Musica Viva In Schools launches its 2015 school music program

Musica Viva's school music program is Australia's biggest and most popular school music program. It includes the very popular Live Performance Plus, our complete music program that comprises of a live concert experience, professional development for teachers and digital teaching resources, all aligned to the Australian Curriculum; Musician In The Classroom, Musica Viva's artist in residence program in which professional musicians or composers are sent to schools to work directly with students on a project of the school's choice; and Musicassentials, additional digital teaching resources for the classroom packaged as modules that provide the framework for a whole term of music.

"In 2015, Musica Viva In Schools is proud to once again bring its popular school music program to Australian schools across the country, with some wonderful new offerings," says Musica Viva Director of Education, Kimbali Harding.

For Musician In The Classroom, Musica Viva is introducing two new musicians. Talented Brisbane composer Paul Kopetz joins as a musician available to Queensland schools. In addition to his composition work, over the years Paul has worked as a clarinettist, bass clarinettist, saxophonist, arranger, conductor, educator and music administrator. His many original works and arrangements have been performed internationally in the United States, Australia, Italy, Austria, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Holland and Poland.

For New South Wales schools, Musica Viva is pleased to add music educator John Hibbard as the second new Musician In The Classroom. A music teacher with over 30 years classroom experience, John is currently National Manager of Teaching and Learning at Musica Viva and is a familiar face to students who have attended Musica Viva's Anatomy of Music composition series.

"We are delighted to be adding these two wonderful musicians to our Classroom team in 2015," says Ms Harding. "Paul is a fantastic composer whose work, An Australian Backyard Suite, will be performed by one of our school ensembles, Entourage, in their 2015 Live Performance Plus school concert. So we already have an association with his work."

Ms Harding continues, "John Hibbard of course is part of the Musica Viva fold and has a special talent for making music education relevant, stimulating and engaging for students. Both are a great addition to the program."

In the area of Musicassentials, Musica Viva is delighted to introduce eight new modules. From Foundation to Year 8, the new modules aim to develop student confidence in a number of musical areas - chanting, playing, moving, dancing, composing, arranging, notation and analysis - using a variety of fascinating musical pieces, from Edvard Grieg's Stormy Evening on the Sea to arrangements of the Irish folk song, I'll Tell Me Ma.

Speaking about the new modules, Ms Harding says, "Adding these eight new modules is certainly adding to the diversity of resources we are able to provide to schools." She continues, "Musicassentials modules are devised by teachers, for teachers, so schools can be confident in the modules we supply."

Great value at only $50 per module, each module is packed full of engaging classroom activities, multimedia resources, learning experiences, assessment plans and links to the Australian Curriculum, enough to develop a whole term of music.

In Live Performance Plus, Musica Viva is pleased that three of its ensembles will present new shows in 2015.

"Makukuhan, one of our most popular groups that brings to life the distinctive and stirring sounds of Indonesia; Ogham Soup, a trio that presents the very best traditional Irish dance; and Teranga who take school students on a rhythmic-driven journey through song and dance into the heart of Senegalese culture, all have fantastic new shows to present," says Ms Harding. "So schools that have seen these groups in the past and enjoyed them can experience them all over again with their new content."

Musica Viva In Schools ensemble, The Griffyn Ensemble, will also present a special project in 2015, The Antipodes Project, a brand new musical performance to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I, as well as the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings in Gallipoli.

Of the performance Ms Harding says, "We anticipate The Griffyn Ensemble will be of interest to many schools, as the performance will be supported by resources exploring Australian and New Zealand identity between 1914 and 1918. So it will be a concert and program that links to other key learning areas, including history and geography, and science and technology.

"The great thing about Musica Viva's Live Performance Plus program is that each program links to other learning areas, and a number of our programs address key cross curriculum priorities. For example, the Makukuhan program focuses on Asia and Australian's engagement with Asia, which is highly beneficial to teachers and sees music become embedded onto everyday learning."

Another exciting addition to Live Performance Plus in 2015 is the inclusion of student performance repertoire.

"We have listened to teachers and in 2015 we are including student performance repertoire in the 2015 Live Performance Plus program," says Ms Harding. "Teachers have let us know that after their students have experienced our live performances, they're very keen to give their own performance. Therefore, we're including these resources next year to enable students to work on and give their own performance to their class or school."

And if schools would like to extend their students' skills beyond the Live Performance Plus program, in 2015 Musica Viva is introducing tailored workshops to primary schools, which build upon the pieces and musical concepts explored in performances.

"In previous years workshops were only offered to secondary schools," says Ms Harding. "But we are delighted to offer workshops with our talented ensembles to primary schools for the first time."

Finally, Musica Viva In Schools is pleased to introduce whole school professional development into its portfolio. Trialled in 2014 to great success, this offering now becomes permanent, and will see highly qualified teacher trainers who have used Musica Viva In Schools programs in their schools for a number of years available to book for a specially designed workshop or course for a whole school.

"All in all we are very excited about our 2015 program and all our new activities, and we hope teachers around Australia will be excited about the program too."

Bookings for Musica Viva's 2015 school music program are now open, and thanks to Optimum Percussion, the first 50 schools to book a 2015 Live Performance Plus program will receive a $50 voucher to assist in the purchase of instruments for their school.

Bookings: www.musicaviva.com.au/education/booking

More information: www.musicaviva.com.au/education

Established in 1981, Musica Viva In Schools has delivered vibrant and engaging music education to more than 6 million students across the country, ensuring all children have access to the very best music education no matter where they live or what school they attend.