PRESIDENT’S WELCOME We hope you like the stylish new appearance of The Music Stand. This is all part of MTASA’s push to improve its media presence for the benefit of our membership and the public image of our profession. You may also have noticed how our new website is not only up and running but undergoing improvements as we go along. We aim to give it an official launch during our MTA Expo in September and in the meantime our team is picking up and rectifying the inevitable glitches and making small modifications. During our second Professional Development Day on April 19 all five presenters provided high quality information and advice on Group Teaching from very different perspectives. Further information on that very successful day’s proceedings is to be found elsewhere in this journal. Participants seem to have been more than pleased with the amount of information made available on the (still) slightly contentious group teaching approach. Our next two events are emphatically pupil-centred. Concert Performance Day on Saturday May 13 trials a new venue for us although one very much used by many similar organisations – The Salvation Army Citadel in Norwood. Our new format Prize Day is in the familiar surroundings of Cynthia Poulton Hall on June 24 and we are delighted that Emeritus Professor David Lockett AM and Dr Emily Dollman have agreed to adjudicate. We hope members will encourage suitable pupils to take advantage of these events, as they have proved valuable over the years. All good wishes for your ongoing work during the year.
Rodney Smith, President
FROM THE TREASURER
A new way to pay in 2017! With the launch of our new website, we are excited to offer our members a new system for subscriptio n r enewal. You can now login and renew your membership online via our secure registration system. When your subscriptio n is next due, you will receive an automated reminder email inviting you to login and renew your subscription. Payments can be made instantly via PayPal or the option of paying by Cash, Cheque or EFT can be used. For all existing members, subscriptio n rene wals for the 2017/2018 Financial Year will be due on 30 June 2017. For all recently new members, subscriptio n rene wals will occur every 12 months based on the date you became a member. FAQs: Do I need to have an online account with MTASA to continue my membership? No. MTASA values its rich history and long-standing members. We will still send you a paper invoice if you prefer it, however an online account will give you access to exclusive content only available to members. Do I need to pay via credit card when registering online? No. While our online PayPal payment system is instant and secure, Cash, Cheque and EFT payments are also a n welcome optio. What happens if I renew my membership after it’s due? Memberships not paid by their due date will automatically default to a ’free’ online membership and temporary removal from the mailing list, until membership is renewed and all access is restored. Coming Soon! Online registrations for Newsletter and Directory Advertising Need to ask a question? Contact Sam at email@example.com 3
International qualifications in Teaching? Performing? St Cecilia International Qualifications • Associate, Licentiate and Fellowship Diplomas in teaching and performing for all subjects • Certificate of Music Teaching (CMT) for all subjects • Diplomas which are relevant to present-day performance and teaching situations • Recognition and generous credit for prior learning and experience • No memory component for performance diplomas • Reciprocal qualifications with other international boards • Accreditation for music teachers SCSM Examinations PO Box 938 LAUNCESTON TAS 7250
St Cecilia has provided high standard music examinations for over 40 years. Further details may be obtained by telephoning 1800 675 292.
P. 1800 675 292 Email. firstname.lastname@example.org Web. www.st-cecilia.com.au
TABLE OF CONTENTS
“THE MUSIC STAND”
PRESIDENT’S WELCOME by Rodney Smith
The Newsletter of the Music Teachers’ Association of South Australia Incorporated
FROM THE TREASURER by Sam Penny
Print Post Pub. No 100003224
COMING MTASA EVENTS
VOLUME 25 NO 2 – Winter 2017
MEMBER INFORMATION OTHER ORGANISATIONS’ CONCERTS OTHER ORGANISATIONS’ EVENTS
6 6 7 8
AUSTRALASIAN PIANO PEDAGOGY CONFERENCE 2017 by Rodney Smith, Conference Chair
PIANISTS LEARNING TO BECOME ACCOMPANISTS – IMPORTANT SKILLS TO DEVELOP!
ACCOMPANIST’S CORNER – MY ACCOMPANYING STORY by Ros Sarre
AMEB STUDENT ACCOMPANIST AWARD
PEDAGOGY MATTERS by Rodney Smith
PURPOSEFUL SCALES by Samantha Penny
PATRONS: Dr. Doreen Bridges AM Emeritus Professor David Lockett AM PRESIDENT:
AUDITOR: Australian Independent Audit Services COUNCIL 2016/2017: Pete Barter, Robert Boundy, Robert Brown, Norma Knight, Masako Kondo, Monika Laczofy, Carly McDonald, David Metin, Samantha Penny, Rodney Smith, Betty Snowden, Hayley Wedding, Pat Wilson
EDITOR: Newsletter Layout:
Robert Brown Masako Kondo
MEMBERSHIP ENQUIRIES to the Secretary – PO BOX 4, RUNDLE MALL, ADELAIDE SA 5000 Mobile: 0402 575 219 E-mail: email@example.com
MUSIC TEACHING AND MUSICAL ACTIVITIES AT MOUNT GAMBIER: TEACHING THE PIANO IN MOUNT GAMBIER by Heather Lucas MOUNT GAMBIER EISTEDDFOD by Maxine Chalinor OAM GENERATIONS IN JAZZ – MOUNT GAMBIER, MAY 4-7, 2017 by Gretel Sneath THE JAMES MORRISON ACADEMY OF MUSIC by Alexie Jell
ADVERTISING – Please contact the Secretary Please see MEMBER INFORMATION page for Advertising Price List.
CONTRIBUTIONS and DEADLINES for 2017/2018 Contributions to The Music Stand are most welcome. All items to be included must reach the Editor, Robert Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than these deadlines: Monday July 31; Tuesday October 31; Wednesday January 31; Monday April 30, 2018.
14 15 16 17 18
ADVICE FOR PIANISTS: PIANO LESSON MYTHS, PART 4 by Howard Richman
AUTUMN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY 2017: SUMMARIES OF GUEST SPEAKERS’ PRESENTATIONS
CONTACT DETAILS FOR OTHER ORGANISATIONS
Please visit http://www.mtasa.com.au/
MTASA FACEBOOK Please visit the MTASA Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/The-Music-TeachersAssociation-of-SA-Inc-883307955101655/.
COMING MTASA EVENTS, 2017/2018
The Music Teachers’ Association extends a warm welcome to the following music teachers who have joined the association. We looking forward to meeting them at our events. John Phillips Sian Cliffe Alida Konyn
Full member Student member Full member (from
Piano Piano Piano
Heather Lander Ian Russell
Full member Full member
Cello Violin, Viola
MEMBERSHIP OF MTASA Visit http://mtasa.com.au/index.php/members/become-amember/ to join MTASA.
RECOMMENDED TEACHING FEES
The following teaching rates are recommended to members by the MTASA Council for 2017. Full Member General Member Associate Member Student Member
$70 per hour $70 per hour $60 per hour $45 per hour
MTASA MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES AND FEES Full Member $105 General Member Associate Member Student Member Friend Member Institution Member
$105 $100 $52 $30 $30
MTASA MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTION RENEWAL 2017
Saturday June 24
Competitions Day: Reimann – Robinson Scholarship, Miriam Hyde Awards, Norman Sellick Memorial Prize Where:
Cynthia Poulton Hall, St. Peter’s Cathedral, 27 King William Road, North Adelaide Admission: gold coin Download the entry form at https://mtasa.com.au/events/ The Reimann-Robinson Scholarship is open to all instrumental/vocal students of any member of the MTASA who is teaching in a private capacity. Open to students who are 18 years or under on the closing day of entry to the Scholarship. The Miriam Hyde Open Award is open to all instrumental/vocal students of any member of the MTASA or related organisations. Open to students of any age. The Miriam Hyde Junior Award is open to all instrumental/vocal students of any member of the MTASA or related organisations. Open to students under 15 years of age on the closing date of entry. The Norman Sellick Memorial Prize is open to all instrumental/vocal students of any member of the MTASA who is teaching in a private capacity. Open to students who are 12 years or under on the closing day of entries to the competition.
Sunday August 27
Concert Performance Day 2 Where: Carclew, 11 Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide Admission: gold coin Download the entry form at https://mtasa.com.au/events/ Sunday September 24
Music Educators’ Expo 2017 Venue: Thebarton Community Centre, Torrensville
Sunday October 22
Spring Professional Development Day Where: Fee:
Hartley Concert Room, The University of Adelaide. Member $85, Non-Member $105, Student $45
January 17-18, 2018 Most membership subscriptions will be due on June 30, 2017. Subscription renewal notices will be sent out in May via e-mail, with a link provided to instantly update your membership online. Both on and offline payment options are available by following the link. Please pay your subscription promptly.
