Page 26 - The Song Room 2020 Year in Review
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The Song Room Education Advisory Group
Established in 2020 to bring together experts from The Song Room’s Board, team and the education sector to discuss current research, advocacy and best practice arts education to further support evidence for our programs.
The group includes: Anthony Mackay AM (The Song Room Chair/a leading international education advisor and consultant) and Julie Sonnemann (The Song Room Board/Acting Program Director, School Education Grattan Institute), with contributors Jess Harris (University of Newcastle), Prof. Helen Cahill (Director of the Youth Research Centre at the Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne), and Prof. Peter O’Connor (Director
of the Centre for Arts and Social Transformation at the University of Auckland).
Development of Program Logic
With a commitment to continuous reflection and improvement we took a critical eye to our Arts Learning approach with input from education researchers and policymakers, curriculum experts and leading international research to fine-tune our program logic and its practical implementation.
We created a clear structure and common language for program participants to understand and contextualise their program in relation to current research and contemporary teaching. The framework also helped participants to use the Arts for connection and social- emotional learning in the COVID-19 affected educational landscape.
Thank you to: Prof. Helen Cahill (University of Melbourne), Helen Champion and Robyn Carmody (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority), Simon Faivel (Social Ventures Australia), Matthew Deeble (Social Ventures Australia) and Song Room board members, Anthony Mackay AM and Julie Sonnemann.
Australian Performing Arts Teacher Association (APATA) - Contribution in Arts Education Award, 2020.
Leadership Events
The Song Room hosted a powerful and timely discussion on Student Well-being and the Arts with education leaders
and Song Room supporters to explore the latest thinking on the value of Arts Learning to build well-being and recovery in disadvantaged schools.
Highlighting leading research and innovative education approaches, it was a privilege to be part of the conversation with our guests and esteemed experts, Prof. Helen Cahill (University of Melbourne), Prof. Peter O’Connor (University of Auckland), moderator Song Room Chair, Anthony Mackay AM and CEO Alice Gerlach.
Industry Collaboration
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA): Arts education contributor to the review of the Australian Curriculum, with specific focus on the music curriculum
Music Education, A Sound Investment. Alberts Music/Tony Foundation: Participation by Julie Sonnemann, Alice Gerlach and Elise Hopkins, National Arts Learning Manager in strategy development to advocate for improved music education in Australian schools.
Learning Creates Australia – National Research Project: Participation by Elise Hopkins in the National Social Lab consulting on a new recognition system to support young people to access a range of pathways to work beyond school. (Research partner, Melbourne University.)
Industry publication: Proving it’s ongoing relevance, Tanya Vaughan’s essay on the research of Song Room programs in Queensland titled Creative Arts Indigenous Parental Engagement (CAIPE) was included in the collaborative anthology of articles, Borderless: Global Narratives in Art Education, published by The International Society for Education through Art (InSEA).

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