- Coastal Connections & Making Connections
- Flinders Lane Community Voices
- Meeting Place
- Songs of Country and Connection
- Voices of Peace
- That Girl
- Singing from Country
- Sing English
- 4M - Making Marimbas Making Music
- Singing for Inclusion - Part 1
- Sing Yarra Ranges
- Under the Oaks
- Victoria Sings
- Victoria Makes Music (VMM)
In 2019 CMVic partnered with The Living Circle and The Gippsland Singers Network to establish the Making Connections project. It features intercultural arts activities involving creative collaborations between Aboriginal Elders, children, linguistic advisors and musicians. The project uses music to bring people of different cultures and ages together, to deepen environmental awareness and to contribute to the process of creative language revival. The Making Connections project is run in collaboration with The Gippsland Singers Network and received funding from The Bass Coast Shire Council and Destination Philip Island. In 2019, activities involving songs with Aboriginal language were integrated into events on Bunurong/Boon Wurrung Country. Songs sung on Bunurong/Boon Wurrung Country contained language gifted by Traditional Custodian Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir.
Coastal Connections’ is one of 135 projects to have received funding through the Bass Coast Shire Council Resilience Grants Program COVID 19, announced during the week beginning July 13, 2020. The project is a response to the impact of COVID-related social isolation and hardship in the community. The aim of the ‘Coastal Connections’ project is to support a process of community reconnection, resilience and recovery, bringing people together through a framework of creative engagement and intercultural collaborations. The ‘Coastal Connections’ project is being hosted by the Gippsland Singers Network and its auspicing body, Community Music Victoria (CMVic), both of which have extensive experience in facilitating broad community outreach and being responsive to the social distancing requirements of COVID regulations.
Flinders Lane community voices(FLCV) was an all-abilities choir project open to community groups based at Ross House, and later, during COVID lockdowns run online, including people with disabilities, vulnerable youth and office workers in the Flinders lane precinct and CBD. FLCV was running an accessible, inclusive music program to foster a genuine sense of belonging and connection in the group. This initiative was generously funded by the City of Melbourne.
This project is the second phase of creating a professional development curriculum for leaders of socially inclusive and mixed ability singing groups. Continuing from the in-person program developed in phase one, this project will develop new e-learning modules that can support singing leaders in any community across Australia. We will produce two modules containing theory, instructional videos, cases studies and assessment to provide a practical approach to social interaction skills and techniques that make all participants feel comfortable, enhance their sense of inclusion in the group, and encourage their uninhibited participation in singing and social activities of the group.
This project brought together Aboriginal children and their families and supporters at the Phee Broadway Theatre in Castlemaine on Thursday December 13th for an end-of-year performance of songs, dances and stories generated during the 2018 year at the fortnightly Meeting Place gatherings at the old Yapeen school buildings. Four songs about country and the Kulin seasons formed the basis of the concert. Three were written and workshopped with the children during the year, working with dance, singing and percussion accompaniment. The fourth song “Seeds that Grow”, was already known to the children and provided a link to the Singing from Country Project he children were involved in in 2017. Local Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Elder Uncle Rick Nelson attended the concert and mentored two Dja Dja Wurrung girls to speak the Welcome to Country at the beginning of the show.
The Meeting Place project was funded by the Jack and Hedy Brent Foundation.
The Songs of Country and Connection project features collaborations between Aboriginal Elders, children, linguistic advisors and musicians to incorporate local Aboriginal languages into songs. The project uses music to bring people of different cultures and ages together, to deepen environmental awareness and to contribute to the process of creative language revival. In 2018, activities involving songs with Aboriginal language were integrated into events on Bunurong/Boon Wurrung Country, Wurundjeri Country and GunaiKurnai Country. Activities included singing in language at the Harmony Day Street Parade and a multicultural concert in Wonthaggi, the Phillip Island Whale Festival, a Climate Change Exhibition and Carols by the Bay in Cowes. Songs sung on Bunurong/Boon Wurrung Country contained language gifted by Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir. Deep Listening and Singing Circles associated with the launch of Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy’s book ‘Welcome to Country’ were facilitated at the State Library of Victoria, the NGV and ACMI. Woiwurrung language sung at events on Wurundjeri Country was gifted by Aunty Joy Murphy and Mandy Nicholson. Events held on GunaiKurnai Country included a collaboration between Aboriginal Elders and children to write and perform a Welcome to Country song for the International Stratford Sister Cities Project. A NAIDOC week performance involved a collaboration between Aboriginal children from Kurnai College and members of Boomulele, one of CMVic’s StreetSounds band. Boomulele also performed an Acknowledgment of Country song in language at the Boolarra Folk Festival. Language for songs sung on GunaiKurnai Country was gifted by Elders Aunty Doris Paton, Aunty Sandra Neilson and Aunty Lynette Bishop.
