It can be a challenge to instil an understanding of the importance of valuing music in a generation who thought it can be free. And yet we must value music if we want it to play a vibrant role in our lives, our culture and our economy into the future. The Why Music Matters campaign can assist teachers and school communities to encourage the valuing of music.
Music has been pushed and pulled in all directions over the past fifteen years. What is now clear – like so many things – is we must value it if we want to keep it.
The music content sector is doing a tremendous job to make the case for music’s value. This is hard work, with formidable challenges. The good news is that the rise of music streaming services has helped a lot. Workable models for accessing music legitimately are maturing and growing rapidly, with many funded by subscriptions or advertising. Problems must still be addressed however, particularly for independent and niche artists, but the tide is turning and with backing of the community the value of music can be restored.
There is an important role for students, teachers and school and parent communities here – in encouraging the valuing of music.
First, the why: Simple, because the livelihoods of music creators depend on it. Without a value attached to music our composers, songwriters and performers lose income and we will lose a lot of music. The rise of the digital age halved recorded music industry earnings and most artists since have struggled. The average Australian musicians earn only $10,000 p.a. from their creative work.
Importantly, we value music because it is good, it inspires us, aids our learning, connects us socially, and adds billions to our economy.
Second, the how: Again, this is simple. We recommend all students, teachers, professionals and music enthusiasts get behind the Why Music Matters campaign. This campaign reminds listeners and music fans of the significance music holds in our lives, and the value of accessing music from licensed sources. It involves people from the whole music industry, including artists, songwriters, composers, record labels, managers, publishers, community radio broadcasters, and music providers.
The Why Music Matters campaign supports Music Australia’s annual Music: Count Us In program through commissioning animations inspired by the student-written and performed original song. Working with young local animators, the Why Music Matters campaign creates videos showing school kids the power of music in storytelling and supporting the Music Count Us In message that music enriches every part of our lives.
Finally, some useful resources:
Short films – artists stories: short animated films from Why Music Matters with artists telling their unique stories and the role music plays in their lives.
Information Guides – fact sheets and short videos by Why Music Matters outlining important questions people should ask when they wish to use music in their creative endeavours.
Music is Good! – fact sheet from Music Australia tailored for school and student communities.
Statistical Snapshot – contemporary music fact sheet from Music Australia, includes challenges and opportunities.
Music Matters has recently released an animated video for the 2017 Music: Count Us In Program Song, ‘Shine Together’.