Music: Count Us In (MCUI) is Australia’s biggest school initiative. In 2015, more than 550,000 students from over 2,100 schools participated nationwide. Music: Count Us In brings teachers, parents, students and the music industry together in celebration of music and music education. In 2016 we celebrate our 10th anniversary!
MCUI is available to all schools and registration is FREE. The program is a perfect fit for schools with an existing music program and for schools without one. We really do encourage all schools to get involved, including those who already deliver music to their students. MCUI exists to advocate for improved access to music education for all students across Australia.
Participating Schools in 2017
Music: Count Us In – How Does it Work?
MCUI starts and ends with the Program Song. The Program Song is brand new each year and is always written by students, with the assistance of Program Amabassador John Foreman and a guest Program Mentor. In 2015, the MCUI Mentor was Marcia Hines. Listen to the 2015 Program Song ‘Gold’. The Program Song is then recorded by students with the assistance of professional musicians and the song is released to all registered schools. We supply an extensive range of resources to support teachers in the classroom. Our resources include lesson plans, videos, arrangements for musical ensembles, Auslan and Braille resources and more. Registered teachers are also encouraged to make the most of various professional development opportunities offered by Music Australia and our education partners.
MCUI culminates in Celebration day, usually held at the end of October each year. The day is celebrated nationally where right across the country – all registered schools sing the same song, on the same day, at the same time. Schools can hold their own Celebration Day events or partner with other local schools or participate in main events organised by Music Australia and our partners. Celebration Day events have been known to take over classrooms, school halls, shops, arts centres, parks, beaches, public spaces, concert halls and even Parliament House! One main event is live streamed so that all participating schools can tune in and feel connected to the rest of the country as they sing the song that stops the nation!
Music: Count Us In – Why is it Needed?
In late 2005, the federally-funded National Review of School Music Education found that most students miss out on meaningful music education in schools. It said that we needed to lift the status of music in schools, to remind teachers, parents, principals, kids and the community about the value and benefits of learning music. MCUI has a dual purpose – it advocates for music education by promoting and celebrating its value and offers resources and training to teachers to help them deliver music in the classroom.
What are the Benefits of Music Education?
Decades of research shows that learning music can help students’ self-confidence, self-discipline and team work. It can help students engage in school, can improve school attendance and can even help students make healthy life choices. There are also strong links between music learning and academic skills in literacy and numeracy. Research shows that music is unique in its flow-on benefits to students who learn it.
Don’t all Schools Already Teach Students Music?
Not really, no. The key with meaningful music learning is that it has to be ‘continuous, sequential and developmental’ for students to benefit. We know, for example, that as few as 23% of government schools are able to offer their students a music education which fits that bill – they would like to, but they lack the resources. In private schools, the number leaps up to 88%. The numbers vary greatly from State to State, but that statistic reflects the national average. MCUI supports the idea that ALL kids deserve music education, which is why our resources offer a full term of lesson plans for use in the classroom.
Music: Count Us In – How Does it Help?
Our research shows that schools’ participation in MCUI leads to teachers, principals and school communities investing more in music education. Generalist teachers develop increased confidence and skills, and specialist teachers use the program as an opportunity to bring the whole school together to celebrate music. Participating in MCUI is also a great way for schools to engage with their local community, seek local media coverage, advocate directly to their Government representatives and create opportunities to showcase talented and dedicated students and teachers. More students might put their hands up to join existing choirs and music ensembles, Principals might decide to allocate more time and resources to music, teachers might offer more regular music classes per week or the P&C might form a music sub-committee. There are so many ways to bring more music into students lives. MCUI is just the beginning!