Summer Conference Venue: Seymour College, Glen Osmond
NOTICE TO STUDENT MEMBERS
PHOTO COMPETITION You can see from this edition of The Music Stand that we’re steadily updating our image. We’re proud of the design and layout of our new website and hope you’re enjoying its added convenience and information. Now, we’d like your help. Musicians are artists and we know that a lot of you are keen photographers as well as fine music educators. We’re running a competition for the best artistic photo of music in action... because we want to feature our members’ photographic skills on the front cover of The Music Stand. Who can enter? Only members of MTASA. Entry is free. What’s the prize? Free membership of MTASA for one year! So get snapping!! Because it’s a competition, there have to be rules. Visit the MTASA website at www.mtasa.com.au, log into the members area (top right corner of the Home page) and then follow the prompts to submit your photo.
OTHER ORGANISATIONS’ CONCERTS RECITALS AUSTRALIA WEDNESDAY LUNCH HOUR CONCERTS 2017 Where: Pilgrim Church, 12 Flinders Street, Adelaide, When: at 12-10 pm and 1-10 pm. Adults: $5. Tickets at the door. Enquiries: Ph. 8266-4936. Visit http://www.recitalsaustralia.org.au/ for more information.
ELDER HALL CONCERTS 2017 Lunch Hour Concert Series, 1-10 pm General admission: $12. Gold Pass Subscriptions available. Evenings at Elder Hall Ticket Prices: $30 Adult; $24 Concession; $19.50 Student. Visit www.elderhall.adelaide.edu.au for more information.
Have you fulfilled the requirements for Associate or Full Membership? Student members are reminded that Student membership is restricted to four years after which time it is expected that they would be eligible for another membership category. Student members who are ready to upgrade their membership are invited to submit an application form to the Secretary together with the required supporting documents. Criteria can be downloaded from the MTASA website (www.mtasa.com.au) or obtained from the Secretary. ACCREDITATION
Members are invited to seek accreditation by obtaining applications forms from the MTASA Secretary and submitting them to the Music Teachers’ Association of New South Wales. Visit http://www.musicnsw.com.au/teachers/accreditat ion/ for more information. Upon gaining accreditation members are then requested to advise the MTASA Secretary if they wish to have this qualification entered either on our website or in ‘The Directory of Teachers of Music’. This information cannot be supplied by the Music Teachers’ Association of New South Wales due to privacy laws. EMAIL ADDRESSES
MITCHAM ORCHESTRA When: Where:
Sunday May 28, 2-00 pm Cumberland Park Community Centre, 390 Goodwood Road, Cumberland Park Conductor: Tully Brookes. Soloist: Angel Li, violin, winner of Mitcham Orchestra/Mitcham Rotary Club Prize 2016. Includes music by Kabalevsky and Haydn. Admission: $12, Family $20 (2 Adults, 2 Children), at the door.
MTASA would like to update all members’ e-mail addresses. Please send to the Secretary at email@example.com. WEBSITE
Visit www.mtasa.com.au and have a look. Members should have received an e-mail inviting them to visit the website (if you haven’t received an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
DIRECTORY OF TEACHERS OF MUSIC The Music Teachers’ Association of South Australia Incorporated
ADELAIDE EISTEDDFOD SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS CONCERT When: Where: Admission:
Monday, September 25, 7-30 pm Salvation Army Citadel, 55 George Street, Norwood Adult $10, Seniors/Student $8, Children under 16 free
THE DIRECTORY OF TEACHERS OF MUSIC
YOUNG VIRTUOSO SA FINAL 2017
43rd EDITION 2017
(previously MBS Young Performer)
FREE TRB: Registered teacher with the TRB, SAT: Special Authority for un unregistered person to teach Instruments as an Instrumental Music Teacher(TRB) DCSI: National Police Clearance, RAN: Reporting Abuse and Neglect Training certificate For instruments code, refer to page xx
The 43rd Edition of ‘The Directory of Teachers of Music’ produced by the Association has been distributed to music stores throughout Adelaide, and is available to students/parents who are seeking a teacher. The 44th Edition will be issued towards the end of 2017. Production of ‘The Directory of Teachers of Music’ is made possible by the businesses and associations who have placed advertisements. Members are asked to check their entry in the ‘The Directory of Teachers of Music’ and to advise the Secretary (email@example.com) of any updates or errors.
ADVERTISING PRICE LIST FOR THE MUSIC STAND, 2017 A4 size page (210 mm X 297 mm) Full Page Half Page Third Page Quarter Page Sixth Page
Per issue Colour B/W
For 4 issues Colour B/W
$250 $125 $83 $63 $42
$800 $400 $267 $200 $133
$200 $100 $67 $50 $33
$640 $320 $213 $160 $107
INSERTION FEE FOR POSTERS AND FLYERS
One issue $100. Four issues $360. Advertisers have two choices: 1.to provide the inserts, 2. To provide the artwork, MTASA will arrange the printing and invoice for this.
Members placing an ad are entitled to a 15% discount. CLASSIFIED AD MTA Members, free. Non-members, $15. Please contact the Secretary about advertising. Mobile: 0402 575 219 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adjudicators: Monika Laczofy and Pat Wilson When: Sunday, October 15, 2-30 pm Where: St John’s Anglican Church, 379 Halifax Street, Adelaide Admission: Adult $15, 5MBS Member/Student $5
OTHER ORGANISATIONS’ EVENTS AUSTRALASIAN PIANO PEDAGOGY CONFERENCE, JULY 10- 4, 2017 by Rodney Smith, Conference Chair It’s good to see a very strong contingent of teachers and performers from South Australia has already registered to attend this conference in July. As South Australia is hosting the event a significant presence from local musicians indicates we really do have a vibrant education and music scene here – not one just talked up to draw in visitors at Festival time! If you haven’t already registered why don’t you join us? The daily rate is actually set at reasonable levels considering the number of top quality Professional Development hours available. In fact it’s been calculated you could generate two-thirds of your required 60 Professional Development hours for re-registration if you attended each day. The website is at www.appca.com.au.
PIANISTS LEARNING TO BECOME ACCOMPANISTS – IMPORTANT SKILLS TO DEVELOP! Over recent years, the Accompanists’ Guild of SA has been running a successful educational program titled Young Accompanists’ Showcase which has been supported by teachers to introduce collaborative playing to the highly motivated student. Central to the aims of the program is to provide an opportunity for the secondary school pianist to learn about the expectations of working with a professional musician and all the relevant skills associated with accompanying in performance. It is a unique platform to develop the pianist’s musicianship skills and developing the art of listening which is vital in performance. The soloists for the 2017 Young Accompanists Showcase are four professional musicians and teachers: Naomi Hede – soprano, Alison Heike – violin, Keith Hempton – bass, Charles Klein – oboe. The pianists will be assigned pieces to work with their teacher and then rehearse with the soloist in preparation for:
Sunday July 2, Masterclass, Marryatville High School, Kensington Road, 2.00 pm, conducted by Jamie Cock, highly regarded professional accompanist and chamber pianist. Sunday July 30, Concert, Marryatville High School, Kensington Road, 2.30 pm, an informal setting for performance experience. Saturday August 5, Concert, Cynthia Poulton Hall, St Peter’s Cathedral, North Adelaide, during the Accompanists Guild’s 2017 Conference, which has a focus on Keyboard Accompaniment in Choral Music. This has proven to be an exciting and rewarding experience for the developing pianist. Here are some comments made by one of last year’s participants, Marcus Kha: ‘Participating in the Young Accompanists’ Showcase this year has been a very enjoyable and informative experience for me. Being able to rehearse and perform with a professional soloist was an excellent way to improve both my solo playing and ensemble skills. I learned ways to develop my technique and musicality, as well as important methods in ensemble playing such as communication and complementing each other’s dynamics. Being able to listen to the other participants was also very useful, as I could hear how they were playing and working together and where they could improve. The masterclass was especially informative for this reason. In addition, the chosen repertoire was very enjoyable and exposed me to some excellent composers and music that I otherwise would not have discovered’. For further information, please contact the Convenor, Gina Macri, at email@example.com or telephone 0407 394 714.
