Welcome To Music - Musicnotes Newsletter
In This Issue
Whats new
What's been happening 1
What's been happening 2
Artists in Schools
Our Featured article
Planning for 2010?
Me Susie and Phil, you Janie!
What people are saying
Xmas gift offer
Phil's PHILosophy

Welcome to this December issue of ‘Musicnotes’, our last enews for 2009, and who can believe it’s almost the end of yet another fun filled year?? Then again maybe some of you are wondering how it’s taken this long! Oh well, either way here we are and one way or another we truly hope you have had a great year.

In this issue we will look at our fabulous ‘Double Up’ PLAYshop tour we did with Lynn Kleiner (and her hubby Steve) as well as some other great programs we have been involved in, including our work with the Melbourne Symphony orchestra and our trip to Papua New Guinea, where we worked in the International School on the island of Lihir. (see pic above)

Our featured article this edition 'More than Music', about the first 'Joy of Jammin' course Susie ran in 2006 was recently published in 'Music in Action' - the No 1 Music education magazine in Oz. So check it out!

Plus the first look at a soon to be released new CD linked to a wonderful resource based on literacy

We also have a special 'Xmas gift' offer just for our enews readers so read on and please enjoy this final edition of ‘Musicnotes’ for 2009 and may we take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you wherever you are around the world a safe and peaceful holiday season and a very happy new year.

Yours in harmony,

Susie & Phil


The latest news is that we have been awarded three top 10 places in this year's 'Australian Songwriter's Association' (ASA) awards!!

'Dinky Di Aussie' off 'Boomerang Jam' took 3rd place in the 'Australia section',

'Funkey Monkey' off the album Funkey Monkey has taken 3rd place in the 'Songs for children' section and

'Dare to be you' off 'Anything is Possible' has taken 10th place in the 'Folk/Acoustic' section. Click here to see all the results or click here to view a complete listing of the awards we have won in the last few years.

Whats new

We have been working on a new project during the year which is almost complete so we thought we should let you know about it. Maureen Pollard is a literacy consultant who is passionate about helping teachers and parents understand the skills involved in teaching children to read and write and she has a business called 'Little Learners Love Literacy'. The Little Learners Love Literacy resources teach children phonemic awareness, the alphabetic principle (connection between sounds and letters), segmenting and blending words, handwriting, spelling and reading.

Maureen approached us at the end of 2008 and asked if we would be interested to compose a number of songs to go with her new resource titled 'Milo's Birthday Surprise' Here is just a little about this exciting new resource:

"It is Monday morning in March and it’s Milo the monkey’s birthday. Milo wants to celebrate with his friends at the park so he decides to ring them. Milo begins to feel really miserable as all of his friends are busy – Sally the snake is skateboarding down a steep slope, Harry the hippopotamus is hiking up the hill to his house. Why doesn’t anyone answer the phone? This is a delightful way of introducing letters and sounds to children using the names of the Milo’s animal friends as a memory jogger.Becoming aware of the link between sounds and letters is the first step in learning to read. Engaging and bright illustrations prompt children to search for clues about Milo’s birthday surprise."

So we have composed and will be recording 27 brand new songs - one for each letter of the alphabet plus a theme song. This book is already available and the new CD will be available by the end of Jan 2010. Click here to find out more about the Little Learners program and click here to see pics of us working with one of her classes earlier this year.

What's been happening 1

We spent 4 weeks during the second half of September and the first half of October presenting PLAYshops in various locations around Oz with the fabulous Lynn Kleiner of 'Music Rhapsody' fame in California. Based on the attendances and feedback from people, they not only thoroughly enjoyed themselves but learnt a lot form the combined presentations. The photo here shows Steve (back left) and Lynn Kleiner (front middle) and Caroline and Allan Watson (back middle and right) from Optimum Percussion in Sydney, together with Susie and Phil at their Sydney PLAYshop. Click here to go to our photo gallery to see more pics of our 'Double Up' tour and click here to read a testimonial from Susan Gai Anderson who attended the Sydney PLAYshop.

What's been happening 2

In November we had two amazing events that were about as far away from each other as to be quite amazing! Firstly, we had the privilege of hosting the 'Melbourne Symphony orchestra' classic kids concerts at the Iwaki Auditorium in Southbank, Melbourne. Each year the MSO put on these concerts and bring in busloads of young children from kinders and schools from all over Melbourne and Victoria. We did a total of 10 concerts over 3 days with average audiences of 400 and it was a hoot! The theme for this year was 'All creatures great and small' so the orchestra played excerpts from well known classical pieces such as 'Swan's Dance' from Swan Lake, 'The Waltzing Cat', 'Flight of the Bumblebee' and even some of 'Peter and the Wolf'. This is a wonderful way to introduce the orchestra and classical music to young children and of course with Phil playing his usual role it was a lot of fun and very entertaining as well. The Crazy Conductor even got his chance to conduct the MSO - albeit very badly!

