Welcome To Music - Musicnotes Newsletter
In This Issue
New resource
Free PLAYshop opportunity
Planning ahead?
Songwriting competition for schools
A song for you
What's coming up
Do you love to sing?
NAPLAN - Good or bad?
What's been happening
Do you love music and children?
What people are saying
Like to enjoy some 'Vintage Red'?
Phil's PHILosophy

Dear John Smith, welcome to this edition of Musicnotes and in particular a big welcome to our new subscribers from our recent trips to Gladstone and Brisbane in sunny Queensland as well as Sydney, where we had a wonderful time sharing our music at conferences, PLAYshops and Artists in School programs, meeting so many wonderful new friends along the way.Susie then hopped over to China for Orff levels training and she has taken lots of pics for you to enjoy. Also in this edition we again look at the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), as the controversy over it continues. We also have a great little video clip of one of our songs being workshopped and speaking of video clips Phil has a couple of fun clips that should bring a smile to your face in 'Phil's Philosophy'. Plus we are excited to announce the release of our new Early Childhood resource 'AlphabetZ' and lots more! So take a few minutes, read on and enjoy!

Yours in harmony,

Susie & Phil

New resource

Now available! - 'AlphabetZ' - 26 Original and Fun alphabet character songs with a focus on literacy - for children up to 8 years.

In 2009-10 we had the pleasure of writing and recording a collection of alphabet songs for Maureen Pollard's wonderful literacy resource 'Milo's Birthday Surprise'. Maureen 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'.

Now we are delighted to announce that we have released our own version of the songs on an album called 'AlphabetZ' - 26 original and fun character songs from A to Z, with a focus on literacy, for children up to 8 years. This CD comes with a music book that includes photocopyable melody lines, chords and lyrics, plus simple suggestions for use. This fabulous new resource is now available and we 'betz you'll just love it! Click here for a free download of the notated music for the song 'Felix the Frog' from this fab new resource. Click here to listen to tracks.

Free PLAYshop opportunity

Would you like to attend a Welcome to Music PLAYshop for free? If you or someone you know is connected to an Early Learning Centre, Preschool or Kindergarten in metropolitan Melbourne or regional Victoria that would be willing to host a 90 min or 2 hour Welcome to Music workshop with Phil, they will receive 2 free registrations! (value $98) All Phil needs is a good space (preferably carpeted) with chairs and maybe tea and coffee facilities. These PLAYshops are a great opportunity for you and your staff to improve your skills - and they are a lot of fun and a great networking opportunity too!

Phil is also available for regular music classes and/or a one off 'Funny Phil's Music Show' for your centre. Please contact us if you are interested and would like to know more.

“We had a fantastic night with Phil's session - he was great fun, very motivating and he had all 35 of us up singing and dancing.” Jenny Donegan, Co-Ordinator, Family Day Care, City of Monash

Planning ahead?

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.

Songwriting competition for schools

The Australian Children's Music foundation (ACMF) is running their annual National Songwriting Competition for all school aged children (Kindergarten-Year 12).

It is free to enter, there is no limit of entries per person, a prize pool of over $30, 000 and has categories such as 'best instrumental', 'lyrics only' and then recording of composition + lyrics sorted into age groups.Winning songwriters are awarded and so are their schools.

Click here to go the ACMF website for more details

A song for you

Denise Gagne, a dear friend and wonderful music educator and composer in Canada (Themes and Variations) has made a video clip of her doing one of our Hebrew songs 'Yesh Li Yadayim' from our album 'Move it!' with some of her students. It's a great example of how you can take a song and extend it. Click here to view

What's coming up


August 4 -Practical Teacher Music workshop, Bingara NSW.

Phil will be presenting a full day workshop for Preschool and Primary teachers 'Music made easy, Music made fun!' Click here for more info.

ECCPA -21-22 August. 15th Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts (ECCPA) in Melbourne

At Genazzano FCJ College, Cotham Rd, Kew, Melbourne with special guest presenter Tanya Batt (NZ). The theme is Once Upon A Story ….. A Musical Journey.

In 2011 Tanya Batt (drama specialist) is the Key Presenter. We will also be workshopping our new resource 'AlphabetZ' which should be a lot of fun. In addition there are over 30 other experts presenting a wide range of ‘hands on’ workshops throughout the weekend. This conference is for pre-school teachers, primary school teachers, caregivers, family day care workers, therapists, parents and anyone interested in working creatively with young children (0-8yrs). More information at www.vosa.org


September 18 -‘Hearts in Harmony’ – a ‘fun’tastic community music day for all ages at ACU in Fitzroy, presented by the School of Education, Australian Catholic University (ACU) on Sunday Sept 18 2011. This day is open to all ages, backgrounds and abilities – no musical experience is required. For more info and to book in for the early bird price contact janie@welcometomusic.net and ask for a flier.


