject in school
Beginning primary-beginning secondary
We are proud to present our author, Dr Ros McMillan, creator of our multi-media Virtual PD EVERYTHING IS MUSIC.
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Ask junior secondary or primary students for their favourite subject and why, and expect to hear words including "because I can do what I like, it's different and fun". A more honest way of saying this might be "because it's about me", indeed all students want their 'voice' to be heard and music-making is the perfect way for them to express themselves, while engaged in enjoyable learning.
Music curricula throughout Australia place much emphasis on students expressing themselves. The Victorian curriculum, for example, contains four strands of activities that students should undertake, the first being 'Explore and Express Ideas'. Throughout each level, from Foundation to Year 8, students are expected to use their imagination to improvise, compose and arrange music to communicate their ideas, an ideal way to learn about music.
This workshop will consist of a variety of 'hands-on' activities where expressivity is central. They will range from mini-lessons of 5-15 minutes to theme-based units of work that may take 2-3 lessons to complete. The workshop will suit teachers from Foundation to Year 8 but participants will also be asked to name the level for which they particularly want ideas.
Empowering students to express themselves is an assured way of making school a place where they want to be, an essential aspect of 21st century life. Music is unique in its ability to allow students, both individually and as a group, to let their voices be heard. This workshop aims to provide resources for teachers to foster this.
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