A short film ‘To the Earth’ provides an example of the Songs of Country and Connection project in practice. https://vimeo.com/316682273
The Songs of Country and Connection project is run in collaboration with The Gippsland Singers Network and is funded by The Bass Coast Shire.
This project started in 2017 and aims to empower recently arrived and settled refugees from Assyrian Chaldean background to establish a Women's Choir. Singing together can heal and builds connection and reduces the pain of dislocation and loss from the persecution they have suffered.Singing can strengthen connection to each other and promotes the Chaldean language. This will be project supported by a partnership between Community Music Victoria and Foundation House achieved through leadership training,and providing and developing resources and opportunities for wider social connection.
Community Music Victoria and singer/songwriter and community arts director Sarah Mandie have partnered with community organisations to implement an important community workshop project, including the making of local documentaries and a statewide music video clip based on the That Girl song composed by Sarah Mandie. That Girl project will strategically reach out to girls from culturally diverse communities across Melbourne and Victoria. That Girl project will strategically reach out to girls from culturally diverse communities across Melbourne and Victoria. These key communities include the Indian and Bhutanese comunities of Wodonga, the diverse ethnic community of the City of Boroondara, and the indigenous and non-indigenous communities in Healesville.
StreetSounds is a major project that resulted from the Victoria Makes Music Program. It started in December 2014 with the help of funding from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and the R E Ross Trust. By July 2017 the project has established over 10 new 'street' bands' in Victoria, culminating in a fabulous Street Band Festival bringing entertainment to the streets of Geelong and contributing music and fun to the Geelong After Dark Festival. Although funding from the trusts finished in November 2017, all the bands continue to meet on a regular basis.
The objective of the 4M project was to create new opportunities for individuals to become involved for the first time in group music making. Activities were focussed around both the construction and playing of marimbas which have been shown through previous activities to be hugely appealing to both men and women of all ages, including those who have had very little music playing experience in the past. The project has received grant funding from Australian Unity and ran from June 2015 to June 2016.
Conductors/singing leaders are the backbone and inspirational leaders of community singing groups. The best singing Leaders have a rare skill that encompasses professional artist, social worker, leader and administrator. The ongoing development and sustainability of singing programs are constrained by the limited number of such suitably skilled facilitators. CMVic has partnered with Creativity Australia to develop a singing leader development program to run over 12 months and include intensive Master Classes, workshops and mentoring. It is the start of a plan to develop the community singing leaders so that more programs supporting disadvantage and community building can be established. The initial phase of the project ran in collaboration with Creativity Australia and received grant funding from the R E Ross Trust.
Sing Yarra Ranges is a project initiated by a group of singing leaders in the Dandenongs and Yarra Ranges to establish the Yarra Ranges Singers Leaders Network. The project provided professional development workshop days for members of the network, ran a series of seasonal community singing events, and a public workshop and massed performance at the Healesville Music Festival in November 2016. Sing Yarra Ranges was funded by the Shire of Yarra Ranges through their community development grants program.
Victoria Sings is an ongoing state-wide initiative designed to weave community singing into the cultural fabric of Victoria. The work is based on the knowledge that singing together is an effective way to develop and sustain social connection. Our major strategy is to nurture and support singing leadership within communities. The key outcome of this initiative has been, and will continue to be, the emergence and growth of a state-wide network of independent, self-sustaining and re-generative singing circles which are engaged with their communities, welcome newcomers, nurture their participants, are proudly diverse.
The ‘Victoria Makes Music’ (VMM) program was established in 2011 to promote and encourage community-based instrumental music making throughout Victoria. The first phase of the program was funded by the Ian Potter Foundation and by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, and was completed in 2013. The project supported instrumental music making by promoting existing groups and leaders, by providing support and networking opportunities, and by running music leadership workshops and events for groups and individuals interested in beginning instrumental groups. The second phase of the program has been StreetSounds, a three-year project funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and the RE Ross Trust; this began in December 2014 and culminated in the StreetSounds Festival held in conjunction with Geelong After Dark in May 2017.