Then 2 days later we boarded a plane bound for the island of Lihir - a little island several hundred kilometres north of Papua New Guinea known for it's gold mine, to work with children in the International school for 2 and a half days. This was a real adventure for us and as you might expect the kids welcomed us with open arms. There was a mix of expat and national children and it was just an amazing experience. Keep an eye out for our next edition of Musinotes as Susie is going to write a full report of our time there.

Click here to view more pics from Lihir

Artists in Schools

We had the privilege of working with students at Harrisfield Primary school in Noble Park and Preshil school in Kew plus an Artists in School day as well as a workshop at the Bendigo special development school. We had a ball sharing our music with teachers and students at all these schools and left them all singing, playing and dancing.

The photo at left shows Susie and Phil at the Harrisfield primary school concert at the end of a hard day's work. Click here to see more pics of all these wonderful events

Our Featured article

An Orff-based improvisation course designed for music teachers and therapists has the aim of teaching social values and life skills as well as music skills. Susie argues that a teacher in a creative music setting is ideally situated to model values and promote the learning of skills that are ‘more than just music’. Click here to read the full article.

Planning for 2010?

We would love to be involved in your planning and programs so please keep us in mind when planning your events for the future. We can offer a range of great services including:

  • Professional development 'PLAYshops'
  • Preschool classes
  • Music shows for preschool and primary
  • Family concerts
  • Choral days
  • Community Drum circles - for students, families and teachers
  • Artists in School programs - from one day to a whole term
  • 'MusiKeynote' presentations for seminars and conferences on a variety of topics including the popular 'I'm not stressed - I always look like this!' great for openings and closings, or as a great interactive and fun workshop
  • Composition of school songs..... and more....please contact us for further information.

Me Susie and Phil, you Janie!

Some of you will have had the pleasure of chatting with, emailing or even meeting the lovely Janie. She has been with us since the beginning of this year as our office manager so we thought it time to formally welcome her to the fold and let you see her in the flesh so to speak (She's the good looking one in the middle). Janie has been invaluable to us all this year clearing the way ahead and we couldn't have survived without her. We look forward to having her with us next year and beyond so if you get a call or email from Janie now you know what she looks like.

What people are saying

"Dear Susie, We had an incursion at school the other day, and every time we have someone in, there are always comments about how good you and Phil were with the kids and how great it was. Everyone really loved you guys, and thought it was a worthwhile experience for the kids. So thank you so much again."

Lousie Docherty, Music therapist, Broadmeadows special school

“Dear Susie and Phil,

I would like to express my thanks for your wonderful PD at Clarinda PS a few weeks ago. The content was practical and useful and I have since used some of your activities in my music classes form Prep to Grade 3/4 - The kids love it and can't wait for music class! I would recommend your products and services very highly and can't wait to try out some more!”

Many thanks,

Stephanie Pace, Music Teacher HUME ANGLICAN GRAMMAR, Craigieburn, Vic

"I am Susie and Phil's no 1 fan (strange at the age of 67!!!!)

I would like to add a quick story that you might like:

For the 4 weeks before the holidays I had a contract with a local primary school as music teacher (I have been an Early Childhood teacher for over 40 years but music has always been my special love). On one day a week the teacher I was replacing and therefore I, worked at a Special school. When I had worked at the special school earlier in the year there was one child who as well as being 'very' autistic was very violent causing considerable injury to those working with him...Click here to read more.

Xmas gift offer

We would like to extend to all our Musicnotes subscribers a very special Xmas offer - if you would like to give the gift of music to someone you know as a Xmas gift and you spend a minimum of $30 you will receive as a bonus a copy of Phil's little book 'Don' you hate it when! - 99 little things that cause stress'. It's an easy read and a lot of fun so if you know anyone (including you) who could do with some de-stressing this holiday season, this is the perfect gift idea. If you would like to take advantage of this offer simply order on line and put in this promo code: 'Xmas09'.

Phil's PHILosophy

This edition I have come across a fabulous and apparently true answering machine message at an unnamed Primary school somewhere (?). It is of course meant to be tongue in cheek so please don't take it seriously. Goodness knows we have enough things to take seriously in our day to day work so click here and enjoy!

I may be schizophrenic,

but at least I have each other.

I am a Nobody.

Nobody is Perfect.

Therefore I am Perfect.

What is Musicnotes?

MusicNotes is our eNewsletter for preschool and primary teachers, caregivers, parents, therapists, community members and anyone who loves music and is passionate about music for children and all people - regardless of age or background!

MusicNotes is filled with useful information, music resources updates, workshop and event information, articles on music education and even an Ask Susie question and comments forum.

You can read more about 'Welcome To Music', listen to tracks, shop on line and more on our website: www.welcometomusic.net.

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Susie and Phil's 'Welcome to Music' - Susie Davies-Splitter and Phil Splitter
PO Box 268 East Bentleigh Victoria, 3165, Australia. Ph: 1300 769 803 Fax: 1300 769 805

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