METROPOLITAN MALE CHOIR ANNUAL MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP The Metropolitan Male Choir of SA Inc. invites applications for the Annual Music Scholarship. Valued at $2,000, the scholarship is open to young musicians with proven musical ability and a strong desire to continue their musical development. A second prize of $1,000 may be awarded on the recommendation of the adjudicating panel. The award is designed to recognise the ability of outstanding young musicians, to encourage them to pursue their studies and to provide opportunities for the winners to perform publicly as associate artists with the choir. Applicants must be aged between 12 and 16 years as at January 1, 2017. Enquiries: Bill Scott, Ph. 8227-0472, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or Geoff Sieben, Ph. 8242-7333, e-mail email@example.com, or visit the website at www.mmcsa.org. Entries close on Saturday, September 2, and the auditions will be held on Saturday, September 23.
ACCOMPANIST’S CORNER MY ACCOMPANYING STORY by Ros Sarre My accompanying story really began when I was only seven years old. I begged my parents over and over to let me learn piano, and finally when I was seven they let me take lessons, and I have never looked back. I got up at 5 am and practised every day, it was the one thing in my life that I was disciplined at and had a passion for every day. I knew God had given me a gift of music and even from those early days I wanted to use this gift to the best of my ability. I loved playing. I loved performing. I loved everything about the piano. I progressed through AMEB exams, eisteddfods, school solos and concerts. I played in church, at family concerts, wherever I could. There was never a day when I didn’t play the piano. From memory I think the very first experience of accompanying was playing Chariots of Fire in a band that my friends and I formed when I was 12 years old. Throughout high school I really enjoyed accompanying other students on their instruments. When I was 15 my work experience was walking down to the local kindergarten and accompanying their school choir. During this period of my life I was learning and growing in my faith and I loved playing the piano for the contemporary worship songs
in my church, which I still do to this day.
accompanying and playing for their school performances and musicals.
When I faced the ‘what will I do after school’ questions that every high school students faces, the answer was obviously - I would keep playing the piano. I completed a Bachelor of Music in performance and education and along the way completed an accompanying certificate at the Flinders Street School of Music too.
One of the things I love about accompanying is the variety of music I work with. From classical choral works to jazz saxophone and contemporary vocalists - I seem to keep finding new challenges every year. I love it.
I loved teaching music in High Schools but there was one downside, I was playing less myself. Throughout my years of teaching music in the classroom and teaching piano I learnt that my strength was working one on one with students and I really loved accompanying in particular. When I returned to work after having children I chose not to step back into the classroom but to focus on my newfound passion working one on one with students as an accompanist. Over the years I have often been drawn to disadvantaged and challenging students and have been privileged to be able to help these students in other aspects of their lives as well. I have discovered that for many of these children music is a positive, productive outlet. I have now built up my own business accompanying and teaching piano from home and enjoy the balance of both. I have many students come to my home throughout the year to have rehearsals for AMEB exams, competitions, auditions and performances. I work at several different schools and enjoy the interaction I have with the students,
However, the two real driving forces behind my accompanying have not changed over all these years. First is the people - whether it’s a 7 year old nervous child before their first violin solo at a school music night or a ‘professional’ rehearsing for their licentiate exam, I love the chance to use my musical gift to invest in others, to help them grow and succeed and I still love that special buzz when you look at your partner after a performance and you both know that you nailed it! And second is my faith. I have always believed that God gave me this musical gift and even today, every time I play I feel like God releases something special inside me, something I didn’t put there, something I can’t create, something that is life-giving for me and a blessing for others. There’s an old poster that still hangs on my wall above the piano that quotes J.S. Bach as saying ‘I play the notes as they are written… but it is God who makes the music’. That’s my accompanying story so far. It’s a story that is still being written and I am more passionate now than ever about what might happen next. Thanks for the opportunity to share it with you. ♫♫♫
AMEB STUDENT ACCOMPANIST AWARD instrumental teacher, as well as a full score of works performed. The panel will consider whether the candidate: • Made himself/herself available in a reasonable manner for rehearsals. • Facilitated communication during rehearsals and performances. • Supported the candidate well during performances. • Helped to make the performance a positive experience. • Performed the works well.
An award is offered to acknowledge a candidate who, in developing performance skills through the AMEB system has successfully accompanied another candidate in their AMEB exam. The value of the award is $700. To be eligible candidates must have a minimum of AMEB Grade 6 Practical and AMEB Grade 3 Theory and have undertaken a minimum of three AMEB exams. Candidates must apply for the award through the AMEB on 8313 8088 or www.ameb.adelaide.edu.au and have parents’ approval if younger than 18. To determine the winner, a judging panel from the Accompanists’ Guild of South Australia will be given feedback from the AMEB examiner and the
In the case of a tie between two or more student accompanists the candidate having to perform the more challenging work, musically and technically, will be deemed the winner. AN EXCITING NEW INCENTIVE offered by the AMEB to enthusiastic piano exam candidates! Aside from sharing their obvious love of music with interested students, teachers spend much time and energy helping them to achieve success in exams. We find that those candidates who reach the upper levels, often then drop off either through the pressures of school studies or beginning to ask why - where will this piano practice take them - what will it do for them - is it worth taking further??? Very few will have the drive/passion/strength/steel/determina tion to pursue a solo career.
This Award encourages candidates to collaborate, to enjoy the longer-term preparation of an exam program with a peer, rather than with a professional accompanist engaged frequently quite late in the process. Studying the music together would stimulate greater awareness of musical ensemble in both players and predictably make the exam experience more of an adventure than a trial! A word from a teacher can make all the difference, alerting students to the benefits of making music with others, encouraging them to venture into ensemble playing, paving the way for a possible career path! In an article for the MTA’s newsletter, The Music Stand, Stefan Ammer (former Head of Keyboard, Elder Conservatorium) wrote ‘Pianists are lonely animals and playing with other musicians is a necessity for balancing a musician’s life style’. Frances Wood wrote ‘... not every pianist will go on to be a concert pianist but there’s always a place in society for a sensitive and musical accompanist!’ After all, all instrumentalists, singers/choirs/theatre groups/dancers need a pianist - how would they manage learning/rehearsing/performing without one?!?! ♫♫♫
PEDAGOGY MATTERS by Rodney Smith Members whose registration requires renewal at the end of this year should now be seriously addressing the challenges of mapping their obtained or anticipated 60 Professional Development hours against the Australian Curriculum and Professional Standards in preparation for the renewal process. Members may be aware that Provisional Restricted and Restricted Registration categories will be discontinued at the end of this year. Members in these
categories may be eligible for the Special Authority to Teach category and it’s understood further information concerning how they may apply will be made available nearer the end of the year. Members with queries on these and related matters should always refer initially to the Teachers Registration Board website which has copious information on a wide variety of topics. A second cohort of students has recently graduated from the University of Adelaide’s Graduate Certificate in
Music Teaching. They undertook an ‘accelerated schedule’ that enabled them to become qualified to teach in DECD schools this year, having commenced in January. A third cohort is completing the program over the whole of 2017 in the normal manner and a fourth cohort will be admitted in January 2018 to complete in December of that year. Enquiries should be directed to the Conservatorium Music Office and/or the University’s website. ♫♫♫
PURPOSEFUL SCALES by Samantha Penny considering what knowledge and skills are required to learn a particular piece. He suggests to proceed by teaching the ingredients, ‘stand-alone’, before tackling the piece. I believe that scales are an excellent platform for practising the teaching of these ‘ingredients’ and for students to experiment with musical elements. Samantha Penny
Even as an enthusiastic violin student, scales never sat well with me. The realisation that my very first violin teacher never taught me a single scale confirmed why they caused me so much angst in my secondary years with much ‘cramming’ prior to exams! We all know the importance of practising scales and their role in technical and musical development, so how do we use them purposefully to encourage confidence and technique? To answer this, I look at the Australian Curriculum: The Arts – Music1 where we find constant referral to the ‘elements’ of music: Rhythm, pitch, dynamics and expression, texture, tone, and timbre. Maybe you can see already the point that I’m making?