› Euroa’s Voracious Appetite for the Return of Vocal Nosh25/Nov/2022It’s never been hard to get excited about a Vocal Nosh, what’s not to love about informal harmony singing, hearty soup and crusty bread? For the folks of Euroa, the agonising wait for the return of this well-loved event is about to end this weekend, after more than two years in hiatus. “We had our last Nosh in March 2020 and then it all came tumbling down” laughs Di Mackrell, who shares the facilitation of Euroa Vocal Nosh with Margie Chowanetz and Chris Day. “The people of Euroa have been asking for it to return so we picked a date in November thinking that by then we’d be heading into the warmer weather and the number of bugs going around would be less.”…
› All Directions Choir Summons Songs and Stories from the Deep14/Nov/2022All Directions Community Choir has written 5 original songs from scratch as part of an original composition project called Songs and Stories from the Deep, facilitated by choir director, Cath Rutten. All Directions Community Choir sits within the Boroondara Community Outreach Program (BCO), a mental health ministry run by the Kew Uniting Church to support people with either disability or mental health challenges, or who are experiencing social isolation. The project received funding from Boroondara City Council through the grants program and the Rotary Club of Balwyn and was run by Cath as a series of workshops using water as a metaphor for living, with the group ‘writing from the heart about their experiences of life; the struggles as well as their…
› CMVic Jan-Jun 2022 in pictures and numbers03/Nov/2022The CMVic Annual Report covering January to June 2022 is now published! Click here to check out the pictures and stories (and the oh-so-exciting numbers, of course!). It's a six month "annual" report becuase we've switched to financial year accounting as part of our new funding arrangement with Creative Victoria. A profound thank you to our members, volunteers, donors, funders and everyone who is sharing the joy of making music across Victoria.
› Mothers Use the Benefit of Song to Promote Infant Development26/Sep/2022A program led by Professor Shannon de l’Etoile from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music aims to help at-risk mothers engage with their babies through singing, to support and promote development of emotional and self-regulation in the infants. https://cmvicblog.wordpress.com/2022/09/26/mothers-use-the-benefits-of-song-to-promote-infant-development/
› Rare opportunity to play a quarter tone trumpet!02/Oct/2022The St. Joseph Melkite Scouts Marching Bandi s proud to present a rare opportunity for an exchange of cultures! The Melkite Scouts have acquired a 'Levantine Trumpet', likely to be one of the first in Australia. This special instrument, an invention from the Levant (modern day Lebanon) that extends the Western…
› Young artists connect at the 2022 Dream Big Youth Music Festival01/Oct/2022CMVic congratulates the students, teachers, artists, and organisers of the Dream Big Youth Music Festival on RUOK Day, 8 September! CMVic stalwarts Steph Payne, Jen Hawley and John Lane worked alongside Outer West artists Amy MacDonald (The Fabulous Meltones), Guillermo Viran (Hasta La Cumbia) and Adolphus Zarwue (AD da Boss) to mentor youth from 8 years old up to 25 to write original songs focussing on themes around social and emotional wellbeing, also inspired by the ideas of RUOK? School staff involved in the process included music, classroom and wellbeing teachers. Delivered as a hybrid event, online and live at The Bowery Theatre, St Albans, several schools were able to organise to travel to the theatre to perform live. But many more young people…
› Sweet New Series of Celtic Jam Sessions for Young Adults with Diverse Learning Needs & Disabilities26/Aug/2022Every Thursday evening in Box Hill, Judy Oleinikov and Katy Addis host an open jam Celtic music session for young adults aged between 15 and 25. Offered by Quasitrad Music Melbourne, the sessions are open to players of all abilities and to anyone with and without lived experience of diverse learning needs, and or disabilities. The sessions are free, funded by the Keys of Life Foundation, a charity that supports students with disabilities and or diverse learning needs to flourish through music making.
› Squeezing out the Zest! The Music Makers adding Flavour to the Murray Mallee26/Jul/2022“We are quite isolated in terms of where we sit within Victoria. Given that we are a really diverse community, we punch well above our weight in terms of the people we have involved in performing arts and community music and I feel that we’re really just under the radar.” So says Kylie Livingston, Community Music Victoria’s Local Catalyst for Mildura, Sunraysia and the Mallee, an exciting role created through the Growing Community Music Project (GCM) to support and nurture a network of community music-making practitioners and participants, living in this north-westerly corner of Victoria. It’s a region well known for its fruit and wine, a number of annual music and arts festivals, and its picturesque location along the banks of the…
› New Song Book: Songs of the Living World13/Jul/2022We were delighted to introduce the Songs of the Living World at the 35th International Society of Music Educators Conference hosted in Melbourne in July 2022. Drawing on many years of creative collaborations with First Nation Elders and artists in intercultural and environmental projects, Laura Brearley has composed thirty environmental songs for community singing groups and choirs, focussed on three inter-related themes: Respect, Protect, Connect. The Songs of the Living World are a testament to our deep and fiercely protective love of the natural world. The recordings feature singers and musicians from across Victoria, with stunning production by Mal Webb. Songs of the Living World includes: lyric and chord sheets, musical notations USB and digital download of recordings of final arrangements separated parts and backing tracks.…
› Companion Voices: singing for the end of life15/Jun/2022There are several singing groups in the US, UK and beyond which specialise in bringing songs of comfort to the dying. You may have heard of the Threshold Choir network in the US. Here in the UK we have Companion Voices founded by Judith Silver in 2014. I asked Judith…