Welcome To Music - Musicnotes Newsletter
In This Issue
Music and the Brain
FREE PLAYshop opportunity
What's been happening?
Become a Facebook and Twitter fan!
What's coming up?
New resource - 'AlphabetZ' Now available
Looking for a career change?
Planning ahead for 2012?
Do you love to sing?
What people are saying
Phil's PHILosophy

Dear John Smith, Welcome to the October 2011 edition of Musicnotes and depending where you are on the planet, you are either starting to wind down for the end of the year in the southern hemisphere, or you are at the start of a new school year in the northern hemisphere. Wherever you are, we wish you all the very best and hope you will be including lots of music; We would also like to welcome all our new subscribers.

Speaking of hemispheres we have lots to share with you this edition including a fascinating article about music and the brain, an opportunity to attend a Welcome to Music PLAYshop for free, what's coming up in 2012, our new album 'AlphabetZ', news of where and what we've been up to, and two gorgeous videos that will make your heart sing in 'Phil's PHILosophy.

So read on and enjoy

Yours in harmony,

Susie & Phil

Music and the Brain

Susie has written an interesting article entitled 'Music and Brain Based Learning' that explores the connections between children's ability to learn through music. It really does make you wonder why music and the arts are still so marginalised in most educational facilities around the world!

Click here to read this fascinating article.

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

What's been happening?

In September we had another 'Hearts in Harmony' Community Music day at ACU in Melbourne which was a great day of music making. The usual suspects were there of course including Jon Madin and all his wacky instruments, Audrey Fine with her wonderful multicultural folk dancing, plus Jane Coker presenting a fun and interesting vocal session, and the amazing percussionist Peter Vadivaloo. At the lunchtime concert we were entertained by the wonderful Mini Maestros choir, and some highly talented young performers, so it was a great day all round.

Heather McLaughlin, board member of Community Music Victoria and Vice-President, VOSA (Victorian Orff Schulwerk Assocation) has written a review of the day. Click here to view and click here to see some fabulous pics taken on the day.

"Dear Susie & Phil, I briefly got a chance to say a short message to Phil, but I would just like to say that I had the most amazing day today! I met some great people and the people invited to take the session were brilliant!!

The morning songs were good and everyone had a lot of fun! I am sad that I had to leave but I will definently be there next year volunteering again! I appreciate all the hard work you both put into today. All the running around, calling, frustrating moments turned into a lovely day!

Thank you both very much!!!!

Kindest regards, Rachel Coathup"

In August it was ECCPA (Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts) at Genazzano State college in Kew in Melbourne which was a fabulous weekend of presentations, performances and trade displays all based around early childhood. The wild and wacky Tanya Batt from New Zealand was the international presenter and she kept everyone entertained with her fabulous story telling. We presented a session on our new resource 'AlphabetZ' which was received very well.

Click here to see some more pics from our session

Also in August Phil whipped over to Singapore to meet with Patriciah Koh as they had been working together on a new children's TV series that Patriciah was producing and she wanted to use some of our songs as part of this. The program is called 'Sunshine Station' and will not only feature many of our existing songs (some with modified lyrics) but also 11 new songs Phil and Susie have composed especially for this project. PLUS Phil even features in a couple of episodes! If you have access to Singapore TV it will be on the OKTO Channel. The first airing is on 31st October on - 9am / 10am and 11am (Repeat Broadcast) Then Mondays to Fridays till 29th November.

In July Susie as part of her role at ACU facilitated a music program for marginilised familes from the Atherton Gardens estate immediatley adjacent to the university in Fitzroy. There were 100 primary school kids that came to ACU to enjoy a full day sponsored holiday program with music workshops, magic and lots of hands on activities throughout the day. These children live at the Atherton Gardens housing estate behind the Uni where many have recently arrived from war torn countries as assylum seekers. Click here to see some pics taken on the day.

Become a Facebook and Twitter fan!

We all know how big social networking has become, so we now have our own 'Welcome to Music' Facebook page as we want to make sure we are reaching as many people as possible with the joy of music. With videos of workshops, pics, what's coming up and more it's worth a look. Also you can comment (but do be nice!) or send us stuff that you think might be worth sharing. We look forward to seeing you there.

To check us out, comment and become a 'Welcome to Music' fan, click here.

We have now also opened our very own 'Twitter' account for all you twits...or is that tweets out there? Click here to check it out.

