Incorporating sustainable change in schools is a critical factor to the success of The Song Room.
For us, sustainability means creating and embedding beneficial change. This is maintained through the continuation of music and arts based programs by schools and school communities after The Song Room Teaching Artists have completed their program.
Sustainability can be achieved through several different pathways depending upon the length of the program and the school context.
Teacher Mentoring and Professional Development
Teaching Artists are crucial to sustaining The Song Room model in schools. A significant part of the model is to mentor generalist teachers and provide them with professional development.
The Song Room Teaching Artists place a great deal of importance on the mentoring of generalist teachers to increase their skills and knowledge in the arts and assist them to confidently deliver music and arts based programs across the school.
“I am able to muddle my way through drama and visual art but it has been invaluable to work alongside Sheldon as I particularly lacked confidence re. how to approach teaching music across the primary age range. There are a number of children with whom my relationship has dramatically improved as a result of music” Teacher, St. Clare’s Primary School
In mentoring generalist teachers, The Song Room Teaching Artist undertakes a similar role to that of engaging students and providing a safe place to explore and learn new skills. They engage the generalist teachers in a multi-step process that breaks down barriers and builds confidence so they can eventually mentor teaching colleagues and deliver arts education regardless of their background in the arts.
The underlying purpose directly speaks from the Song Room’s philosophy of maximising children’s access to the arts by ensuring sustainable arts practices within each school after the conclusion of the program.