Music is taught for its intrinsic value; improved student engagement, language skills, learning and well-being are valuable benefits of a good music education.
The National Music Teacher Mentoring Program has significantly boosted the skills and confidence of classroom teachers in the teaching of music, which in turn has led to improved student musicality and wellbeing.
What happens when the quality of music teaching is lifted?
Mentoring can lift the quality of music learning and teaching in your school. Using mentoring as professional learning in the teaching of music is emerging as the most effective way to ensure sustainable capacity building for primary classroom teachers*
*Welch, G. F. (2021). The challenge of ensuring effective early years music education by non-specialists. Early Child Development and Care, 191(12), 1972-1984.
Benefits of music learning
Music learning is core to the education of every child. Children develop deep knowledge, understanding, skills and values through performing, creating, listening and responding to music.
Music learning benefits students’ cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, helping promote positive relationships and environments for students to connect, succeed and thrive.
Music learning improves neural stability, synchronicity and connectivity, leading to improvements in literacy and numeracy skills, academic achievement and social and emotional wellbeing.
The NMTMP believes in an evidence based approach to supporting quality music education in schools. This paper was prepared by Dr Anita Collins – Australian researcher, Neuromusical Educator and author of ‘The Music Advantage’ and Louise Barkl – National Music Teacher Mentoring Program Education Advisor.
Research resulting from the National Music Teacher Mentoring Program
Barrett, M.S., Zhukov, K., & Welch, G.F. (2019). Strengthening music provision in early childhood education: a collaborative self-development approach to music mentoring for generalist teachers.
Music Education Research, (21(5), 529 – 548.
This article reports on the impact of the NMTMP on school communities involved in the pilot program, through the perspectives of the principals, teachers being mentored and mentors. The study identified the program’s aims to improve access to music education and increase confidence in music teaching and singing. The evaluation found positive outcomes, including enriching school curricula, building resources, and impacting student learning and behaviour. The program was a successful in-situ, collaborative approach to professional learning for music teachers.
Barrett, M. S., Zhukov, K., Brown, J. E., & Welch, G. F. (2020). Evaluating the impact of a generalist teacher-led music program on early childhood school children’s singing skills and attitudes to music. Psychology of Music, 48(1), 120–136.
This article reports on the impact of a generalist teacher-led music program on early childhood school children’s singing skills and attitudes to music. Singing tests and class surveys were administered to students in 11 Australian primary schools where music specialists mentored classroom teachers over the period of one to two school terms. The results show that implementing music activities in early education settings can positively impact young children’s singing skills and attitudes to music regardless of gender, ethnicity and socio-economic standing of the school. The study provides empirical evidence of the benefits accrued by children through access to music education.
Barrett, M.S. and Zhukov, K. (2022) ‘Just as important as English or maths’: how mentoring is bringing music alive for primary school students, theconversation.com. Available at: https://theconversation.com/just-as-important-as-english-or-maths-how-mentoring-is-bringing-music-alive-for-primary-school-students-180411
This article by Prof Margaret Barrett and Dr Katie Zhukov in The Conversation outlines the impact of the NMTMP since it was established in 2015. It outlines how the principles can be applied in different contexts, and the key findings of research and evaluation of the program.