Music: Count Us In (MCUI) is Australia’s largest school initiative. It is the education program of Music Australia, working with partners around the country to support music in schools. Its genesis was in the 2005 Australian Government National Review of School Music Education which found a lack of music education in schools. MCUI is supported by the Australian Government up until the end of 2020, funded through the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

MCUI plays a vital role in fostering music education in schools, with a presence in every state and territory in the country.  It is internationally recognised as the world’s largest school music initiative, and an important part of the Australian school calendar.  It offers students music participation and skill development, delivers much needed resources and training to teachers, accesses and supports regional and remote locations and special needs areas and provides a whole-of-school engagement activity.

The program culminates in the National Celebration Day when more than half a million students sing the same song, on the same day, at the same time – the annual Program Song. It is a song written by students, for students. The 2020 Program Song is called You Won’t Bring Us Down , and was written by four students from around Australia in collaboration with the MCUI Ambassador John Foreman and the 2020 program Mentor Lior.

MCUI is available to all schools and registration is FREE. Simply REGISTER to get started. 

MCUI Registered Schools

Use the map, below, to find your school and to find out which schools are registered in your area.

Music: Count Us In – How Does it Work?

MCUI starts and ends with the Program Song which is written by Australian school students with the assistance of John Foreman OAM (Program Ambassador) and the MCUI Mentor who changes each year (previous mentors have included the likes of Marcia Hines, Jay Laga’aia, Jack River and Justine Clarke). The Music: Count Us In National Songwriting Competition is used to find the writers of the Program Song.

The Program Song and a suite of accompanying resources is made available to all registered schools to use from the beginning of school term three. Educational Resources include lesson plans, demonstrations 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 around the country.

MCUI culminates in Celebration day, to be held on Thursday 5 November 2020. 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. Music: Count Us In 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. Music: Count Us In 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 Music: Count Us In 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 Music: Count Us In 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. Music: Count Us In is just the beginning!

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