Jan 8-13 -VOICES OF THE SWAN: National Australian Orff Conference, in Perth WA

Main presenters are Andrea Sangiorgio (Italy), Kalani (USA) and Robyn Stavely (Australia). Voices of the Swan is about communication through singing, saying, dancing and playing. www.ancos.org.au/conference

Click here to view our full calendar which is updated regularly.

Do you love to sing?

If you love to sing and live in Melbourne read on.....'Hearts in Harmony' is a non-auditioned community adult choir led by Susie Davies-Splitter. Rehearsals are held every Wednesday 1-2pm at 125 Napier St, Fitzroy, part of the Atherton Gardens estate. We sing a range of songs from African to Indigenous, jazz and musical theatre, incorporating movement, actions, signing and improvisation. Rehearsals for Semester Two will commence on 27th July and performances this semester will include the ACU Open Day on Sunday 14th August and the Hearts in Harmony Community Music Day lunchtime concert on Sunday 18th September.

No experience necessary - just a sense of fun is needed……and everyone is welcome!!!

For more information contact janie@welcometomusic.net

NAPLAN - Good or bad?

Last edition we had an interesting article by Richard Gil on the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)l and this edition we have come across another article written by Maggie Dent, who is an author, parenting and resilience specialist and inspirational presenter in Western Australia. With her permission we have reproduced it here. (Please note: the views expressed within this article are those of the author and we are not necessarily endorsing them)

"In Australia the NAPLAN testing has finally finished for another year and teachers can breathe a sigh of relief as they reclaim their curriculum. Perhaps they can now find the art supplies, plan an excursion to a farm, dig out the science resources or maybe even (heaven forbid) play more. The unintended toxic side-effects of national testing and the subsequent publishing of results on the My School website are damaging – I regularly hear from stressed students, even more worried parents and teachers with waning enthusiasm and passion. It worries me deeply that we are experiencing a dumbing down of our children, the devaluing of creativity and innovative thinking...."click here to view entire article.

What's been happening

Wow - we've been busy little beavers the last few months that's for sure!

Over Easter we had the pleasure of perfoming at the Rye Easter Carnival on the Rye foreshore on the Mornington Peninsula. Five exciting days of entertainment meant it was a great time for young and old. We got to share the stage with Drum circle facilitator Steve Durbin and the wonderful musical circus performer Phil Melgard. Click here to see some fun pics.

In May we had the ‘Hearts in Harmony’ daya ‘fun’tastic community music day for all ages at ACU in Fitzroy in Melbourne, The day was open to all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Jon Madin, Geelong’s local teacher/composer/instrument inventor had people playing some of his wonderful and wacky instruments such as marimbas, echo cellos, shaker rings and musical bikes.

Fabulous drum circle facilitator Steve Durbin had us drumming and funning; Emma Hart and Jennie Smith from Mini Maestros presented a fun music session for young children and their families; Audrey Fine shared some of her wonderful folk dance repertoire with us and we had everyone singing their hearts out with songs from all corners of the world.

With performances at lunchtime with Indigenous and hip hop acts from Cultural Infusion, the Mini Maestros childrens choir, the Ashwood special school choir and the ‘Hearts in Harmony’ community choir it was a wonderful day of harmonious music making.

Don't worry if you missed it as there will be another Hearts in Harmony’ day coming up on September 18. For more info and to book in for the early bird price contact janie@welcometomusic.net and ask for a flier.

Also in May we had an amazing week of conferences and workshops in Gladstone, Brisbane and Sydney, plus we got to spend a day each with the gorgeous kids from the Meriden School in Sydney and then 600+ students at a school at the Gorokan Public School near Gosford in NSW, all participants of the Central Coast Choral Festival, where we workshopped 3 of our songs they will be performing at the festival in September. We also had a ball at the Communities 4 Children (C4C) conference in Gladstone presenting a MusiKeynote and 2 workshops and met some lovely people and we hope to have another opportunity to go back and share more music with them sometime soon.

Then in June Susie popped over to China (as you do) with another fabulous Orff presenter, Sarah Brooke for 2 weeks of teaching and Orff levels courses. Apart from all the presenting Susie kept busy sending regular blogs that we put on our Facebook page, so if you want to see what she was up to click here to check it out. Also to see some of the many pics she took - click here.

Do you love music and children?