What's coming up?

And now for 2012....

Jan 8-13 2012 -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

Level 1 Orff Schulwerk Course (creative music and movement education)

at ACU, Melb. Wed 18th to Fri 20th, Mon 23rd to Wed 25th Jan, 2012 9am to 5pm with presenters Susie Davies-Splitter and Dr Carol Richards.

This 36 hour intensive course is for early childhood, primary and secondary pre-service, studio and classroom teachers, music and performing arts specialists, caregivers, parents, music therapists, group leaders, allied health practitioners, musicians, artists and anyone who loves music or plans to use music in their workplace with children or adults.

Orff Schulwerk offers a holistic approach to music education. It integrates singing, speech activities, movement, folk dance and the playing of percussion instruments to encourage active music making in an inclusive atmosphere. The course includes the following 6 subjects: Orchestration, Pedagogy, Recorder, Vocal, Movement and Dance and Technique and Improvisation. Participants will be encouraged to develop their understanding and skills in order to confidently share music experiences with students of all ages and stages of development.

This course is accredited through ANCOS (Australian National Council of Orff Schulwerk). No musical experience or knowledge is necessary however it is expected that participants will familiarise themselves with some basic music theory and concepts prior to the course.

Early bird registrations are due by Fri 2nd Dec, 2011 and all applications must be received by 16th Dec, 2011. For further info contact Susie.Davies-Splitter@acu.edu.au or click here for a flyer

New resource - 'AlphabetZ' Now available

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.

#Update - we will be announcing a 'Baktraks' CD (ie:Instrumental tracks) for AlphabetZ soon - watch this space!

Looking for a career change?

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

Planning ahead for 2012?

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.

Do you love to sing?

Do you love to sing? ‘Hearts in Harmony’ community choir is a social inclusion program that aims to recognize each unique voice. It builds social capital and capacity and assists those with disabilities and disadvantage, refugees, migrants, the unemployed, pre-service teachers and members of the general public to unlock their creative potential and make a difference. The choir is multicultural, multi-faith, inter-generational and crosses all areas of society from asylum seekers to teachers and staff at University.

The program helps to develop positive connections, enhance health and well being, self esteem and confidence in a fun, engaging and non threatening environment. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to participate and have a go. Everyone is welcome.

The choir sing a range of songs from simple rounds to popular and world music incorporating movement, actions, signing and improvisation. Led by Susie Davies-Splitter (music lecturer at ACU), members come from near and far including Africa, Pakistan, Torres Strait Islands and India.

The choir rehearses weekly and performs regularly at concerts, festivals and special events.

Bring your friends and come along and try it out! Contact janie@welcometomusic.net

What people are saying

“And I just have to say Susie – that you and Phil are gurus to me! I think you both deserve Australian of the Year titles for all you have contributed to the cause of music in Australia (and beyond), and if it wasn’t for your entrepreneurial visions and production of your resources, our country would be a much poorer place. You have both contributed an amazing music legacy, and I know that the costs to do this are enormous and you deserve enormous thanks from us all.”

Lynne Pilbrow, Music educator, Canberra 9.11

“The next ECCPA session was with Susie Davies-Splitter and Phil Splitter, who took us on a musical journey through the alphabet. We used a parachute to explore movement for Wilbur the Whale, and a rainbow ring to discover jazz with Jack the Jellyfish. Experiencing the songs and movement for the first time was wonderful, and seeing all the adults around me losing their inhibitions, as we expect our students to, was refreshing. I eagerly await my next chance to teach, and use the rainbow ring I purchased as well as the AlphabetZ book and CD, which has been on repeat in my car since the conference!”

Bree Monks, ACU student, 2011

Click here to see more testimonials

Phil's PHILosophy

Two really lovely videos for you this edition;

A 92-year Ginger Rogers -- wait 'til you see this!!

To all of you younger people.....
 This lady was a headline dancer way,way,way back in the 1930's and1940's

 She is 92, her great grandson 29 - watch them dance!

Don’t give up after the first minute…that is the teaser.

Remember, he is 29; she is 92! Click on this link to view and enjoy!


The second one shows a young boy playing a pop song on his ukelele - Mike Jackson, eat your heart out!

Just click on the link to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErMWX--UJZ4

Until next time keep singing, dancing, playing and smiling and remember.....

“Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music”

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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