Considering how we convey the elements as conceptual ideas to students can open up some new ideas and approaches in our teaching. In his book, Improve Your Teaching!, Paul Harris talks extensively of teaching through the ‘ingredients’ of music, by first
How do we teach each element of music using scales? First only focus on one or two elements at a time. I often ask students to play each note of a scale to a particular rhythm, using various note values and meter. I may present these rhythms by imitation, flash cards or singing words. Students may come to a lesson with a rhythm already in mind, or they can compose their own. We can take this further by writing down new rhythms, and extending ideas into compositions. Experimentation with texture can be particularly fun in a group setting. Major and Harmonic Minor Scales work very well played as rounds in two or three parts, played in thirds. This helps students to listen to their own part and become aware of how their sounds interact with others. If you have access to other instruments, such as a cello, piano or viola – why not use them to provide accompaniments or change the texture? Wendy Heiligenberg has noted how often string players are satisfied with just one sound. As a string teacher, we can often get caught up in teaching the technical mechanics of the instrument and the body, neglecting tone variation as we boost student confidence with a ‘big, full sound’. I have certainly noticed in my own teaching that discussions about tone happen more often in 13
woodwind lessons than strings. With my younger students, I introduce ‘emotions’, eg happy, excited, nervous. Introducing the concept that music can invoke an emotion encourages discussions about how we manipulate the elements of music with our instrument to achieve different sounds. My young string players particularly enjoy playing ‘angry’ major scales and are often delighted with the different sounds they create. This is also an excellent vehicle for teaching dynamics and expression. Visual representations, ie pictures or flash cards representing types of tone or expression can lead to a very creative process. A mixed and varied approach to all teaching will encourage the development of the ‘whole’ musician. Taking the time to teach the elements of music in scale time means spending less time following tutor books, and teaching more efficiently and effectively. We see more creativity and engagement as students take responsibility for their interpretation. They enjoy exploring and discovering the endless possibilities that are available in each performance. References ACARA: The Australian Curriculum: The Arts – Music. www.australiancurriculum.edu.au Harris, P. (2006). ‘Improve Your Teaching! An Essential Handbook for Instrumental and Singing Teachers’. Faber Music: London. Heilengeberg, W. (2015) ‘Sound Production Hints for String Players.’ In The Music Stand, Vol. 23 No. 4 Oct/Dec 2015. For more ideas on teaching scales: Blackwell, K and Blackwell, D. (2012). ‘Fiddle Time Scales 1’. Revised Edition. Oxford University Press: London.
MUSIC TEACHING AND MUSICAL ACTIVITIES AT MOUNT GAMBIER
Mount Gambier, which is a dormant volcano, was the first place in South Australia to be named by European explorers. It was sighted by Lieutenant James Grant, RN from the survey brig HMS Lady Nelson and named on December 3, 1800 for Lord James Gambier, Admiral of the Fleet. The Centenary Tower, built on Mount Gambier in 1901, commemorates Lieutenant Grant’s sighting. The town was first laid out on the slopes of Mount Gambier following land sales in 1849. With a population of around 29,000 people Mount Gambier is the second largest city in South Australia.
Located in the south eastern corner of the state, Mount Gambier is 450 kilometres from Adelaide and 17 kilometres from the Victorian border. It is the most important settlement in the Limestone Coast region and the seat of government for both the City of Mount Gambier and the District Council of Grant. The Mount Gambier region is known for its limestone, volcanic landscape and crater lakes, including the famous Blue Lake, caves and sinkholes, forests and wine, parks and gardens. It is a mecca for caving and cave diving
and renowned for the visual and performing arts, particularly jazz. Sir Robert Helpmann, CBE (1909-1986), the distinguished Australian dancer, choreographer, actor and director was born at Mount Gambier. The Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre at Mt Gambier is named in recognition of his achievements. Here are some descriptions of musical activities that help make Mount Gambier a centre of excellence for music education and performance. ♫♫♫
Diving in Piccaninnie Ponds
TEACHING THE PIANO IN MOUNT GAMBIER by Heather Lucas (firstname.lastname@example.org) four years now with outstanding results.
I have been teaching the piano in Mount Gambier since I was nineteen years old. During most of that time I have taught at St Martin’s Lutheran College, local state schools and also run a school of music in my home. My students have been encouraged to sit for AMEB exams for many years now and recently I have represented the Lower South East music teachers. We have welcomed AMEB examiners into our midst and enjoyed their sharing of wisdom whilst they are down in the South East. I enjoy travelling to Adelaide for AMEB and SAMTA conferences and PD days, always eager to hear about new ideas that are presented. In the last few years I have been looking at news ways of sharing my love of piano with my students. I have recently been trialling new ideas that have changed how I teach and how my students interact with me. In 2016 I introduced team teaching and one hour lessons involving practical, theory and technical studies. Last year’s exam results in both practical and theory were a very positive result of this new idea. Part of my teaching has involved an incentive scheme that is based on a website called Music Mate (www.music-mate.com.au). My son and daughter-in-law (both Sydney based web developers) have built this site with my input and we are presently trialling it with other teachers. I have been using it for
Christmas camp activities: Rhythm cup carols and mini concert We have a theme every year, just for fun and interest. This year it is Pokemon. Each student is placed in a team. There are eight teams this year. These measures have helped engender a sense of community amongst my students.
Performing at Rail Lands in Mount Gambier
Everyone is enrolled in a ‘50 page challenge’: this is a longer term goal that will bring a big benefit; 1000 points or 1 gold coin. What can you do with those points and coins? This is where the incentive comes into it. On the site, look for the Rewards tab. These are items available to ‘buy’ with your coins. Everyone is quite excited at the beginning of the year to see what ‘Rewards’ are available. These rewards provide something to work towards for many students. There is also a ‘news’ section, where I give you up to date items about what’s going on or results of past events, etc. I charge a levy of $10 per term that goes towards the website. Performance is encouraged at all times and students are invited to several mini concerts at my studio each term. Students also showcase their achievements at our end of year concert in Wehl Street Theatre, as well as other busking events around Mount Gambier during the year. ♫♫♫
The student receives a username (usually the child’s first name) and a password. You may only access the site using this, so it is private to others. Each week, parents are able to view their child’s progress. A report card, without writing one or having to remember important achievements! What they receive: points for everything. These are called achievements. There are points for attendance, bringing music diary, how many practices, theory pages completed, attending a mini concert and performing to other family members. You name it and we probably give points for that too!!
Rewards for students to ‘buy’
MOUNT GAMBIER EISTEDDFOD by Maxine Chalinor OAM
section for these two instruments and later Roy Petifer introduced Brass and Woodwind.
Allan Woodham (who records the verbal crits), Olivia Harrison (current Music Director) and Adjudicator Bill Broughton
Mount Gambier Eisteddfod commenced in 1982 as a project of Backstage Incorporated, a group who were active in supporting the performing arts in the South East of South Australia and in Western Victoria. They had in the four years they had been formed, worked as Backstage crew (hence the name) on many local productions, run workshops bringing in talented people from the cities, and set up a series of small scholarships. The Eisteddfod started in the first year with just Dance and Calisthenics. In year two pianoforte was added under the guidance of Trish Schmeirer. Trish was a well-known local music teacher and had set up and conducted a boy’s choir which sadly has folded. The following year strings were added. Trish did not want to add more to her sections, so local guitar and organ teacher David Allison took on the task of running a
Finding people with the time to organise divisions is not easy and one by one the directors stepped away and all music disciplines were then combined into one Division and it is still run that way today. One of the biggest growths in music was in the pianoforte with the event running for three full days. However lately there has been a sad lack of interest in competing among the students and the section now is less than a day. Daniel Lynn, a local piano teacher, who ran the music division for 12 years said it is frustrating that you cannot get the interest as having come up through the Eisteddfod scene himself, he is fully aware of the benefits of appearing on stage in front of an audience and gaining the critique of someone apart from your teacher. The Music Division has a major award that was originally sponsored by the local TV channel SE Telecaster, taken over by WIN TV, and now sponsored by Majella Wines. Many of our local music teachers were recipients of this award, including Daniel. Most wellknown of the winners would be Adam Page.
One question often asked in music competitions is do you organise your programme in grades or age? If you organise it in grades you can have people of 6 years old competing with people of 30 years old. If you organise it in age then you can have Grade 2 competing against Grade 8. Our new director has come up with a part solution. Our competition is organised in age groups, but the open sections are in Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. Our Music Division is run in the Wehl Street Community Theatre, an intimate theatre of a good size for music which has a relatively new C6 Yamaha grand for the contestants to use.