As well as being one half of 'Welcome to Music' Phil also works part time as Franchise Development Manager for 'Mini Maestros'(www.minimaestros.com.au) who run fantastic educational music programs for young children, and his role is to help expand their franchise operations, not just in Melbourne, but interstate and even overseas. New franchise opportunities are available now so if you know anyone who is looking to make a change, is passionate about music and children, enjoys singing, dancing and having fun, and has an interest in nurturing children with experiences that will enhance their overall development, please ask them to contact Phil at phil@minimaestros.com.au

What people are saying

About our AIS programs:

I have had nothing but positive reports and feedback since the workshop last week! I have had teachers and principals email me telling me how much they enjoyed the day, and how impressed they were with "Susie and Phil's professionalism and enthusiasm, and terrific engagement of the kids!" (It is rare to get positive feedback from these events, so to have so many wonderful comments is really lovely!) The kids got so much out of the workshop, and the teacher's too!!! It really was a pleasure working with you both and I hope I get the opportunity to do so again sometime in the future! Will most definitely let you know how the festival goes!

Thanks again

Amy Ball, Assistant Principal Gorokan Public School

About our Conference presentations:

We really enjoyed having Susie & Phil as part of our Communities for Children Professional Forum this year. Susie and Phil are a wealth of knowledge and provided a fantastic educational and entertaining Keynote that had everyone motovated and up and moving. Susie and Phil also delighted and entertained our audience with their beautiful songs performed at the C4C Dinner. 
Susie and Phil's inspirational workshops provided practical information, tools and resources and had participants engaged in trying new things and stretching their imagination. "Lots of Fun!" It was a real pleasure to meet and work with Susie and Phil and I hope the opportunity arrises again sometime soon.

Kind regards

Debbie Flaherty,Program Support & Liaison Officer - Communities for Children. Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited (GAPDL)

Dear Susie and Phil

What a wonderful Forum we had this year attributable to a large extent to your entertaining and enlightening presentation and workshops. I can only confirm Debbie's words about the positive feedback from all sides. Thank you for sharing your special gifts so encouragingly. We all benefited from your wealth of experience - and I had so much fun in the process. Thank you. Now I just have to put it into practice with my own children.

Josh Ariens, Project Manager - Communities for Children. Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited (GAPDL)

About our Songs:

I really am a fan and would recommend 'Welcome to Music' to all teachers and especially to new teachers who are often hesitant to use their own voices - the CD's are so good that they soon have everyone singing along in spite of themselves. I am not a trained music teacher but have had 50 years teaching mostly early childhood using lots of music. Since I first attended a workshop with Susie and Phil I have used 6 of the 'Welcome to Music' series constantly with great results. Currently I am teaching the Junior Choir 'Banjo the Bunyip' and the kids just love it (as do I). My Preps just love 'Luna Lagoon'Today I was teaching some quite difficult year 4's 'Percussion Pop' - they became really engrossed in working on the 2 ostinati and most left the music room either chanting 'pop pop pop percussion pop' or singing 'sing ...say...move, dance, play'. It is such a good thing to see.

Carole Wild,
supply music teacher at Bribie Island State School (Queensland)

Thank you for the wonderful presentation you directed yesterday as part of our Harmony Day Assembly. I thought the song Down Under in Australia was particularly well done and appropriate. The words of the song spoke of everyone belonging and the beauty of acceptance and harmony. I found the actions you devised for the children particularly moving and they invited the children to authentically engage with the song and the concept that everyone belongs in Australia. I was especially happy to see the inclusiveness of the Indigenous culture in the song.The Hearts in Harmony song was similarly well chosen and appropriate to assist children in learning the benefits of compassion, connectedness and citizenship. It is wonderful to have age-appropriate songs that express the underpinning of these important concepts and ideas for our students. Well done to both of you for your excellent choice in music and a special thank you to the authors of the songs for taking the time to so beautifully enhance the learning process.

Kind regards,

Jane Cronan, Primary Years Programme Coordinator

Like to enjoy some 'Vintage Red'?

Given Susie and Phil's passion is music it will probably come as no surprise that thay are in a band - with their good friend and talented muso Russ Castleman, well known choir master Mark O'Leary and an accomplished drummer. Susie, Phil and Russ also perform as an acoustic trio. They call themselves 'Vintage Red', which given their tender ages and styles of music seems to fit well! Susie, Phil and Russ combine their collective talents with keyboard, acoustic guitars and mellow 3 part harmonies to present a selection of vintage songs from the 50's through the 80's, from vintage performers and bands they would have all liked to have been in! With the option of adding bass (With the fabulous Mark O'Leary) and drums, 'Vintage Red' is great for any occasion.

So if you're in Melbourne and looking for a band for your next celebration, party or anything where good music will be appreciated, please contact Phil at phil@welcometomusic.net and mention 'Vintage Red'. They even have their own Facebook page - click here to check it out (and maybe even click 'like'- if you like it!)

Phil's PHILosophy

Cop that!

Finding it hard sometimes to get kids' attention in the classroom? Click here to discover a new method and although it will probably work I am not actually recommending it.

Barkhoven's last movement

Enjoy this clip and then remind yourself why we don't let our pets on the furniture. Click here to view.

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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