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  • "We have increased the number of instruments available to each year group as a result of this program"
  • "Our classes are now more willing to listen to and become engaged with music in the normal classroom"
  • "The website was brilliant with lots of educational value"
  • "Staff really liked the fact that there was a lot of teaching resources as most of us aren't very musical"
  • "Music is gaining respect in our school. I think that more music is happening now, even in general learning"
  • "We joined in last year and it was one of the best things I have ever done in a 30 year teaching career"
38 Days
Thurs, 30th October - 12:30pm AEDT

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Great ideas for teaching the song

With less than 3 months to go til =schools celebrate the song that stops the nation, more than 1,500 schools have already signed up to learn, rehearse and perform the same song, at the same time, right across the country.

But, as you know, Music: Count Us In (MCUI) is so much more than a big sing-along. We provide teachers with resources, workshops, lesson plans and videos to help them deliver more music to Australian students.

We’re proud of this year’s wonderful resources (developed by Jane Law, Margie Moore, Catherine Threlfall and Jozzbeat), but we also know that Australian teachers are always coming up with new and inventive ideas in the classroom. With this in mind, we asked you to tell us what you've been doing with the program song and we were overwhelmed with the variety of responses.

Belinda from Larapinta Primary School in the Northern Territory said “My students (T-6) all love the new song and this week we have discussed the messages in the song and ‘painted a song’! Aren't they beautiful pictures - the bottom paintings are by 5 year olds! I just love them.”

Amanda from Calista Primary School in Western Australia, posted on our Facebook wall to tell us that the Year 2 students from Room 9 examined the form and structure of Paint You A Song by adding a layer to a pancake stack every time a new section of the song occurred. She said “They loved the activity and love learning with this song as a stimulus! Thanks!”

At Broken Hill School of The Air are students live on properties hundreds of kilometres away from town so they are practicing the song and will sing it over their satellite system. Teacher, Jodie, said “I think this is an amazing opportunity for our students. They loved being involved last year.”

Susie, the Choir teacher at Mt Ousley Public School in NSW emailed to tell us that she had showed the senior choir the YouTube clip about the songwriting process. She said a number of her Year 6 students were very interested in the discussion about copyright included in the clip, leading to a discussion about whether the song was available for them to buy, or whether she was allowed to share the song with them, due to the fact that they were going to be participating in the project. She said “I was very proud of my students' determination to respect the copyright of the young composers!”

If your students are interested and copyright, be sure to tell them that the songwriters are paid for their work and all registered Music: Count Us In schools, teachers and students have a license to use the song for educational purposes! For more information about copyright, visit the Music Matters website.

What inventive approaches have you taken to sharing music with your students? Share your ideas on our Facebook page.

Recording the Song

Watch this clip with your students to give them insight into the recording process. Our Program Ambassador, John Foreman, worked with professional mentors and talented students from Newtown Performing Arts High School at Studios 301 in Sydney.

Creating the song - 2014

Watch this clip with your students to show the process mentor, Harry James Angus and program ambassador, John Foreman led our talented student songwriters through at the MCUI songwriting workshop in April.

Talented students to write MCUI Song

We were overwhelmed with talent for this year's MCUI Songwriting Competition, so we chose five talented students to work with recently announced mentor, Harry Angus on the program song. They will be meeting at our new offices in the Erskineville Town Hall in April to write the song, which will be launched in June.

Emily Claxton – Eden Marine High School - Eden, NSW
Emily ClaxtonEmily has been playing music since she was six. Having lived in many different places whilst growing up including Cobargo, Cobar, Pambula and Schio in Northern Italy, Emily funded her passion by busking and has played and sung in many places, from outside shopping centres to the Sydney Opera House. Emily has been a member of the Gondwana National Childrens Choir, Moorambilla Choirs and a number of school choirs and bands. Emily also enjoys fitness and is currently studying to become a personal trainer. She has been writing songs since she was nine and has been guided by many influences including her circumstances, surroundings, experiences, moods and friendships.

Angus Gill - St Columba Anglican School - Port Macquarie, NSW
Angus GillAngus is an award winning singer/songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist, including acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, drums, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, stomp box and bass. He has already performed with multi Golden Guitar winning Country artists Adam Harvey, Catherine Britt and Pete Denahy, and appeared in Golden Guitar winner Felicity Urquhart’s 2010 film clip titled “The Girl in the Mall.” He won the 2011 Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF) National Songwriting Competition and in 2013 Angus was honoured to take home a Tamworth Songwriter’s Association (TSA) Junior Songwriter of the Year award. He also has his own show on 2WAY FM 103.9 Radio Station.

Kaelyn Girao - The Friends' School - Hobart, TAS
Kaelyn GiraoMusic has always been Kaelyn’s passion, from the moment she picked up a guitar when she was 8 and started borrowing books on how to play from the State library. Her mum taught her the basic chords and she worked hard to learn how to play by herself. She now also plays the drums, piano, and clarinet, and has started taking voice lessons this year. Last year, Kaelyn won the top prize in the ACMF Songwriting competition for her song, "Just A Crush." Kaelyn believes that music has helped her to be responsible, and to manage her time well with homework, after school activities, friends and family.

Winona Kennedy - Immanuel College – Adelaide, SA
Winona KennedyWinnie has been singing for as long as she can remember and has performed in school and state choirs, as well as participating in the SA Festival of Music over a number of years. She has been learning piano for 4 years, but has dabbled in other instruments along the way including clarinet, guitar, autoharp and, most recently, french horn. Her musical interests and influences are diverse and range from indie folk, to country, to pop. Her favourite artists include Lorde, Dolly Parton, and First Aid Kit. Winnie is passionate and enthusiastic about music and performing, and has recently started writing her own songs. Songwriting enables her to be creative and gives her an outlet to express ideas. Winona is a music scholarship student at Immanuel College.

Nathan Wendt - John Paul College - Coffs Harbour, NSW
Nathan WendtNathan’s parents helped him develop a strong passion for music. In Year 6, Nathan took up the trombone. He has also learnt piano, vocals and theory, as well as fiddling around with guitar and drums. Nathan’s enjoyment for music led him to begin composing in Year 8. Some of his major influences include Coldplay, Muse, Radiohead, Evermore and The Cat Empire. Nathan is part of the school ensemble and has also participated in community bands and orchestras. As well as music, he enjoys sports such as cricket, soccer and golf. After school Nathan hopes to continue studies at university while staying involved in the music scene.

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