2022 Award Recipient for Excellence in Australian Kodály-inspired Music Education: Including Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Perspectives
Response to Selection Criteria
Over the last 4 years, I have completed participatory action research and critical service-learning projects within my school’s context. This arose due to an observed lack of engagement and participation from First Nations students within the school context. This led to a range of research surrounding Australian First Nations student education. I reflected and saw that there was no authentic and positive representation of First Nations students in the classroom. I went from that point to develop rapport with various First Nations community groups and elders to develop my own understanding of the culture and develop a culturally responsive repertoire of songs to use in the classroom.
I implemented this repertoire into the year 7 program initially as this was a mandatory class for all students. I surveyed two years’ worth of year 7 students to find out their feelings in regard to First Nations music, our teaching of it, and their desire to learn it. Overall students indicated that the music helped them to participate in the classroom setting, they enjoyed singing and learning the music and the history behind it and indicated that they were happy to see their culture represented or happy to be able to connect with their First Nations friends through music.
I have continued to work with First Nations community groups and elders to provide other channels of representation outside of the music classroom. This includes inviting elders into the school community to teach students songs, dance, and other cultural arts-based activities.
Overall, this has increased the amount of positive and authentic representation within the school community and within the music classroom. Overall, there is a correlated 900% increase between First Nations students electing to study music from 2018 to 2022 since the implementation of culturally responsive teaching materials and pedagogies in response to this project. It has also given First Nations students more confidence in performing on assemblies and are awards nights. I have also used feedback from First Nations community members and students to run peer teaching session aimed to improve my music teachers’ ability to teach in a culturally responsive manner.
This research has led to two presentations at the International Kodály Society Conferences and the publication of academic papers in the International Kodály Society Bulletin. The project is ongoing with its current focus on a yarning interview style to share data with First Nations community members, staff, and parents to gain an insight into their thoughts regarding this project and First Nations education.
This project has allowed me to use feedback and reflection to improve my own teaching practice to allow for teaching of musical excellence. Inspired by the Kodály idea of using the mother tongue to teach students music and working from the unknown to know I have contributed to the Australian inspired Kodály teaching practice. Through the publication of the project’s methods and analysis of student data I have contributed to other Kodály teachers understanding of the literature and methods used in First Nations research and teaching methods. I have also served as a model for other early careers teachers by engaging in research practice which is not attached to a tertiary qualification but of the sake of my students and teaching practice.
Awards for Excellence
It is with great sadness that we inform our community of the passing of Honorary Life Member Gabrielle Emery-Reece. Gabrielle made a significant contribution to Kodály Australia through both the Queensland Branch and National Council as a committee member, Vice President …
On behalf of Kodály Australia, I write to thank you for your support this year and offer our best wishes for the festive season. I trust that your work for this year is nearing completion and that you will soon …
The Kodály Australia National Council were delighted to receive impressive applications and nominations for the 2022 Awards for Excellence in Australian Kodály-inspired Music Education. It was inspiring to see a high number of peer-nominations across each of the five categories. …
I am humbled to be elected as President of the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia. The President along with members of the National Council provide leadership and governance of our association. I look forward to working with the 2022-2024 Council members …
On behalf of Kodály Australia, I write to thank you for your support this year and offer our season’s greetings. I trust your work has now wrapped up for the year, and you are celebrating the festive season with family …