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121. MUSIC AS THE FOOD OF LOVE AND LIFE Singing and music have added value and richness to every aspect of Peter Gatto’s life from listening to the radio on 3AR with his parents and playing with Wonthaggi Brass Band as a child, through to courting his wife Glenys as a young man in the 1960s.

120. WHITTLESEA MUSTER DELIGHTS UKE ENTHUSIASTS Naming the inaugural Whittlesea Uke Muster was ‘a great laugh’, a take on the iconic annual Deni Ute Muster which was started years ago featuring barbecues, burn outs and a whole lotta utes.

119. ‘THAT GIRL’ SONG CALLS FOR SAFETY AND EMPOWERMENT FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS, AND AN END TO GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE. “You put something like this out there and you just hope that it might contribute to improving the situation” says Sarah Mandie, songwriter and creative director of That Girl, a song and dance-based community focussed project run in conjunction with Community Music Victoria to empower women and girls, encourage them to stand up against gender-based violence, stereotyping and inequality and say ‘stop’.

118. 'COME AND SING' IN STAWELL “At 7pm on a night in the dead of winter, there’s often nobody but me in the room.  As people come in they’ll say ah there’s only three of us tonight, then a fourth person turns up and there’s five…

117. SONGS & CHANTS FOR PLANET EARTH: A COMPILATION OF SONGS BY JANE COKER  "The outpouring of freedom songs went to the core of the struggle and expressed, as nothing else was able, the hope, belief, desire, passion, dreams, and anguish of the conflict.” Mary King speaking of the power of song during the US Civil Rights movement.

116. THE JOURNEY FROM THE SONG, BY STUART ASHBURNER Perhaps I should start from where it all began. Polly, my wife, has always loved listening to ‘a capella’ so for several years we would go to the Selby Folk Club’s annual a capella concert in Upwey. Then about 5 years ago, after the concert, I made the irrational decision to join Sweet Sassafras, one of our local choirs.

115. THE PEACE CHOIR: A SANCTUARY OF SONG IN CASTLEMAINE  "It’s ended up being absolutely a choir for people who feel on the edge and there are also people in the choir who are there because they want to interact with these people who are on the fringes. We’re creating a space that actually and selectively recruits in the corners.”

114. THRESHOLD CHOIR TECOMA OFFERS SONGS FOR THE DYING For the close-knit community in the hills above Melbourne, comfort and support in the form of song will soon be available to those on the threshold of life, offered by a fledgling new group of singers, Threshold Choir, Tecoma, led by experienced singing leader, Barb Mcfarlane.

113. MUSIC HELPS SPOKEN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT FOR CHILDREN WITH IMPAIRED HEARING  A new study from the University of Helsinki has found that music, in particular singing, is beneficial to the brain of children with hearing impairment, and the development of their spoken language.

112. INTERCULTURAL COLLABORATION: AN OCEAN OF POSSIBILITIES Intercultural collaboration is a slippery and elusive art. I find it a spacious and revealing place to work. It sings to me and draws me in and on. I think it was a mixture of naivety and courage that led me to working in this field. I am a singer, song-writer and creative researcher with an Anglo-Celtic and Scandinavian heritage.

111. ONLINE TRAINING COURSE FOR PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY CHOIR LEADERS CMVic’s ‘Growing Community Music’ project is gathering momentum! A part of this project is to investigate different models of training delivery for community music leaders that currently exist in other parts of the world. Of particular interest to us is the possibility of using online courses to build skills and connect with other like-minded practitioners.

110. LOVE SONGS FOR WHALES… & A CREATIVE INVITATION The Whales Are Back. The whale migration season off Phillip Island has begun again and the texts have started to arrive … Wednesday 29th May 9.45am: First Island whales this season. Two whales off San Remo jetty, heading to Cape Woolamai. Tuesday 4th June 3.31pm: One humpback sighted 1.4 kms of the Nobbies, heading towards Pyramid Rock. Friday 7th June 10.48am: One humpback whale, close to shore at Cape Woolamai.

109. SINGING 9-5 (& BEYOND) TIPS FOR RUNNING A WORKPLACE CHOIR “Hearing three-part harmony sung acapella is magical” says  Annemarie Sharry. “Teaching singing one on one just isn’t my bag. I come into my choirs, we do a quick little warm up and then I get them to sing in triads and I get tingles and I say, ‘hear that? This is why we do what we do and it’s pure energy!’ What a gift to be able to teach this and then get it come right back at you.”

108. ON THE RADIO   I love the radio.  I love the way it makes me feel, like it’s just me and whoever is on the waves, having our own private moment.  ‘Course that’s probably because I mostly listen to the radio in my car, or through headphones while I’m walking. I laugh, I cry, I groan and shake my head in disbelief, and no one else knows why I’m doing that.  It’s a moment of private, concentrated listening. 

107. REUNITED: A SHORT FILM ABOUT MUSIC AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT Edward Harding, a 93 year old man living with severe dementia, was affected by depression and confusion as a result of his illness. He was withdrawn and not really communicating with anyone anymore. One day a young musician, Sam Kinsella, began working at Ed’s care home in Somerset, (UK). A connection emerged between the two men, sparked by their shared love of playing music. This film captures what unfolded next in their story.

106CMVIC ANNOUNCES EXCITING NEW LEADERSHIP PROGRAM: A PROJECT FOR THE PEOPLE "You’re going to bend it, you’re going to make it, you’re going to recreate it and it’s going to turn into your style and yourmethod and your system in your community; it’s about making community music in your community in the way that suits it best." The information-gathering phase of an exciting new CMVic driven Leadership Program is gathering pace, steered by the Gippsland-based, community music dream-team, Jane Coker and Lyndal Chambers. 

105. THE STORY OF ‘LINGMARRA’ AND THE CMVIC NETWORK  **This article and the following story contains references to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who have died. It also contains words from the language of Australian Kriol. Permission has been sought and given for its use in this context. Lingmarra, a beautiful song about coming together was brought to the CMVic network by  Barlang T. E. Lewis, a Murrungun man, actor, singer and songwriter from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, who first learned it as a traditional song from the Dalabon Corroborree, Bongiliny Bongiliny.

104. HOW PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT BENEFITS YOUR BRAIN – TED ED This TED Ed video is as engaging and share-worthy today as it was when it was very first published.  It’s a great incentive for anyone wondering whether to dust off an old instrument or pick up a new one for the first time. It’s also the perfect incentive to practise! If you’re looking for new music-making opportunities yourself, try the group search section of the CMVic website and get a party going in your own brain.

103COMMUNITY MUSIC: FINDING YOUR PLACE; FINDING YOUR VOICE  It started with a milestone birthday and an unexpected, life-changing gift: a three-day singing workshop at the Body Voice Centre in Footscray. This was not something I had ever asked for. Frankly, it was terrifying. Not only singing, but also improvisation and “exploring extended voice.” All that… in front of people… without the comfort of a loud, late-night karaoke backing track, or friends who had checked their dignity at the bar earlier in the evening.