Here's what teachers are saying about Music: Count Us In 2012
This year's song "Different People" was so good, it inspired the principal of Huskisson Public School NSW to ask the whole school to sing it at the annual presentation night, a first for this school. We have been involved in the "Count us In" program for at least 4 years .
I have the choir for 1/2 hour a week. Small steps. Keep up the wonderful work.
Deb Grahame, Music Teacher, Huskisson Public School NSW
"Can I just say what a great song Different People is! I know that the event is over but my kids still beg me to play it at school! I was also taking a year 2 class for a maths lesson and I said the word Different and within a matter of seconds the entire class had randomly started singing Different People whilst doing their work! And our year 7 students have chosen this song to be played at their graduation! Thanks for helping bring music to kids lives and helping it be more meaningful and accessible to them!"
Michael Aquilina, Music Specialist Teacher, Pooraka Primary School, SA
I am a teacher and the Music coordinator at St Johns primary School Mullumbimby. Last week we were invited to the Friday markets to sing our Count Us In Song on air where ABC north coast were broadcasting the breakfast show. The next day we performed 4 songs including Come Play Your Part and Different People at the 2012 Mullumbimby Music Festival.
Gerard ODwyer, Music Coordinator, St Johns Primary School, Mullumbimby NSW
"In April this year our band toured London, Paris and the Western Front. At our performance at the International School of Paris we combined with all their students to play and sing "We've got the Music". They also sang with actions. It went so well we had to do it for a second time."
Claudia Barker, Director of Music, Kooweerup Secondary, VIC
"12 students from Northern School for Autism went to Federation Square in 2010. 26 students went to the Arts Centre in 2011. In 2012, well over 100 students met in our hall and sang 'Different People' at the same time as all those other students all around Australia. The students really loved learning and singing the song, and for all the staff involved there was a lovely sense of being part of something reaching far beyond the fences of our school. Thank-you!'
Catherine Schmidt, Northern School for Autism, Jacana, VIC
We have had an awe-inspiring day. Arrived at 7:00am- same time as the ABC for an interview with John Foreman being filmed here. My biggest fear-no children would turn up to sing.... 170 children later we sang after the interview and my young stars appeared on the ABC this morning. Every ONE SONG day we give a half hour concert at our local shopping centre- aiming to sing the song of the year at 12:30pm-we did it!
Rosalie Birney, Music Specialist Teacher, Gladstone Park Primary, VIC
"I just want to say your united voice heard down on Parliament House lawns today was a real treat. It was so refreshing to stand among all those young Australians, and celebrate with them the beauty of music! Sing on!"
Senator Trish Crossin, Senator for the Northern Territory
"The kids at my school had a ball. Fantastic song! Wonderful picture and article. 'Different People (Stand Together)' for Music Education. The message: Music Education for all. I am a Music Specialist Teacher and know how lucky I am to combine my passion for music and my experience in teaching music."
Tanya Stewart, Music Specialist Teacher, St Mary's School, Colac, VIC
"As a Northern Bay College teacher, I was lucky enough to play with our band and students at the rehearsal and the event proper. It was a real thrill for the students when Josh Pyke came and a fantastic experience for all concerned. Great Effort!!"
Kevin Demmon, Teacher, Northern Bay College, VIC
"Perth Montessori School have a combined school band and choir effort this year!!! The whole school community will be attending and we are even singing from inside a bus just to participate.... directly following this extravaganza the children will be taking off to attend their swimming lessons!! Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Leanne Harvey, Music Teacher, Perth Montessori School, WA
"My students sang loud and proud... they definitely got the buzz that comes from mass singing a song that comes from the heart :-) . Thank you for giving us working in music education in schools a vehicle to raise the profile of the 'job' we do."
