What makes good music programs in schools? A study of school music across Australia and a comparison with England and Russia

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Copyright: Petrova, Irina
This thesis examines the provision of classroom music education in Australia and compares the situation here with those in England and Russia. In order to do this, I examine the National Review of School Music Education (2005) to gain an understanding of the current state of music education in Australia. Secondly, I review the literature published since 1967 that focuses on the state of school music education, teacher training and support in music, to understand how the issue has been dealt with over the years across Australia, in comparison to England and Russia. The empirical part of this thesis investigates further aspects which I believe the Review did not adequately address. For example, 62.74% primary and 33.78% secondary schools across Australia do not offer classroom music at all. In order to investigate in more depth the system in Australia, four major national surveys were prepared and carried out, involving 258 primary and 141 secondary school teachers who taught classroom music, 10 university lecturers from a number of Australian universities that provide pre-service training to primary school teacher trainees, and 12 teacher music advisors and consultants. The surveys identified such important matters as teachers’ musical backgrounds, formal qualifications and pedagogical training, and linked these to their perceived confidence in teaching music. It is confirmed that teachers’ musical qualifications is the major factor impacting the quality of music programs. Perceptions of pre-service and in-service training and curriculum support were also investigated. Finally, a further inquiry was made into what resources for teaching music are available in each Australian state and territory, and comparisons made across government, Catholic, and independent schools. Based on the historical and international data and the results of the surveys, suggestions are made which might enhance the delivery of music education.
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Petrova, Irina
Walker, Robert
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PhD Doctorate
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