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Dino Azzollini is Music Teacher at Lalor North College, Melbourne, Australia
I have been teaching Music at Lalor North College since 2004 where we initially tried to set up a traditional Music Program such as the one I had successfully set up at a previous school. However this model didn’t seem to be connecting with the students I had in front of me. I then spoke with the Instrumental Music Teachers and we agreed to change our approach to include a more contemporary/team teaching, popular music focus. It quickly became one of the most popular electives at our school.
As a result of this, we were asked by Musical Futures Australia to become a pilot school in 2010. A few years later we became a Champion School for Musical Futures.
It was 2015 when we were hosting one of our State Wide MF Teacher Training Days where it was noted by a presenter that we have many NZ / Pacific Islander students in our school music program. I went on to explain how Musical Futures Pedagogy resonates well with our students culturally.
Students enjoy jamming, choosing and developing their own repertoire in their friendship groups, and then presenting it to a large audience. The success of their performances makes them feel connected to the school and does wonders for their self-confidence.
As a result of the NZ / Pacific Islander students drawn to our Music Program, I made the suggestion that maybe a MF PD could be run in New Zealand.
In March this year, I nervously found myself in Auckland with Ken Owen, Director of Musical Futures Australia. We ran MF Workshops for two days with 50 enthusiastic and very talented music teachers from all around New Zealand, as well as one of my ex-students Metoyer Manuel from Lalor North College who since moved back to NZ.
Metoyer participated in the workshops and was interviewed by Ken, regarding her positive Musical Futures experience in Australia. We also listened to one of her many excellent You Tube videos (see below) which was very well received by the NZ teachers.
Metoyer has stated that she was very proud to have been part of the Musical Futures NZ Workshops and that music is still a massive part of her life and general well-being.
"The last two days at University of Auckland have been so powerful and amazing, I’m so proud to be part of the Musical Futures Program, and getting the message across to teachers nationwide about the importance on how music can help develop a child’s brain, emotion, mentalities and so much more…Maybe it doesn’t give you solutions in life, or to your problems, but it has always been there for me.” Metoyer Manuel
MF is a powerful, hands-on approach to music making which resonates with all students. For me it is very rewarding to be able to engage students in a fun and practical way.
You can read more about our Auckland workshops and see our full Musical Futures International training program here
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