Bree Hartley, Music Teacher, Armadale Primary School, WA
"It was amazing. We are a little school in the Riverina with 200 kids, and we LOVED every minute. We sang with the live stream and then sang again. I have 4 kids at school and we are still singing this afternoon! I was put in charge of leading the school to sing, as our music teacher wasn't at school today, and standing before the kids as they smiled, sang and danced was fantastic. It was the first time I have ever been a part of something like this, and I am already looking forward to next year. Our choir has just come back from singing at the Opera House two weeks ago, and the 36 kids we took (some of whom had never been to Sydney) told me today that it was just as good as performing in Sydney! Thank you for such a great initiative."
Sam McDonald, Music Teacher, Riverina, NSW
"I was involved in this in 2008 and 2009 at three different schools, and got St Johns Lutheran Portland involved this year and they loved it. Actually had success with the webstream this year. Nice work John Foreman and everyone else involved :) We emphasised to the students the "specialness" that comes from being involved in something bigger than ourselves, which this project certainly was."
David Chalmers, St John's Lutheran College, Portland, VIC
"This was Merewether Heights PS's first year doing this and we loved it. It was a proud moment for everyone."
Karen Fagg, Teacher, Merewether Heights Public School, NSW
"Thank you for such a great initiative. Even though I've always been a music educator, today I saw a side of my students that I haven't always seen. Particularly in those students who don't always find school that meaningful. It showed me that although I don't always see it on the surface, music is so very important to them. Good reflection exercise for me to think about what, how and why I teach my students music and what I aim to achieve with it.... not necessarily produce another generation of musicians, but rather cultivate participatory values and nurture their intrinsic joy and love for music. How proud they were to be singing altogether and united with thousands of other children at the same time. Lovely to see parents turn up and get all bleary eyed watching their beautiful children sing their hearts out. Thank you."
Libby Löwen, Teacher
"St Joseph's school in Gayndah took part and sang through once with the live stream then with the video on YouTube. Amazing to see the preps who knew all the lyrics!"
Rachel Koster, St Joseph's School Gayndah, QLD
"Really gets a buzz in the school . Music Count Us In has been the catalyst for an increased profile of music across the school since the beginning of the initiative. Every class and teacher is involved. Kids love seeing the live streaming of schools around Australia and sing with such enthusiasm! Straight after the Count Us In event we have a k-6 Making Music Day with every teacher delivering a couple of music focus workshops to mixed K-6 groups. . Kids love it. We've been involved since the beginning and look forward to it on our calendar every year! Let's hope it gets the go ahead or 2013 and beyond!"
"Today marked the 2nd year my school in Townsville participated. We're a school with many refugees and students from all around the globe so this year's song was especially meaningful for us. We had a local, and very brilliant high school stage band join us for the event - they played music for our kids before we sung together. It was magnificent! All of my students got to hear music they'd never otherwise hear from the stage band, and then had the amazingly unified experience of singing in a 400 strong choir, performing with a live band. The power of their voices is still ringing in my ears! Thank you for such an amazing event, bring on 2013!"
Danielle Blatch, Music Teacher, Aitkenvale State School, QLD
"Great song. I listened to the kids from Tempe public school today. It took me back to the opera house when my son Patrick first participated as a kindly kid on the steps. Keep at the great work. Us parents are very proud."
Melissa Mekrizis, Parent, Tempe Public School, NSW
"Another wonderful song, another wonderful day celebrating the joy of music, thank you!!"
"Our school ensembles: Early Years Xylophone Ensemble, Middle Years Percussion Ensemble and Grade 3 & 4 Choir all lead our school with the song and actions. It was an overwhelming success and enjoyed by all. We have participated in this event since 2007 and look forward to being involved again next year."
Caroline & Vicky, Music Specialist Team, Taylors Lakes Primary School, VIC
"The teachers and students of Glenhaven have enjoyed working on the song again this year. We have recorded our last rehearsal and all of the students are excited about having our rehearsal placed on the Music Count Us In and school website. We had five classes participating ( 1/2W, 3/4J, 3/4M,3/4S and 5/6S). Thanks again!
Julie Sharpe, Music Teacher, Glenhaven Public School, NSW
"Thank you so much! We are keen for Thursday. We are joining our grade 4,5,6 choir with schools in Shepparton. Hooray music for fun, social opportunities and good well being!"