Clancy Dow and Bill Broughton with the C6 Yamaha
Entries to the 2017 Mount Gambier Eisteddfod are now open and entry is online via www.stardom.com.au. ♫♫♫
GENERATIONS IN JAZZ – MOUNT GAMBIER, MAY 5-7, 2017 by Gretel Sneath
Mount Gambier on SA’s Limestone Coast again became the nation’s music epicentre for a weekend, with the annual Generations in Jazz (GIJ) Festival held from May 4-7. The number of schools participating in 2017 has smashed all previous records; an incredible 4,700 students representing 125 schools from every state and territory around the nation were bussed into the Blue Lake city to make music on a massive scale.
Marryatville High School. ‘We were there in the very early days when there were only a small number of bands, and it had the same sort of feeling that it does now, only on a bigger scale’, said Marryatville music director Rob Chenoweth. ‘There has always been great family and community spirit, and also the connection with all of the directors and the schools - the way that they all support one another – it’s just a great experience’.
‘There’s been enormous growth; every year we break records, but we really surged ahead this year with 305 stage bands and vocal ensembles performing more than 800 musical pieces in 10 different pavilions across the Generations in Jazz Festival precinct’, says GIJ chairman James Morrison. ‘There are plenty of big festivals, but not with 4,700 people actually playing in the festival – that’s a big festival’.
While jazz will always be the focus of the festival designed to foster young talent, the students certainly embrace their weekend spent in the country. The GIJ precinct is situated in a paddock, and the animals on the working farms surrounding the venue attract plenty of curiosity. Several of the properties accommodate the students in their homesteads and even their old dairies, while many local schools and sporting clubs also convert their facilities into makeshift band camps for the weekend.
Forty-eight of the participating schools were South Australian, including GIJ regulars
In addition to finding enough beds for everyone, organisers have nailed the logistics of feeding the masses; during this year’s event, hungry teenagers consumed a whopping 1.4 tonnes of lasagne, one tonne of chicken breasts and 4,500 beef patties, with more than 18,000 meals served at GIJ over three days. Meanwhile, the 90 x 40 metre tent housing this year’s main performances was the largest big top tent South Australia has ever seen, and all 6,000 tickets for the main Saturday night concert were sold out weeks prior to the event. The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra performing the A to Z of Jazz was among the many highlights of the weekend, accompanied by international jazz luminaries Wycliffe Gordon, Marian Petrescu, Gordon Goodwin, Mat Jodrell, Oliver McGill, James Morrison and vocalist Jazzmeia Horn. ♫♫♫
2017 SA SCHOOL MAJOR WINNERS Immanuel College had the weekend’s top vocal ensembles.
James Morrison and Kate Ceberano
Melbourne’s Blackburn High School was announced as the Division 1 winner of the City of Mount Gambier Stage Band Awards ahead of Adelaide’s Marryatville High School. Melbourne’s Wesley College (Glen Waverley) claimed the Division 2 Section 1 category, and Scotch College (VIC) took out Section 2 of that division. Adelaide’s St Peters Girls School and
Evans family. The Melbourne-raised 19-year-old is currently in her second year studying a Bachelor of Music at the James Morrison Academy of Music, Mount Gambier. Monash University music student, Amelia Evans, secured the $5,000 Vocal Scholarship sponsored by The Border Watch Newspaper in her second year as a finalist. ♫♫♫
Two highly coveted scholarships designed to assist in career development were also handed out at GIJ. Alto saxophone player, Flora Carbo, won the $10,000 James Morrison Scholarship for instrumentalists, which was awarded by Andrea Evans on behalf of the
THE JAMES MORRISON ACADEMY OF MUSIC by Alexie Jell based education. Students receive a qualification from the University of South Australia and undertake either a one year Diploma program, a three year Bachelor program or a Degree with Honours.
Old Mt Gambier Town Hall, home of the James Morrison Academy of Music
The James Morrison Academy of Music (JMA) is a partnership between international jazz star James Morrison, the University of South Australia and the State Government of South Australia. Founded in 2015, the JMA is a dedicated jazz school offering undergraduate and post-graduate outcomes through performance-
First group of students in 2015
The programs offer hands-on music making and world class practical guidance to explore the highest levels of jazz performance and the best foundation for a career in jazz. Currently teaching 86 students, the JMA offers the opportunity to study with acknowledged world leaders in Jazz and Jazz Education. These include James Morrison, Grammy Award winner Jeff Clayton and other internationally renowned composers and performers. In the years since its inception, the premier ensemble of the JMA, the Jazz Orchestra, has undertaken two national tours and one international tour of the United States, performed for the Prime Minister of Australia and played with greats such as Grammy Award winner Wycliffe Gordon, Grammy nominated One O’Clock Lab Band and Aria Award winner Kate Ceberano. The students regularly appear around Australia and are committed to showcasing work by Australian composers, including
many current and future national leaders in the field. Individual students of the JMA have already appeared at international jazz festivals and won prestigious scholarships and prizes. The JMA is building close ties with three of the world’s leading jazz schools - the Juilliard School in New York, the University of North Texas and the Thelonious Monk Institute. In 2017, Juilliard and JMA will embark on a combined Honours exchange partnership. Initiated by Juilliard Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, it is
a first for any Australian institution and is particularly landmark given the JMA’s regional location. Under the personal direction of James Morrison, the JMAJO 2017 US tour is the next step for an organisation currently at the forefront of education innovation, arts experiences in regional communities and forging new creative international partnerships, to showcase its practice, creativity and innovation to a global audience.
James Morrison with Academy of Music students
ADVICE FOR PIANISTS: PIANO LESSON MYTHS, PART 4 by Howard Richman
Howard B. Richman is a pianist, composer, songwriter, teacher and author. Mr. Richman’s formal training is in music. He received a B.A. degree in piano performance from UCLA in 1980 and an M.F.A. (Master Fine Arts) degree from California Institute of the Arts in 1984, where he also taught on the faculty for three years. Mr. Richman was selected to be a participant in the very first film scoring workshop with Earle Hagen in 1986, sponsored by BMI. He is President of Sound Feelings Publishing (http://www.soundfeelings.com).
‘I must always look ahead when reading music’. Reality: You’ve heard this your whole musical life. But the reality is that only after you’ve mastered the art of tactile sensitivity – of being able to easily find any note on the piano keyboard without looking at it, from having done various keyboard
orientation drills – that this would be true. Otherwise, to look ahead is virtually impossible. This is because when you look at a note on the score, you then need to look down to your hands in order to play it. When you look back up to the score, if you attempt to look ahead YOU WILL GET LOST! This will happen with each note read! This is because when you look back up to the score you don’t know what the next note is. What is more efficient is to purposely look back at the note(s) you JUST PLAYED and then quickly move your eyes to the next note. It’s easy to remember which note you just played because you just saw it and it is very familiar in your mind. By looking back to the score for THIS note, after having looked down at your hands, you will never get lost. ‘Forcing a child to study piano is for their own good and they will appreciate it later’. Reality: For the small percentage of people for whom this may be true there is a much higher percentage of people who end up permanently pulling away from music! I can verify this as most of my students are adults and many of these are ‘returnees’. These are people who quit the piano for 35 years because they were traumatized as kids, being forced to play in recitals that they were not prepared for, or to take endless lessons that they hated.
These are people who, as a result, overcompensated by having NO music in their life at all! These broken souls need a lot of encouragement and healing and love. They can definitely become confident musicians in the long run, but it is very hard work at that point, because the trauma often cuts so deeply into their consciousness. If I detect that a child does not like the piano, then I will inform the parents that I cannot be his or her teacher, because I do not want to perpetuate such a cycle. ‘Once I can play hands together, I don’t need to continue practicing hands separately’. Reality: The very steps that bring you to a certain level of mastery are the ones that will help to maintain that level of mastery. Most people assume that practicing hands separately is a temporary step towards the goal of playing hands together. But let’s examine what professionals do. They will continue to practice hands separately on a piece they’ve played for 25 years! This is because only when you practice hands separately can you really focus on certain nuances that would be obscured if you were spreading your focus between two hands. The better hands are mastered separately, the more reliable and proficient it will be when you then bring hands back together.
