Valuing Music Education

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In early 2005, the Australian Government released the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools and has funded every Australian school and professional teaching association to disseminate programmes with a focus on Values Education for Australian schooling. Many curriculum resource materials have been produced and an extensive website developed by the Curriculum Corporation, as well as a review of materials by members of professional teaching associations. Each Government education jurisdiction has appointed a Values Education project officer who attends the National Values Fora and reports on activities generated in schools. School curricula in the States and Territories have included their own approaches to Values Education and a direct link has been established with teaching opportunities that enable a ‘Community of Inquiry’. The emphasis on Values Education in schools signals that teachers of music are also required to incorporate relevant aspects of the topic in their classrooms. The focus of this paper is to suggest one consideration for incorporating Values Education into music education programmes in schools. Relevant values statements in each curricula document that can be associated with aspects of teaching music in the schools have been identified. The paper draws on the research of Carruthers (2006) and Stephens (2005) who suggest that teachers of music will achieve more success in addressing Values Education in the music classroom with a single focus on musical values