SongMakers: An industry-led approach to arts partnerships in education
Hunter, MA and Broad, T and Jeanneret, N, SongMakers: An industry-led approach to arts partnerships in education, Arts Education Policy Review, 119, (1) pp. 1-11. ISSN 1063-2913 (2018) [Refereed Article]
Reported benefits of arts partnerships with schools range from improvements in students' motivation and engagement in learning to teachers' increased confidence in teaching the arts, and strengthened school and community relationships. Yet, in the scholarship on arts partnerships to date, limited critical attention has been given to the impact of programs primarily driven by government supported industry-based imperatives. There may be legitimate concerns that, in primarily servicing economic or employment needs, industry–school partnerships overlook social and interpersonal aspects of learning in favor of goal-orientated skills training to meet "the market." This article informs arts education policy and industry directions by acknowledging this concern and reporting on the outcomes of an industry–schools partnership where industry "training" appears to be leveraging a number of more holistic student learning outcomes. Jointly funded by industry and government, SongMakers is an Australian artist in residence program that aims to improve the export potential of Australia's contemporary music industry and contribute to the implementation of a contemporary music curriculum. It involves professional songwriters and producers with international recording experience working as mentors to students who create and produce new music in intensive two-day workshops. This article outlines how the program is demonstrating emergent positive impact not only on students' music knowledge and skill development, and understanding of the contemporary music industry, but on engagement, confidence in learning, and self-efficacy. It does not argue that all industry programs can or will achieve such impacts, but that diverse kinds of arts partnerships in schools can contribute to a viable ecology of quality educational practice in the arts.
school industry partnerships, music education, arts education, contemporary music industry