So, please think of practicing hands separately not only as an initial phase of learning a passage, but also as a way to MAINTAIN and also to further improve and polish a section of a piece you’re working on. ‘If something seems too easy at the piano, I must be doing it wrong’.
Reality: If something seems too easy at the piano, it means you’re doing it RIGHT! Our society places such a value on ‘no pain, no gain’. But in the area of piano study, if you have pain, it is an indication that you are doing something WRONG. You could be over-stressing the muscles. You could be at a wrong height, wrong distance, wrong angle, wrong pressure, etc. There are so many
things to consider regarding piano technique. Experiencing pain is a warning that you must STOP immediately and find another way. Pain is your clue that you are on the way to developing carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis or other injuries. ♫♫♫
AUTUMN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY SUMMARIES OF GUEST SPEAKERS’ PRESENTATIONS Held: Theme:
Wednesday April 19, Unley Uniting Church Group Teaching – insights and opinions from people who know.
Rodney Smith welcomes everyone
Action in the reception area
IAN RUSSELL (Strings) Ian Russell studied the piano with Dorothy Blair and Alison Holder. He began learning the viola at High School in Year 9 in a Music Branch small group. Ian then had private lessons with Peggy Whitson and Leon White before studying with Beryl Kimber at the Elder Conservatorium where he completed his Bachelor of Music, gaining a distinction. He subsequently studied the violin with Robertson Collins and completed a Graduate Diploma of Education. Ian taught the violin and viola in public schools and was awarded the ‘Distinguished Teacher SA Award’ by AUSTA, also serving as their State President and National President for 12 years. He has undertaken studies in Business Management, Human resources and winemaking! For over 30 years Ian was a Manager in the Education Department’s Instrumental Music Service in its many forms and incarnations, retiring in 2016 from this leadership work. In his semi-retirement Ian has returned to teaching in both public and private schools and has a private teaching practice, giving group and individual lessons, being a strong believer in the complementarity of both forms. Ian is an AMEB examiner and was a consultant for the current AMEB Violin Syllabus. He is busy with two sets of twin grandchildren and planning the next caravan escape!
GROUP LEARNING: INSTRUMENTAL (STRING) TEACHING IN GOVERNMENT PRIMARY SCHOOLS by Ian Russell Humans learn in groups. A sheet designed to ‘harvest’ information about your students-Standard 1-Australian Professional Teacher Standards ‘Get to know your students’ is a powerful starting point. Consideration should be given to the structure of the timetable for the teaching day, if possible. Mass tuning before school can save time if lessons are limited to 30 minutes and class sizes are over 10 students. Assigning home playing tasks (better words than ‘practice’) using a tick a box approach is efficient - no essays! Planning ahead - minor repairs (broken strings, etc.) should be undertaken before the block of teaching time and if there is an ensemble - schedule at the end of a block of lessons - when instruments are tuned and the ‘parts’ have been rehearsed in lessons. String teaching involves high level fine motor skills, teachable in groups it’s just information/feedback. Other consideration includes room size, attractive repertoire, tasks on entering the room, fun, revision, praise and intrigue. Be aware of the ‘Sociogram’ - a record of interactions between students and teachers - at the end of the lessons - did ALL students receive some feedback? Are all students engaged - record anything out of the ordinary - for your own reflection and discussion. Establish rules of engagement in the class at
the beginning - we will not speak ‘over’ each other. All discussion/talking will be respectful - we are all learning (including the teacher) together, there are no silly/bad questions, making mistakes is OK. Explore games - to address the ‘teaching point’, e.g. missing note game on scales is designed for students to learn names of notes. Assessment should include a range of modes: peer, self, teachernegotiated with the class. Good ensemble pathways are essential - unison, then rounds, parts, students as peer helpers. Performance - teach social skills student presenters/MCs. ‘Ownership’ of the program is a key factor for success. A seemingly disinterested Principal becomes committed if they co-host a concert.
Literacy - written music is a form of literacy - work with the class to discover how music is a written communication form - research and write about William Tell. Send back a performance task, e.g. ’Johnny has a backing track - at the right moment Johnny (or Johnny’s group) can play this to the class’. Today the following skills were learned - listening to other voices - assessing if their sounds were in tune, on time, in harmony or problem solving or we discussed how composer’s ideas were influenced by events in their country. Numeracy - patterns, size, number of bars in this tune, inversion of ideas. The student understands the connection - the class teacher gets ‘you care’ about integration of the curriculum - and that you WANT to be ‘on the same page’. Teach passionately!
Cross curriculum - familiarise yourself with the ‘curriculum’. Share yours with them - BUT in their terms. In schools the big focus is Literacy/Numeracy. Demonstrate your program matches the curriculum. Some schools view instrumental lessons as major disruptions to their ‘core’ teaching. Demonstrate that students return from their music lessons empowered in a unique way across curriculum requirements. Ian emphasises a point
LILLIAN FUNG (Piano) Lillian Fung received her Diploma in Education and Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance from the University of Adelaide, studying with Clemens Leske. She was then accepted into the postgraduate programme at Westminster College, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, where she received her Masters in Music Performance and Pedagogy, studying with Frances Clark and Louise Goss (creator of the method books The Music Tree). After graduation Lillian returned to South Australia and was a Classroom Music Teacher at Maranatha Christian School and Westminster School. She is a Group and Private Instrumental Teacher in the Junior Access Program at the Elder Conservatorium and is an AMEB examiner. Lillian has been an Instrumental Teacher (R-12) and Accompanist at Seymour College for the last seven years and an Instrumental Teacher in her private studio for the last 25 years.
ADVANTAGES OF GROUP PIANO TEACHING by Lillian Fung Advantages of Group Piano When children are together, learning can be fun. They enjoy playing for an audience of peers, they look forward to the learning games, they make new friends, and they learn from each other. The private student has only the teacher as a model, whereas in the multiple setting, children are challenged by the realistic models of their equals. With more than one child, greater ear training, ensemble playing and critical verbal expression are possible. Individual repertory assignments enable group members to become familiar with a much greater portion of the piano literature than private students can. In James Mursell’s words, ‘Watching the music while other students play, is a valuable technical drill as any of the ordinary exercises for developing dexterity’. Every lesson resembles a recital class. The students are performing for an audience of peers, learning to accept criticism from each other and gaining selfassurance. There is always a complete lesson of active listening, with constant repetition reinforcing the various concepts. Playing together, in unison or ensemble, improves the student’s rhythmic fluency. Because playing games is
exciting, attention spans become longer. Relaxed in a friendly setting, students participate in a give-andtake which is essential to learning. Most important of all, the stimulation of being part of a learning team provides motivation for practicing. Disadvantages of Group Piano However, when the group lesson becomes a series of short private lessons, all the advantages of such study is nullified. Furthermore, the uninvolved students may become bored, daydream or create a disturbance. Neglect may also occur when so many students are enrolled in the groups that each student does not have ample opportunity to participate. When interaction is at a minimum, learning is also at a minimum. Even with an ideal teacher in an ideal group teaching, a child accustomed to being the centre of attention at home might be happier with a teacher’s total attention. For this type of child, particularly one having difficulty adjusting to being a part of a class in school, the private lessons may be preferable. Also, the needs of a talented student become so different from those of the group that it is then best that the lessons be private.
If group work is to be successful, the teacher must be willing to devote time to preparation. Teaching more than one student at a time demands an alert, quick teacher prepared for whatever interaction may take place. Since any kind of fumbling, sitting back or searching for materials can trigger the onset of chaos, the teacher must be energetic and emotionally strong enough to cope with discipline problems. As far back as 1931, writer on music John Tasker Howard wrote, ‘I have argued in favour of class lessons but I am not for all class lessons - only good ones. By good ones I mean those in charge of by a capable teacher, trained both in class methods and in piano pedagogy - a teacher who likes children, and who loves music who thinks of mechanics not as an end, but as a means for producing music. And that applies to all teachers, whether they give class lesson or teach privately’.
