Two days until the Big Gig!

The ANU Music Engagement Program Presents ‘LOCAL, LOUD & PROUD!’, an interactive concert for children and the community hosted by Georgia Pike, exploring songs that have been written, arranged or composed by people from the Canberra region. The concert will include 1000 children, 7 schools, 40 string players, two pianos, a community singing group and much, much more. Read more ›

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Podcast – Bathurst String Weekend

Yesterday, Susan West talked on the radio about the upcoming Bathurst Adult String Weekend. This string weekend is run by the Bathurst Conservatoriam every year with violinists Andrew Baker and Lauren Davis. This year the weekend is open to anyone regardless of music or string playing experience. If you would like to attend the details are below. Whether you are interested in coming along or not have a listen to the podcast as it has some interesting thoughts from Susan West on this paradigm of music education.

Bathurst String Weekend Flyer

Podcast –

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21st Century Learners

The following podcast from Life Matters on Radio National discusses international standardised testing. The podcast features guest speaker Professor Yong Zhao who is the Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education in the College of Education at the University of Oregon.

“Australian schools have slipped down the ladder on international tests whereas our Asian neighbours are at the top. So should we be applying their techniques to our own school system? An international critic argues that standardised tests suppress the development of the kind of creative and entrepreneurial learners we need for the future.”


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Lucy’s Poem

Reaching out to thosOR image 5e who need us most.

Seeing the smiles creep upon their faces.

The singing flowing everywhere,

memories flying through my head.

Everyone’s happy, holding hands. Read more ›

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We want to hear you!

We are collecting recordings of different groups singing. If you have a copy of one of our 707 books you will find a cd in the back with recordings of all the songs.

It’s a great way to learn the song and hear other people’s interpretations.

Here’s one song sung by two different groups. Read more ›

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The Importance of Choice

One of the hallmarks of the Music Engagement Program approach has to do with embedding choice for all participants, whether child or adult. The MEP has developed a set of repertoire based on the choices of many children and teachers over a ten year period. This set is called the Seventy over Seven (70/7) series because it includes 10 songs for every year of primary school. Collection of information about song choices continues unabated, particularly with High School students. The songs in the MEP sets are not in any way mandatory. They simply provide an easy starting point for teachers and students at a school to develop a song set for each school and, indeed, for each class in each school.

2008 09 23 MIPPS visit to Morling LodgeMuch of the MEP repertoire has been developed with two criteria in mind. First, that the songs are singable in groups as well and individually; and, secondly, that the songs work in outreach situations. These two criteria are also not compulsory: we have also developed song sets that are useful for other purposes. For example, there is a set of songs that have been shown to be popular for piano beginners because they have a small number of easy chords or chordal patterns. Read more ›

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Reading about the MEP

We have just uploaded a number of papers written mainly by Dr Susan West about the MEP approach. These papers explore interesting topics such as choice, use of the program in special education and much more. Head over to the wiki to find pdfs of these papers!

The MEP Philosophy:

The Music Engagement Program (MEP) has developed a new paradigm for music education based on age-old socio-musical enculturation processes. It takes as its starting point the premise that music-making is a normal human activity; that the musical impulse is innate and compulsive; and that education does not need to train students to ‘love’ music but simply provide opportunities in which that basic musical impulse can flourish.  It does not focus on musical achievement as a primary goal but rather on the social aspects of shared music making both within the school grounds and within the larger community.  Students, and their teachers, are not only given the opportunity to make music in a non-threatening and enjoyable way, but are encouraged to see themselves as facilitators who can encourage music making in others. Learning outcomes occur as a natural part of the process of making music together.

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70/7 Songs on Wiki

The full 70/7 set of songs for primary schools has been uploaded to the wiki. These are still in a state of draft so if you find a typo or error please let us know by emailing Visit the wiki here. If you don’t have a login for the wiki yet you will need to email us. Logins are restricted to those who have completed some MEP training.

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Canberra’s Calling to You!

On March the 10th we gathered a giant, intergenerational group of people. Our ages ranged from 4 years old to 82 years old! We were the opening group for the National Film and Sound Archive’s birthday gift to Canberra, Imagining the Capital: Canberra on Film. 

See us singing “Canberra’s Calling to You” below!

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