Best practice music education drives demand in South Australia

Best practice music education drives demand in South Australia

The Limestone Coast in South Australia is quickly developing into a lighthouse region for quality music education.

The benefits of The Song Room’s Transformational Learning Through Creativity (TLC) pilot program were witnessed by teachers and principals across the region. At the end of the three-year pilot program in 2022, schools in the area were crying out to take part.

Primary School students enjoying arts learning lesson in South Australia

“In rural communities’ schools are often isolated. This isn’t just about music. This is about connection. We’re creating capacity and we’re creating culture within these school communities.”

– Scott Maxwell, TLC Teaching Artist Mentor, SA

The five primary schools that participated in the TLC pilot (2020-2022) in regional South Australia flourished as a result of the program. The Song Room’s Teaching Artist Mentor, Scott Maxwell worked closely with teachers to build their skills and confidence to deliver quality music learning. Students’ engagement and participation at school increased, and school culture bloomed.

“The transformation in the students, the staff, the leadership and the attitudes towards the arts has been monumental. You get the feeling that you’re making a difference in their life. Not just their school life but their life in general.”

– Scott Maxwell, TLC Teaching Artist Mentor, SA

In order to build a supportive and thriving community, the program was rolled out beyond single school settings in a cluster approach to delivery. Connecting teachers and principals across the region helped to establish a strong community of practice. Teachers shared their learning and were able to support each other to bring quality music education to their students. Some schools felt so empowered by the program they invited neighbouring schools to attend and participate in classes with Scott.

The program culminated in the ‘TLC Huge Day Out’ where students, teachers and principals from five schools gathered at Millicent Civic and Arts Centre to experience music making on a large scale. The combined music class brought the community together to connect and collaborate, with over 400 attendees singing, stomping and practicing music together.

‘The strength of the program is the sustainability of it. Teachers build the confidence and build the tools to continue with it. It’s broadened the experience of our students.’

– Anne-Marie Fitzgerald Principal Mt Burr School

When the TLC pilot came to an end in 2022, schools from across the region put their hands up to get The Song Room at their school. Demand was driven directly from schools, reflecting the impact of the program in the area. Thanks to support from the South Australian Government, ten schools will participate in 2023 including, for the first time, five early years sites.

The TLC pilot set the scene for The Limestone Coast to become a regional hub in best practice music education. A region that celebrities the arts across the community.

The Song Room’s TLC pilot program in South Australia was made possible by the Australian Government’s Department of Education with co-invest from South Australian Government’s Music Innovation Fund.

For more case studies on The Song Room programs in 2022, check out The Song Room’s 2022 Year in Review.