Sue Meeking, Music Teacher, Kyabram Primary School, VIC
“Roll on November 1, the kids are pumped and they have embraced the song with open arms. We will be singing the song outside with the beautiful Alice Springs ranges behind us.”
Paul Tighe, Music Teacher, Ross Park Primary School, NT
"On the 1st November the whole school will come together in the Hall to sing Different People accompanied by our School Band. Many students have learnt to play the song on their instruments and the music classes have enjoyed trying out the percussion parts and making up their own ostinatos. The students have enjoyed learning the song and love Music Count Us In."
Roslyn Twine, Music Teacher, Aranmore Catholic Primary School, WA
"Our school Hawthorndene Primary School in South Australia, has been involved since the start, and each year we just grow to love the new song for the year. This year, we have explored singing and using long scarves to Different People, creating shapes and patterns for each section. We are going to New Zealand next week to meet up with our exchange school South Hornby in Christchurch. We will be performing the song combined with them at every performance we do, promoting Music Count Us In in New Zealand."
Zita Sankauskas, Music Teacher, Hawthorndene Primary School, SA
"Here at Christies Beach Primary School, the 'Music. Count Us In' song has always been known here as the 'Beach Song'. We have participated every year since it's inception and the entire school always walks to the local beach to sing the song, hence it's common name the 'Beach Song'. This way we can invite families and the wider community to watch, participate and hear the beautiful singing voices of the nearly 400 students here at Christies Beach."
Lou Wilson, Music Teacher, Christies Beach Primary, SA
"Roll on the 1st. We are pumped, ready and very excited. Everyone loves the song."
Barbara Nicolao, Music Teacher & MCUI 6 Timer, South Bunbury Primary School & South Bunbury education Support Centre (Special Needs School), WA
"The kids at Ainslie School ACT are also pumped. They love the song and picked it up with ease. Counting down the days until we sing on the Lawns of Parliament House."
Julie Maree Mayhew, Music Teacher, Ainslie School, ACT
OMG I LOVE SINGING!
Amrit, Student, Kalinda Primary School, VIC
"Just thought I'd drop you a line to let you know about Mount Carmel College's participation this Thursday. The Secondary Choir has learnt the song over the last few weeks and is planning a flashmob style performance during lunchtime on Thursday (hopefully as close to 12.30 as possible!). We're lucky to have the Music program and facilities that we have and the students are more aware of that fact having learnt about Music: Count Us In and the reasons behind the event. They are planning to use the performance to further raise awareness amongst the student population of the importance and benefits of Music education."
David McNamara, Secondary Music Teacher, Mount Carmel College Sandy Bay, TAS
"I'm a first year out teacher and I also happen to be the first music teacher at our school in quite a few years. This year I decided to get the school involved in the Music Count Us In Program and it is working out better than expected! The ENTIRE school has gotten behind the program that we've decided that on November 1st we are not only going to be playing the Different People song, but we are having a whole school concert/music night where every student and every class are putting together their own little number to perform, finishing with Different People! It has really created a buzz at our school with teachers wanting to learn the lyrics and dance moves, and students bombarding me with USB's and Blank CD's so that I can give them their own copy of Different People so that they can practice at home, in the car and during their free time at school! Thanks for creating such a strong and accessible program that I know I will be using with my students for years to come!"
Michael Aquilina, Music Specialis Teacher, Pooraka Primary School, SA
"We are a rural Tasmanian school with 380 students. From Prep through to Year 6, every student is learning Different People (Stand Together), with each class contributing at least one action to complement the song. Some students are learning instrumental parts and the Junior Choir will lead the singing on the day. It is a tribute to Josh Pyke and the songwriting team that our littlies were singing along by Chorus 2 during the first listen-through and our bigger kids enjoy singing the song at lunchtimes. All students have been fascinated by the recording process as documented on the clip. Thanks! We are looking forward to our first year as part of Music: Count Us In."
