PD forums strike the right chord with teachers

PD forums strike the right chord with teachers

Several teacher professional development forums have kicked off across Australia with the aim of helping educators inspire children through the joy of music education.

The Musica Viva In Schools (MVIS) program, which reaches 1,300 schools nationwide and delivers high quality curriculum-aligned music education, launched the forums in February – and so far the feedback from teachers has been promising.

The professional development forums include education and training in Music and Movement, Storytelling through Music and Music and the Natural Environment.

“I really liked the soundscaping activity and I can see myself using that in the classroom quite easily,” Ian Phillips from Narrabeen Lakes Public School in NSW, said after attending the ‘Music Inspired by the Natural Environment PD’ forum.

Katrina Jeffrey, a teacher from Narrabeen Lakes Public School in NSW, said teachers not only had a “great deal of fun” at the forum but “learned a great deal”.

Speaking after MVIS’ Storytelling through Music PD forum, Deb Smith from Groves Christian College in Queensland, said the workshop had given her many new ideas to “refresh” her teaching and create new learning experiences and assessments.

Another Queensland teacher, Kim Kirkpatrick from Loving Hearts Childcare, said the forum was “a wonderful way to transform storytelling into an activity-based experience where children learn through doing”

Musica Viva has been a key member of the Australian Major Performing Arts Group advocating to government to move its Innovation agenda from a STEM approach to STEAM (A for Arts), arguing that a STEAM-based approach will optimise academic results and higher order thinking, collaborative practices and social skills.

Michael Sollis, Musica Viva’s artistic director of education, said providing opportunities for teachers to improve their music education is vital to build confidence in children who are interested in the subject.

“Even specialist teachers benefit from the opportunities to exchange ideas and refresh their practice through professional development and easy to use resources, Sollis told The Educator.

“There is no better way to facilitate this than through the joy of live performance, which will also be one of the most valuable musical experiences a child can have.”

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