Lillian shows her silent practice keyboard
PAT WILSON (Voice/Theory) Pat Wilson is a singer, pianist, actress, singing teacher, vocal coach, theatre critic, AMEB examiner, composer, lyricist and musical director in theatre. A classically trained pianist and singer, Pat composes original music for television and theatre and performs original satirical revues with her friend and partner, Adrian Barnes. Pat has a Masters of Applied Science from the University of Sydney, where she researched biomechanical principles relating to singing. She is a Lecturer at Flinders University Drama Centre, a studio singing teacher, specialising in teaching singers to act and actors to sing, and prepares performers for professional music theatre. Pat is the author of ‘The Singing Voice: An Owner’s Manual’ (2nd ed., Lazy O’Rhinus Press).
THE VILLAGE CHOIR: GROUP TEACHING THEORY AND PRACTICE by Pat. H. Wilson Although most of the groups I teach are in tertiary institutions, it is my belief that the broad principles of group teaching hold true for music learners of any age. If I am teaching a group of singers, my active concerns include keeping a watchful eye on individuals attempting to hide within the group, preventing distractions from within the group and attempting to give specialist one-on-one assistance when needed. There are a number of advantages in group musical tuition. These include a friendly, sociable environment for learning, cheaper than one-on-one tuition, less overt pressure on each individual to perform and training in nurturing, collaborative music-making. Any music teacher can tell you that successful teaching of groups requires a degree of unity amongst that community of learners. To understand what that community of would-be musicians really is, it is useful to look at the work of psychiatrist and author, M. Scott Peck. He speaks of a Community as ‘...a group of human beings who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment’ (Peck, 1987, p. 59).
effect on the ways we go about teaching a group. Best-practice pedagogy for the traditional one-onone situation may not work when we try to teach music skills to a group of students. Further light on the group and its dynamics comes from the studies of psychologist Louis Cozolino (2013), who states ‘By studying tribal communities existing today, we can see that pre-industrial social life is shaped by co-operation, equality and servant-based leadership…’ (p xxiii). This basic sociological wisdom makes the group start to sound like a tribe in a village, when villages existed to provide peace, security and a context for collaboration for their residents. I therefore propose that, in order to get our work (music instruction) done, we first need to create a community, because learning will only happen once you have built a learning community. Perhaps we can paraphrase this: ‘If you want to teach a group, first create a village’. The Village People: the teacher of any group of music learners can readily spot these key people in their groups. Using their positive attributes will help to stabilise, enliven and enrich any lesson.
Peck suggests six characteristics of a sense of community amongst human beings are inclusive, committed to co-existence, consensus, realistic decisions, contemplation (self-examination) and ‘I feel safe here’.
Who’s the Village Chief? Not the teacher, not the conductor and not necessarily the tallest, oldest, loudest or smartest person in the group. The Village Chief keeps an eye on everyone. Your group relies on its Village Chief for leadership, and a sense of calm cohesiveness.
Research into the underlying sociology of a group can have a direct
Who is the Village Idiot? Not stupid! It’s the jester, think Lear’s Fool.
Wisdom and healing in humour: the funny Little Guy (of any gender) with whom we identify intuitively. Anyone can talk to the Village Idiot. Your group relies on its Village Idiot for courage, comfort and perspective. Who is the Village Gossip? In this context, for ‘gossip’ read ‘communicator’. Much like the Samoan system of Chiefs; ali’i, High Chief, whose figurehead status in the village puts him beyond speaking or being spoken to; and tulafale, Orator Chief, who speaks with and for the High Chief, conveying villagers’ requests and observations. Your group relies on its Village Gossip for reminders, confirmations, restatements and interpretations of stuff that they didn’t understand from their teacher. Who is the Village Witch/Warlock? Spirituality, hope, healing and attuned to nature; handles unseen powers – wrangles the intangible. Finding your Village People. If group teaching is to be effective, it helps if you can readily identify the people in your teaching group, and use their village status to assist you in your teaching. This is because learners in a group will inevitably learn from each other (Mezirow, 1997; Green, 2002). It’s also useful to remember that there’s a range of research that has found that non-competitive learning works best for groups (Deci, Ryan, 1985; Johnson and Johnson, 1989; Kohn, 1992). Planning exploratory-style discovery learning for your group will usually work best with collaborative
leadership. Set up targets with different-sized bull’s-eyes [Bugental et al., 1970; Higgins, 1996], collaborative leadership [Cozolino, 2013], exploratory - discovery learning, respectful [Peck, 1987], tinged with humour. with information framed to take multiple intelligences into account [Gardner 1983, 1993]. How big is your bull’s-eye? ‘When learning a completely novel skill, bull’s-eyes can almost be the same size as the whole target, because any attempt at the bull’s-eye goal will be progress’ [Thurman and Welch, 2000]. Adversarial versus Collaborative Leadership – it’s all in the language. Instead of phrasing your group teaching instruction along the lines of the first phrase, how about framing your instructions to the group using the second phrase? • Try harder… Give it a go… • Work harder to… Let’s explore the... • I want you to…. Let’s experiment with… • Don’t… How close can you come to… • You need to… Observe. • I want to… We can… • You’ve got to… What would happen if… • Why can’t you… I wonder how soon you’ll be able to… Collaborative assessment, selfreliance and mutual respect – more language skills. It’s all very well for me to know what I hear students do in
a lesson with me. But have my students heard precisely what I’ve heard? Perhaps not. My hearing and general perceptual training has benefited from decades of training and experience. Especially in group sessions, it pays to approach the group with an open-ended series of questions. How did that seem to you?, did you notice a difference that time?, how did you do that?, how did that feel?, how did that sound?, was that closer to the bull’s-eye, about the same, or further away? But in our profession, there has to be a right and a wrong, doesn’t there? I don’t believe in sugar-coating, in dishonestly praising a student’s mistakes, just to jolly them along. We need to tell our students when they don’t get it right. It’s simply a question of HOW we tell them. Especially in a group setting where competition between students can lead to shaming and ostracism, the language we use needs to be carefully managed. If you say, ‘It’s Wrong’, the student hears You’re thick. If you say, ‘It’s Bad’, the student hears You’re not a good person. If you say ‘It’s Incorrect’, the student hears Babumm! You’ve failed! How about saying, ‘I heard some inaccurate pitches/rhythms that time. Did you hear them? What can we do about it?’ In summary, there is much to celebrate in the complex processes of group teaching. It’s a reminder to every teacher that you’re not the only
teacher in the room, as your group gains mastery and enjoys the sheer pleasure of greater musical competence. References Bugental, D.E., Kaswan, J.W., Love, L.R. and Fox, M.N. (1970). ‘Child Vs adult perceptions of evaluative messages in verbal, vocal and visual channels’. Developmental Psychology, 2, 367-375. Cozolino, L. (2013). The social neuroscience of education: Optimizing attachment and learning in the classroom. New York, W.W. Norton and Co. Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behaviour. New York, Plenum Press. Green, L. (2002). How popular musicians learn. A way ahead for music education. Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited. Higgins, E.T. (1996). ‘Ideals, oughts, and regulatory focus: Affect and motivation from distinct pains and pleasures’. In P.M. Gollwitzer and J.A. Bargh (eds.) The psychology of action (pp. 91-114). New York, Guilford. Johnson, D.W. and Johnson, R.T. (1989). Cooperation and competition: Theory and research. Edina, MN, Interactive Book Co. Kohn, A. (1992). No contest: The case against competition. (rev. ed.). Boston, Houghton Mifflin. Mezirow, J. (1997). ‘Transformative learning: Theory to practice’. New directions for adult and continuing education, 1997(74), 5-12. Peck, M. Scott. (1987). The different drum: Community making and peace. NY, Simon and Schuster. Thurman, L., and Welch, G. (Eds.) (2000). Bodymind and Voice: Foundations of Voice Education (Rev. ed., Vols. 1-3). Collegeville, MN: The VoiceCare Network, National Center for Voice and Speech, Fairview Voice Center.
HUMOUR Two dogs and a cat wanted to go to the Symphony Orchestra concert. They came to the Theatre door and the doorman said, ‘You can’t come in here. We don’t let animals in’. One of the dogs replied, ‘Well, if you knew who we are, you would let us in?’ ‘Who are you then?’ said the doorman. ‘Well, I’m Bach, that’s Offenbach and this is Debussy!’ Beecham Quotes: There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn’t give a damn about what goes on in between. Sir Thomas called for an A from the Principal Oboist. This player had a wide vibrato. Looking around at the orchestra, Sir Thomas said, ‘Gentlemen, take your pick’.
