Music for Every Child Every Week
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 128 No 1, 17 February 2023, page no. 6
For the past two years, the QTU’s Primary Music Teachers’ Special Interest Group has been campaigning hard in support of the Music for Every Child, Every Week campaign, which has been pushing for all students in state primary schools to receive the benefits of music education.
Central to this campaign have been numerous delegations and follow up meetings with MPs, the assistance of professional musicians, and increasing engagement with state government branches and committees to show the breadth and depth of the feelings this issue engenders across the state.
At the Australian Labor Party State Conference on 5 November, these efforts led to the adoption of the following policy position: “Labor will ensure that every child in state primary schools is taught music every week by trained specialist music teachers.“
The resolution was an extremely positive outcome, cleaarly stating that in terms of music teacher allocation, every child in state primary schools should be taught music every week by trained specialist music teachers.
The QTU has written to the department seeking:
- all relevant regional, central office, human resourcing, and state schooling personnel, as well as primary principals, to be informed that specialist music teachers are not to be converted to arts teachers
- the breakdown of information on the provision of music specialists in primary schools by region to identify potential staffing shortfalls
- development of a strategic plan around the employment of the specialist music teachers required to provide music instruction to every child, every week (including engagement with the university sector)
- regular progress updates and implementation meetings on the application of the above between the department and QTU.
As an acting officer and secondary school leader, I am proud to have been able to support the grassroots activism of our Primary Music Specialist Interest Group (PMSIG).
The QTU and the PMSIG can celebrate this success, which provides specialist music teachers and primary school leaders with the clarity they have been seeking for years. It forms an initial step towards reinvigorating specialist music education in Queensland’s state primary schools to its former world class position.