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Thursday, 19 June 2008
Page: 2802

Senator ALLISON (Leader of the Australian Democrats) (9:40 AM) —I, and also on behalf of Senator Kemp, move:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   recognises that there is a growing body of scientific research demonstrating that children who receive a comprehensive, sequential music instruction gain many academic and social benefits, including findings that:

   (i)   playing music:

   (a)   builds or modifies neural pathways related to spatial-temporal reasoning tasks, which are crucial for higher brain functions like complex maths and science,

   (b)   improves concentration, memory and self expression,

   (c)   increases reasoning capacity, time management and the ability to think in the abstract, and

   (d)   improves the ability to think,

   (ii)   learning music helps underperforming students improve, and

   (iii)   music students learn critical teamwork and social skills;

   (b)   appreciates the positive link between the well-being of Australia’s youth and their appreciation and active participation in music activities;

   (c)   understands the special benefits that active music making has for at risk, vulnerable and Indigenous children;

   (d)   acknowledges the significant contribution and effort that people from all walks of life make to their local communities through music and arts initiatives, particularly those that support Australia’s youth;

   (e)   concedes that many Australian children, including the overwhelming majority of children attending state schools nationally, do not have access to a comprehensive, sequential music instruction as part of their education;

   (f)   highlights the progress in measuring and enunciating the current scarcity of school music education, through:

   (i)   the Trends in School Music Education Provision in Australia report,

   (ii)   the National Review of School Music Education, and

   (iii)   the National Music Workshop;

   (g)   calls on all governments nationally, through the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs and the Cultural Ministers Council to actively support and encourage:

   (i)   an increased presence and heightened importance of learning music within the various education curricula throughout Australia, and

   (ii)   a closing of the gap between school sectors on access to music education, and

   (iii)   the inclusion of meaningful and effective instruction on the delivery of school music within qualifications for school teachers; and

   (h)   calls on the Government to.

   (i)   assist all school systems nationally in their ability to deliver a comprehensive, sequential music instruction for all Australian children in the years from Kindergarten to Year 10,

   (ii)   increase funding for school music education programs, and

   (iii)   include the delivery of a comprehensive, sequential music instruction in the development of the national curriculum.

Question agreed to.