Music Teacher Feature: Brad Ollmann

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New Framework for Music Education

In spring 2014, I will go on sabbatical to direct a handful of choirs in Morelia, Mexico; not only will it be my first experience as a conductor in residence, but it will also be my first time teaching in Spanish! In what ways do you try to encourage your students to appreciate and participate in music? I make sure my students have many experiences in performing, creating and listening to music. In my opinion, all three aspects are crucial to a well-rounded music education. When it comes to performing, I believe it is important that students can sing in tune and tap a steady beat. When they can clap a steady beat, I teach them to clap on the off-beat as well! From kindergarten on, I have them compose and improvise music so they know that creating music is not something mystical that only highly trained composers do.
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Equipment and Facilities for Music Education In Australian schools music classes are often run in utterly unsuitable spaces too small, or too big, or acoustically poor, or difficult to access, or used for storage of unrelated equipment and materials. Musical instruments and items of audio-equipment are frequently of poor quality or simply unavailable. Although a few hundred schools were able to upgrade their equipment and facilities with funds made available by the Howard government in its last two years, this went only a small way towards providing for universal music education. The Australian Government must set benchmarks for quality teaching spaces, instruments and other hardware. It must then see that funds to purchase them reach the schools.
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