Daniel Townsend, Music Teacher, Scottsdale Primary School, TAS
"This year I have been able to get the School Band and the Recorder Ensemble to learn to play the song as well as the whole school singing “Different People (Stand Together)”. The students are loving the song and are naturally developing their own actions. Students request to sing the song more than once each lesson, which is great! We’re all looking forward to November 1st!"
Trista Fry, Music Teacher, Birmingham Primary School, Lilydale, VIC
"I have been teaching the song in music class and using some of the useful tools in the handout. The kids have responded positively towards the song, some wanting to know where to get it etc. Grade 5/6s are going to play instruments and the other classes will sing. Next stage is deciding where in the school to sing. Hoping all classes can attend."
Rebecca Hart, Music coordinator, Ferny Creek Primary School, VIC
"Jolimont Primary School is a small inner city school in Perth. Our year 1/2's are putting on an assembly and at exactly 9.30 the whole school will join in and sing the song. We have an old school bell that we will use for the countdown first. My kids just LOVE the song. From year 1's right through to year 7's!!!!"
Dale Twycross, Music Teacher, Jolimont Primary School, Perth, WA
"Forth Primary School will be singing the song at a whole school Assembly. Parents will be invited to attend. We have a recorder introduction and have chosen some Grade 6 students to sing solos in Verse 1 and 2. We will also have a signing group. Preparation has been great fun. Thank you for a wonderful experience in being involved."
Yvonne Yaxley , Music Specialist, Forth Primary School, TAS
"This year I have both of my schools involved in MCUI. East Beechboro PS (WA) will be having a whole school event in their stadium - it's a big sporting week as well so it's great that we have our Music activities recognised in amongst all that. City Beach PS is getting into the city for the Combined concert on Thursday - bright and early at 9.30 for us in WA. The Choir as well as all Year 4 and 5 students are involved. We have access to an ASLAN interpreter who has taught us all how to sign the chorus of the song. It's been a great experience this year. Thanks MCUI!"
Robyn Veitch, Music Teacher, East Beechboro Primary School & City Beach Primary School, WA
"On Monday October 8, 500 students from Bundaberg and District school choirs formed 2 Mass Choirs at our local theatre during the Bundy Crush Annual celebrations. The 2 choirs sang 6 songs including the 2012 Music Count Us In Different People. The audience were thrilled with the students' performance. Also 2 of our district Primary Drumbands performed.You can view the Bundy Crush Concert photos by googling 'Bundy Crush website.' Kalkie State School will perform the song on November 1st with the backing of the school bands + the school choir. All 358 students and staff will join these groups with their singing and actions. Year 6/7 students choreographed the actions for this year's song."
Sharlene Peterson, Music Teacher/Drumband Coordinator/Bundy Crush Coordinator, Kalkie State School, Bundaberg QLD.
"I'd like to bring your attention our celebration plan for Nov 1st. Durack is a multicultural school with families from diverse cultures. We're very much like a fruit salad in one big bowl! I have translated parts of the choruses into languages that are spoken widely amongst our Durack families and on the day we will wear multi-coloured shirts. Two pacific island vocalists are singing lead and the whole school as choir in choruses. We will have the pleasure of performing with Australia's Got Talent Finalist 2012 "Mark Lowndes" who will accompany the choir singing and playing guitar. The local high school rock band members will be also be accompanying us. We are looking forward to the big day and the kids absolutely LOVE the song."
Rose Salemanesa, Music Teacher, Durack State School, QLD
"My name is Cally Pysden and I am the music teacher in a remote aboriginal community called Pipalyatjara Anangu. We are a small school at the top of S.A near the W.A, N.T border. Our school has been very busy last term practising a song called 'Solid Rock' with Shane Howard. You may have seen a recording of them on Sunrise performing at the recent 'Other side of the rock concert' held on the 6/10/12. We are now busy practising Different people (stand together) and we are practising with African drums, a drum kit, and guitar. It is only the beginning stages of learning the song for the Pipalyatjara students and they can be very shy at performing because it is 'shame' in their culture. The students are slowly building in confidence in this area. It would be a fantastic opportunity for Pipalyatjara community to be recognised especially when the song lyrics are poignant to the situation (eg. Different people, different places. Stand together, we stand together)."