TIM NOTT (Woodwind) Tim Nott completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours in Performance at the University of New England in NSW, being the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships during his study. He is a regular performer in South Australia with a particular interest in baroque and historical flutes. Tim founded the critically acclaimed group, Ensemble Galante, dedicated to performing music of the baroque, galante and classical eras. He has also performed regularly on modern flute, clarinet and saxophone with the world music group Akoustic Odyssey. Tim has taught woodwind from primary to tertiary level in New South Wales and South Australia and is currently a specialist woodwind teacher with the Department of Education and Child Development. Tim has been broadcast on Radio Adelaide, 5MBS, ABC 891, nationally on ABC Classic FM, Radio National and internationally on Qantas Radio and various American Radio Stations.
GROUP INSTRUMENTAL TEACHING - WOODWIND by Tim Nott Group instrumental teaching in the South Australian government schools holds a number of challenges. For woodwind, students learn in groups ranging in number from eight for beginners to individual instruction for Year 12 students. Teachers may need to teach flute, clarinet, saxophone and recorder. In primary school, lessons are often part of a ‘Hub’ band programme, where students from a number of schools attend a host school to learn woodwind, brass and percussion. In high schools, teachers must prepare students who are enrolled in the subject of classroom music for their practical component, as well as supporting other school ensembles, and preparing some students for tertiary auditions. Instrumental teachers may also run various ensembles themselves. Teaching training, planning, assessment and reporting is required to be in the context and language of the Australian Curriculum, National Standards for Teachers and the Teaching for Effective Learning framework. Students must be assessed and reported on according to the ‘Band’ associated with their year
level, not amount of time they have been learning their instrument, but this can be done by slightly broader assessment of their skills and knowledge in lessons. Student learning in these contexts is better when they have previously received general experiential junior primary music teaching and participate fully in balanced ensembles. Individual progress and needs can be catered for more effectively when there are a larger number of woodwind lessons at each school to allow flexibility in student groupings. Band methods and other books that are compatible between woodwind instruments are important to cater for mixed instrument groups. Books with good quality recordings allow students to direct their own learning and not be completely limited by the progress of the group. Generally beginners learn in separate instrument groups to learn the specific fundamentals, intermediate students are grouped according to skill level but with perhaps mixed instruments, then advanced students again need to be in instrument specific groupings.
Links Teaching for Effective Learning framework: https://www.decd.sa.gov.au/teaching/teachingeffective-learning/teaching-effective-learningframework Australian Curriculum – Music: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/thearts/music/rationale DECD Instrumental Music: https://www.decd.sa.gov.au/teaching/projects-andprograms/music
Tim demonstrates an awkward fingering
MUSIC TEACHERS Original new piano music for intermediate students
‘RAGS AND CLASSICS’ by Tom Anderson 3 ragtime pieces (Grades 3-4) Two piano pieces including the acclaimed WATERFALL (Grade 4) Contact Reed Music: www.reedmusic.com or Google ‘Tom Anderson composer Reed Music’ 25
IAN BOATH, The Music Arrangers’ Guild of Australia (MAGA) Ian Boath is a freelance conductor, composer and arranger and has worked professionally in Europe, UK and throughout Australia. He has lectured in arranging and orchestration at tertiary level and holds a Bachelor of Music, majoring in conducting. In 1994 Ian studied Orchestral Conducting in Siena, Italy with Russian Maestro Ilya Musin and also undertook studies in writing music for film with Ennio Morricone. As an arranger and orchestrator Ian has written for symphony orchestras, big bands, concert bands, choirs and film scores. His other work includes orchestral reductions for opera and musicals and specialist arrangements for small ensembles. In his spare time he is writing an opera. Ian is a member of the National Executive Board for the Music Arrangers’ Guild of Australia.
ARRANGING EFFECTIVELY FOR YOUR SCHOOL ENSEMBLE by Ian Boath, National Executive Board Member, MAGA Over the last twenty years technology, in particular music notation technology, has progressed and developed at a breath-taking pace. Most music students, teachers and musicians will have a working knowledge of at least one notation programme. I have experienced a few people who basically say, ‘I have a copy of Finale or Sibelius, ergo I am now an arranger’. This is perhaps as valid as someone who buys a typewriter and says, ‘I am now an award-winning novelist’. There are some very important steps missing from the music arranging process, including a working knowledge of theory and harmony. The aim of today’s presentation is to fill in some of the gaps between the concept in your head and what appears on the written music. In its basic form, the role of the arranger is to adapt music composed for one medium to another, eg orchestra to concert band, pop song to stage band. The scope of what we can arrange is almost infinitesimal. What I would like to focus on today is the conveyance of your ideas, from your head to the parts the
musicians read and cover some of the pitfalls in relying on computer programmes to do the work for you. Considerations for arranging and part writing Know your instrumentation: a) ranges (vocal included) b) transpositions c) tessitura and working range d) capabilities e) tone and timbre f) usage The instrumental part as communication The instrumental part is the method of conveying the idea in your head to musicians who will read and interpret exactly what you write. Therefore, you must be clear and concise in your communications to establish and maintain credibility. Plan your arrangement: 1. Get to know the piece 2. Work out the style 3. Plan the form of the work 4. Key! 5. Writing the rhythmic accompaniment 6. Writing the harmonic accompaniment 7. Proof read your score 8. Extract and edit your parts!
Computers can only do as instructed. The musical knowledge must come from you. This workshop was presented on behalf of the Music Arrangers’ Guild of Australia. The aim of the Guild is to represent professional musical arrangers/orchestrators and copyists on a national platform and advance and protect the professional status and interests of its members. MAGA members create a national community of immense hands-on knowledge, creative ideas and musical inspiration.
Rodney Smith thanks Ian Boath for his presentation
CONTACT DETAILS FOR OTHER ORGANISATIONS 5MBS Visit: www.5mbs.com
AMEB Email: email@example.com
FLUTE SOCIETY of SA INC. http://saflutesociety.org/
ABRSM International Representative – South Australia – Anastasia Chan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 08-8234 5952/ 0423 282 589 http://au.abrsm.org/en/home
ANATS SA & NT CHAPTER The Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing, Ltd. Enquiries: President (Pat. H. Wilson) – (08) 8355 3526 Email: email@example.com Website: www.anats.org.au
MUSICA VIVA http://www.musicaviva.com.au/ for concert details.
ACCOMPANISTS’ GUILD of SA INC. Contacts: The President, Monika Laczofy, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile 0411 271 215 or the website www.accompanist.org.au ADELAIDE BAROQUE www.adelaidebaroque.com.au ADELAIDE CHAMBER SINGERS www.adelaidechambersingers.com
ASME www.asme.sa.edu.au AUSTRALASIAN DOUBLE REED SOCIETY http://adrs.org.au/web/ AUSTRALIAN STRING QUARTET www.asq.com.au
ADELAIDE PHILHARMONIA CHORUS For enquiries please contact the Secretary at, email@example.com
BALAKLAVA EISTEDDFOD www.balaklavaeisteddfod.org.au or write to PO Box 253, Balaklava, SA 5461 or Ph/fax (08) 8863 1242.
ADELAIDE EISTEDDFOD SOCIETY INC. http://www.sacomment.com/aes/eisteddfod/
ELDER CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC www.music.adelaide.edu.au
ADELAIDE YOUTH ORCHESTRA www.adyo.com.au
ELDER HALL www.elderhall.adelaide.edu.au or Contact: Elder Hall Concert Manager 8313 5925
Mt GAMBIER EISTEDDFOD Enquiries, Secretary, PO Box 1711, Mt Gambier, SA 5290, telephone (08) 8725 5905, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.backstageinc.orgf.au/default.asp. PRIMARY SCHOOLS MUSIC FESTIVAL http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/musicprograms/pages/ MusicPrograms/PSMusicFestival/?reFlag=1 AUSTRALASIAN DOUBLE REED SOCIETY http://adrs.org.au/web/ THE SOCIETY OF RECORDER PLAYERS SA INC. Society mobile number 0410 109 135, E-mail email@example.com SOUTH AUSTRALIAN BAND ASSOCIATION http://www.sabandassociation.org/ SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MUSIC CAMP ASSOCIATION INC., www.samusiccamp.net.au ANZCA MUSIC EXAMINATIONS http://www.anzca.edu.au/