A Day of Musical Celebration – 600,000 Voices Calling for Music Education

Photo bt Clare Kenny
Clare Kenny
| November 8, 2016

On Thursday 3 November, over 600,000 students from more than 2,500 schools sang the same song, on the same day, at the same time. The song was ‘Let It Play’ and the occasion was Music: Count Us In’s Celebration Day. Celebrating its 10th year, Music: Count Us In achieved record numbers across the board and marked the special day with amazing events all over Australia.

Music: Count Us In’s 2016 Program Song, ‘Let It Play’, was heard across Australia as students from schools around the country sang with great passion and gusto. This year’s Celebration Day was the most successful to date, raising much needed awareness about the importance of music education in schools.

2016 saw the introduction of new partnerships and initiatives which served to enrich Music: Count Us In for the improved experience of students and teachers across the country. In partnership with Arts Empower Foundation Limited (Arts Empower!) and the Northern Territory Music School, Music: Count Us In worked with the communities of Yuendumu, Bulman, Gunbalanya and Maningrida to foster increased engagement with music in regional and remote communities. The community and school of Yuendumu translated ‘Let It Play’ into their local Indigenous language of Walpiri and helped in the development of Indigenous Resources for schools across Australia. Their community was profiled in a video package as part of the main Celebration Day event at the Sydney Opera House. Music Australia would like to thank PAW Media for their very generous support of showcasing Yuendumu through film. The main Celebration Day event at the Sydney Opera House was live streamed around Australia. View the 2016 Celebration Day live stream.

A major highlight of the day was Oxley State School’s successful attempt to break the Guinness World Record and claim the title of the ‘World’s Largest Marimba Ensemble’. Congratulations to all involved.

Congratulations and thank you to all the teachers and students who were involved in Music: Count Us In 2016. Thank you also to our 2016 Ambassador, John Foreman OAM, and our 2016 Mentor, Jay Laga’aia. A final thank you and congratulations to the 2016 Student Songwriters: Bonnie Staude (WA), Tom Meadows (VIC), Stella Kelly (WA) and Breanna Truscott (QLD).

Music: Count Us In has enjoyed wonderful media coverage this year with a storm of media clippings, TV and radio pieces in the last few weeks. We have also collected some fantastic photos and videos from Celebration Day events around Australia. Visit Music: Count Us In’s Facebook page to see this coverage.

Registrations for Music: Count Us In 2017 and the 2017 National Songwriting Competition will open soon.


  1. ALison Dowell

    Up here in the NT, at Anula Primary School we enjoyed the whole experience of inclusiveness and belonging that this activity brought us. Looking forward to next year!
    Alison Dowell
    Visual Arts teacher

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