Cally Pysden, Music Teacher, Pipalyatjara Anangu School, WA
“They feel good when they do things together. Music: Count Us In sees the involvement of every child in my school along with the parents, friends.... the response they get from the community - you just see their little hearts swell. Anything to make them feel good, make feel part of something.”
Kathryn McLennan, Virginia State School, QLD
“We are taking a slightly different angle this year. The music teachers and year 8,9,10 and 11 classes (13 different classes) will not hear the actual vocal lyric part or arrangement and only have the chord sheet. The teachers will not listen to the original either until all their classes are ready to add vocals early next term. Each class will create their own arrangement in their own style. We will then start to piece them together and record them in a process diary blog using tumblr. Year 11 piloted the process today and finished their dance mix version and will be the first group to listen to vocals and record them this week.”
Greg Thwaites, Head Teacher Music, Fairvale High, SW Sydney
“The question is more important than the answer, like the Music Count Us In song says. That song this year is so apt. Dream it into reality, from the first time you believe... it really has hit home for so many of them.”
Helen Collis, Margaret River Primary, WA
“I have created quite a ground swell of interested teachers and classes for the Nov 1st big sing. We are already practicing. Please pass on that it is a great song. The kids love it! It is particularly relevant to our school which is a school for newcomers to Australia who are learning English and most of them are refugees from the war torn parts of the world.”
Adrienne McCarthy Burns, Refugee School of Adelaide, SA
“The students love the song and ask for it each lesson. They no longer need the word sheets and those who are 'not into singing' are looking forward to participating by playing rhythmic riffs as part of their involvement.”
Wendy O'Keeffe, Mary McKillop Catholic Regional College, Leongatha, VIC
"We participate in a big way each year with the Kepnock High School Concert Band and String Ensemble visiting to provide the backing music on the day. Also our Advanced instrumental students join this group. The Kalkie Choir lead the way and every year level in the school participate in song and actions from Prep to Year 7. Even parents attend. Each year it is televised locally and makes the local newspaper headlines. Students from Kalkie love participating yearly and love the 2012 song.”
Sharlene Peterson, Kalkie State School, QLD
"We are in the process of teaching the children the song (which they love by the way, especially our preschool children). Each day we are practising the song in a group setting and by playing it in the background so they can take in the lyrics. We do have plans to have some of the educators play some instruments with the children on the day, but in the mean time we are playing the song to the track found on-line. We do plan to have some basic movements, the children will perform. We do plan on the day to use our movement space and get all the children together and perform the song, we were also thinking of filming this and emailing the performance to the parents outlining the objectives of the music count us in philosophy."
Jamie Morris, Director, Balmain Care for Kids Early Childhood Centre, NSW
"Toormina High School played host to 14 Primary teachers (generalists) this month. After waving scarves to music, they warmed up on untuned percussion, creating a rainbow-themed soundscape, before trying out Jozzbeat's online percussion chart of "Different People (Stand Together)" - the program song for MCUI 2012. They explored different methods of teaching song melody and lyrics to classes, using many ideas from the 2012 MCUI kit. Having familiarised themselves with the tune of "Different People (Stand Together)", they used the melody helper page of the MCUI kit to teach themselves to play on tuned percussion instruments. Next they explored the potential of interactive whiteboards to inspire both students and teachers to teach music knowledge and music appreciation in the generalist classroom. Finally, teachers picked up ukuleles (for the first time in their lives) and within 7 minutes they were all playing some ukulele chords with the MP3 of "Different People (Stand Together)", using the MCUI powerpoint chord charts and MCUI 2012 kit pages of lyrics and ukulele chords. Most teachers wanted to stop at a music shop on the way home to buy ukuleles for their classroom!"
Pru Borgert, Bellingen High School, Regional NSW