Students from across Victoria will have better access to quality music education thanks to a new music teacher mentoring program supported by the state’s government.
Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino, said more than 125 teachers in 80 schools will be mentored in music teaching this year through the DUET Music Learning and Mentoring program, run by The Song Room.
“Research shows that music education can lead to better grades across the board, better results and better attendance,” Merlino said.
“That’s why we’re supporting teachers across Victoria, so they can have the resources, networks and experience to deliver music education to our classrooms.”
The DUET program helps teachers with limited or no experience in music education establish new music programs or expand existing ones, particularly in rural or regional areas.
The Victorian Government has invested $380,000 in the DUET program designed to build teacher confidence and introduce more musical education into the classroom.
The program includes face-to-face mentoring, coaching and support through workshops for teachers spanning Prep to Year 6, and across specialist schools.
The Song Room is a national organisation that provides tailored, long-term music and arts learning programs in schools located in predominantly high need communities.
Research has found high-quality music education has a range of benefits including positive social, cultural and educational outcomes.
DUET is part of a broader suite of initiatives that are increasing opportunities for all children and young people in Victoria to access and experience quality music education, regardless of their background or location.
This includes the Musical Futures Australia Professional Learning Program, the Quality Music Education Fund and National Music Teacher Mentoring Program.
Studies have shown that singing and playing music is one of the most effective ways to help young people learn. The benefits include a longer attention span, emotional stability, resilience and cognitive capacity.
Importantly, this type of education has also been shown to help students progress in crucial learning areas such as English, Science and Mathematics – which have seen a decline in student outcomes in recent years.
‘A chance to engage struggling students’
Simon Gipson, CEO of The Song Room, said a critical factor of the program is that it has been shown to have a profoundly positive impact on the most disadvantaged students.
“Here is a chance to engage these struggling students and ultimately lift their learning outcomes. What principal would not want to see that in their school?” Gipson said.
“Even though this is an opt-in for schools, it is an opportunity for them to work at a system level, and that’s an extraordinary opportunity because it means there is a chance to deliver system-wide change.”
Gipson said there is an increasing expectation on education systems to ensure that students are properly equipped for the 21st century.
“It’s becoming more important for organisations like The Song Room and others to work in strategic partnership with governments to support them in achieving our collaborative goal of supporting the learning of young Australians as best we can,” he said.