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29 September 2011

Toolbox for teaching Australian music

Toolbox for teaching Australian music

With the final school term commencing around Australia, many students are busily preparing for their final year 12 exams, or about to embark on their last year of studies. This important time of year brings teachers and students to the Australian Music Centre searching for repertoire and reference material for research, especially as curricula such as those for the HSC and VCE increasingly focus on Australian content in senior secondary study.

To help teachers build their teaching resources for Australian content, we've put together details of some of our most useful resources for the classroom - most of which you can access without even leaving your computer.

Getting started | Digital score loans | Education kits | HSC resources | VCE resources | Education articles and resources

Getting started - introductions to Australian music

Australian music represents a diverse landscape of influences, styles and genres. The introductions to Australian music section of the AMC website provides a starting point to engage with Australian music - highlighting significant artists, works and themes within the music. The introductions include a historical timeline, key themes and influences, overviews of key instrumental works, chamber and orchestral work and choral, vocal and dramatic music.

Written by some of Australia's most prominent composers, performers and educators, the introductions are a great first point of call to build up student's general knowledge of the Australian music context, or start exploring repertoire in specific areas of interest. These introductions work best when used as a starting point for further explorations using the AMC website.

Digital loans - borrow scores without leaving your computer

Access nearly 8,000 scores instantly from your computer with our digital library loans.

Teachers who are a personal member or whose school is a member can download digital PDF loans for perusal and study purposes - see our simple how-to-guide (PDF).

Scores that you borrow will include a watermark with your borrower details and the date of the loan period (three weeks), giving you time to trial and select repertoire. To protect the copyright of the artist, after three weeks, the digital file will expire and if you printed a copy you will need to destroy it. The legality of any remaining printed copies will be easily identifiable.

You can borrow up to 30 digital scores a month, in addition to your 10 physical items. If your school is an institutional member of AMC, you and your colleagues will be able to borrow 50 digital scores a month, between you.

Education Resource Kits

We publish a number of education resource kits focusing on senior classroom music. The majority of these kits are suitable for the study of HSC Australian Music of the last 25 years, and for VCE study of Music Investigation, Music Performance and Music Style and Composition. The kits cover a broad cross section of musical styles, genres and instrumentation, from solo instrumental works through to orchestral works and opera.

Our recently released resource kits include:

Dance with nature: the chamber music of Ross Edwards, by Philip Cooney

Especially designed for secondary and tertiary level study, activities have been prepared for seven short works by Edwards. The kit contains easy-to-use question and activity sections, musical examples, classroom arrangements of music, an interview with the composer, and is accompanied by a CD performed by Ensemble Offspring. The author of the kit, Philip Cooney, is a teacher with thirty years experience.

Four songs from 'Dead songs', by Nicole Saintilan

With senior classroom music in mind, this kit is suitable for the study of Australian Music of the Last 25 years, and for study of Music Investigation, Music Performance and Music Style and Composition, as well as touching on repertoire from the Renaissance and Romantic periods. It includes exercises and composition activities designed to introduce students to some key concepts from intertextuality to extended techniques. The works can be performed individually or as a set, and are of varying difficulty in expectation of a range of abilities. They are all less than five minutes and suitable for high school vocal performance.

Music in a frame: celebrating the work of Ann Carr-Boyd, by Frank O'Brien

This kit will introduce secondary and tertiary music students to the way in which a composer germinates the initial seed of composition, develops these ideas using the concepts of music, appropriates and transforms existing musical ideas and styles, and arranges original themes from one form to another. The kit includes articles, musicology/aural tasks, a CD of works performed by pianist John Martin and score supplements.

Resources for the HSC

For teachers with students studying the HSC, our dedicated HSC page assists you to easily search our catalogue to find suitable repertoire to meet syllabus requirements. The Australian Music Centre has the biggest collection of scores, recordings and analysis relating to the New South Wales HSC mandatory topic Music of the Last 25 Years (Australian focus).

We have repertoire lists prepared for the 15 most requested instruments, with sound and score samples available online for many of the works on the lists. If you would like a list for an instrument not featured online, please contact the AMC Library.

Resources for the VCE

Works by Australian composers are included in all the prescribed lists used to select Unit 3-4 (year 12) performance repertoire. We are currently working on providing repertoire listings linked to the Australian Music Centre catalogue highlighting Australian work being featured on VCE prescribed lists.

We have also put together a guide of recommended education resource kits and works suitable for VCE study of Music Investigation, Music Performance and Music Style and Composition units.

Download a guide of recommended VCE resources here.

Some useful education links on australianmusiccentre.com.au

Resonate magazine - feature articles, composer blogs, Australian music news, reviews and back issues of the bi-annual journal (2007 - 2009)

Australian Music in the VCE, by Helen Champion (2011) - an introduction to utilising Australian content in the various units of the VCE

Advice to Young and Emerging Composers, by Australian Music Centre and Matthew Hindson (31 March 2009) - prominent Australian composers across a variety of genres provide inspirational and practical advice on starting the journey of a composer. (Download a condensed student handout here).

Learning and teaching music composition - sharing innovation across practices, by Gerardo DiriƩ (4 Sept 2008) - discusses questions relating to the ways in which the teaching of composition may have changed due to technological influences.

Performance Practice in New Music, by Genevieve Lacey (31 July 2007) - prominent Australian performer and festival director, Genevieve Lacey, examines performance practices in a New music context.

Teaching Contemporary Music, by Janet McKay (31 July 2007) - discusses ways to introduce students to contemporary music with a focus on performance.

Australian music calendar - a full listing of events featuring Australian new music, by state.

HSC repertoire lists - suitable repertoire for HSC mandatory topic Music of the Last 25 Years (Australian focus) for the 15 most requested instruments.

VCE resource guide - a guide to suitable repertoire and resource kits for VCE units of Music Performance and Music Style and Composition.

Education resource kits - a full listing of published resource kits focusing on senior classroom music, with the majority suitable for the study of HSC Australian Music of the Last 25 years, and for VCE study of Music Investigation, Music Performance and Music Style and Composition.

Australian music reference books - reference books on Australian music available for loan or to purchase through the Australian Music centre.

The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.


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