Welcome To Music - Musicnotes Newsletter
In This Issue
New resource -'Stop and Wait'
New resource - 'Your Stage' Music book
New resource -'Milo's Birthday Surprise'
What's been happening
What's coming up
Planning for 2010?
How can we make your life easier?
Special offer for Preschools and Kinders
What people are saying
Phil's PHILosophy

Welcome to....... our readers in the southern hemisphere for another fun filled year of music and mayhem and we hope you are feeling refreshed, relaxed and raring to go!! To our readers in the northern hemisphere welcome to 2010.

We know how busy it can be at this time of year so we have kept this edition of 'Musicnotes' short and simple. We do have some exciting new resources for you to check out and we look forward to bringing you loads of useful articles, tips and ideas designed to make teaching music easy and fun in future editions.

Have a wonderful year full of music and fun

Yours in harmony,

Susie & Phil

New resource -'Stop and Wait'

Using appropriate songs from our 'Welcome to Music' series and in conjunction with Mary Brake from Launceston, who wrote the wonderful text for 'Your Stage' we are compiling a new early childhood resource called 'Stop and Wait!'.


An understanding of ‘STOP’ is critical for the safety of all children.

As understanding grows and ‘STOP’ is practised, an automatic response can usually be developed to this command. Some children have difficulty comprehending that not all areas of their environment are safe, and an understanding of ‘STOP’ is critical for such children. Some children benefit from boundary training to build their awareness of where their ‘safe space’ is and where it ends. Where is the boundary between safe and unsafe? The boundary might for example run along the fence line at the end of the garden, or the school yard. Within such comprehensions is embedded an understanding of ‘STOP’.....click here to read more.

'Stop and Wait!' will be available shortly - we will let you know as soon as it hits the shelf.

New resource - 'Your Stage' Music book

In response to many teacher's demands we are producing a music book - with lyrics and notated music for all the songs off our resource 'Your Stage'. This will be as an accompaniment to the excellent text written by Mary Brake and will be available shortly. To find out about 'Your Stage' click here.

This new resource will be available shortly - we will let you know as soon as we have it.

New resource -'Milo's Birthday Surprise'

We worked on a project throughout last 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 27 new songs to go with her new resource titled 'Milo's Birthday Surprise' Here is just a little about this exciting new early childhood 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. The story book is already available and the new CD and a teacher's manual will be available in a few weeks.. Click here to find out more about the Little Learners program.

'Milo's Birthday surprise' will be available shortly - we will let you know as soon as we have it, plus we are looking at producing a music book - with lyrics and notated music for each song. Stay tuned!

What's been happening

Susie started off the year with a bang when she flew across to Adelaide to present at the BLENDS National Orff conference, which as usual was a fabulous 5 days of music making. Our good friend Lynn Kleiner from the states was a special guest presenter as was Reinhold Wirsching from Germany and Lenka Popolova from Prague in the Czech republic..Click here to see more photos from BLENDS and photos from other events we have been involved in..

What's coming up

On Feb 28 we will be performing as part of the Brunswick Music Festival in Melbourne, which promises to be a great day of music and the arts. We'd love to see some of you there if you can make it. Click here for information on the festival.

Then in March we are heading north to present an Artists in School program for students and a PLAYshop for Early childhood and Primary teachers, to be held at Corinda Primary school in Brisbane, Queensland. The date for the PLAY shop is Saturday March 27. Please contact us for more details. Click here to view our 2010 calendar, which is updated regularly

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.

How can we make your life easier?

As many of you already know our philosophy is all about 'making teaching music easy and fun!' So we have created resources and provide services with this in mind and we invite you to spend a few minutes browsing our website as we feel sure we can offer you the tools to create a simple and effective music program - regardless of your background or experience. Click here to browse our website or click here to contact us if you have a specific enquiry. Remember we are here to help.

Special offer for Preschools and Kinders

We are offering special packages for Music programs, Music shows and Early Childhood PLAYshops. But you need to be quick as these offers expire at the end of February. Click here to view the details and then either contact us or fax back the form.

What people are saying

"Chongzheng Pr School just celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a Musical ….

I must thank you for allowing us to use 4 of your songs during the musical. The songs were so inspirational and appropriately in line with our story. In fact the song "Feel the Joy" was our finale piece."

Bridgette, Chongzheng Pr School, Singapore

"Hi Susie and Phil,

In our recent UN Performance, I used your version of 'Ipharadisi' and 'A Better Place'.

I was inspired by the signing in 'Imagine If', that I used as part of last year's UN Celebration and looked up the signing for 'Better Place'. Thank you for all the wonderful material that you have created over the years. I am still using songs from the very early albums and every time, I feel as if we are sharing it together.

I also meant to tell you that every year, in the second half of first term, Grade 1 study a unit called 'Let's Celebrate'. As part of it they visit a full range of places of worship and look at different practices and family traditions. Your song 'Chanukah Chanukah' is a lovely reinforcement of what they have discussed. It gives Jewish children in the classes added confidence to explain more of what they do or share as a family. Thank you"

Susanne Khalek uwcsea, United World College South East Asia, Singapore.

"Dear Susie,

On behalf of myself and the staff at Mentone Park Primary School I would like to thank you and Phil for conducting Music Professional Development sessions during 2009.

As you know most of my staff have not been involved in Music Education training at university or in their school/s (past and present). Your sessions with both teachers and children showed what our students have been missing out on and have motivated my teachers to incorporate music education into their curriculum.

Student wellbeing must underpin all that we do, and the focus that we now have on music education has certainly enhanced the engagement and motivation of our students.

Thank you so much for providing outstanding professional learning opportunities for my staff and students. I am looking forward to a continuing association with you both.

Yours in Music!"

Louise Downey, Principal, Mentone Park Primary School

Hi Susie and Phil,

I've just read your newsletter and article. Just wanted to say how much I loved it. I often feel like a lone voice in the wilderness getting my message out that you don't have to have a music background to teach music. Your article says the same thing beautifully. Congratulations also on your recent international songwriting win - I have sent congrats to Phil previously.

It is a privilege and a pleasure promoting your work indirectly through Kidz-Fiz-Biz. Keep it up - you are both inspirational.

Best wishes,

Marlene Rattigan, Early Childhood Educator and Author, WA

Dear Susie and Phil,

I have just received your recent newsletter. Thank you very much, they are always filled with so much valuable information and it really helps to keep in touch with what is happening in music education within Australia.

Karen Wandel, Preparatory Music Specialist, SA

Phil's PHILosophy

I'm sure I will get into trouble for this but I did promise to keep it short and simple.....

Blonde Password

During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was using the following password:


When asked why such a long password, she said she was told that it had to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital.

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.

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