To be as effective as possible, our efforts are always closely aligned to Australia’s major policy makers, government agencies and key stakeholder organisations.
This is because we want our resources to have the most impact in the classroom, where it counts. To us, that means being part of the discussions about the place of arts in school curriculum.
The Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into the extent, benefits and potential of music education in Victorian schools
The Victorian Parliament’s Education and Training Committee is currently undertaking an inquiry into provision of music education in Victorian schools, examining needs, successful delivery methods and optimal funding allocation.
As a not for profit provider of music and arts programs in a significant number of low SES schools across the State, The Song Room was invited to make a submission and to give evidence at the hearing, which have both been reproduced and made public.
The key focus of The Song Room submission was that there are significant gaps in existing music and arts education opportunities for Victorian students, and that our program offers a cost effective way for all students to have access to quality music and arts programs.
Independent research has shown that The Song Room programs not only facilitate learning of music and the arts, but also to lift academic performance across the curriculum, and improve school attendance and social-emotional wellbeing.
A copy of The Song Room submission can be downloaded here.
National Cultural Policy
The Song Room submitted a full response to the National Cultural Policy when submissions were invited in late 2012.
There we outlined the ways our programs and activities already met many of those policy goals, including:
- Increasing and strengthening the capacity of the arts to contribute to Australian society and the economy
- Enriching and supporting the cultural and geographic diversity of 21st century Australia
- Using arts-based learning with culturally specific program content to nurture expressive, confident citizens who contribute to an inclusive society
- Targeting disadvantaged schools and communities for more Australians to have the opportunity to participate in the cultural life of the nation
- Using emerging technologies to enable more people to access and participate in arts and culture
- Leading creative innovation in music learning
- Promoting stronger engagement between arts organisations and philanthropic and business communities
The National Cultural Policy can be viewed here.
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority – The Shape of the Australian Curriculum 2011
Between 120 and 160 hours of arts education are recommended for children each year.
Unfortunately, most generalist primary school teachers complete no more than a total of 21 hours of arts training across all art forms in their teacher education. They are therefore generally not equipped to deliver a full learning program of dance, drama, visual arts, music and media.
The Song Room offers school-specific, creative music and arts-based programs across five art forms. Thanks to our many partnerships with Australia’s leading arts organisations, we are well placed to take a strategic role in supporting the Australian Arts Curriculum where gaps in arts education expertise currently exist.
This is why Education Services Australia (ESA) has partnered with The Song Room to create a suite of Australian arts curriculum-aligned online resources ahead of the forthcoming arts curriculum rollout. These resources form the bulk of ARTS:LIVE, an interactive online learning platform that supports arts education in schools, particularly those without specialist teachers in the arts. More information on this initiative can be found here.