It was eyes front, camera on, and ... action ... for students at Warracknabeal Primary School on Friday morning when they took part in a music lesson live-streamed across the state.
The online class was the latest stage in a 10-week program that has mentored teachers to remotely school students in music during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Song Room, in partnership with the Victorian Department of Education (DEET), live-streamed two 30-minute music lessons from Warracknabeal Primary School to 80 schools around the state.
During the COVID-19 lockdown two general teachers at the school were mentored on how to include music in their lessons to students studying remotely.
Katie Hull-Brown, a teaching artist and primary music specialist who has been delivering the Warracknabeal program, was in the Wimmera to demonstrate new equipment and to showcase the work the students and teachers had done.
"Instead of doing the live-stream from my lounge-room, where they have been for the last six weeks or so, it will be from the school where I'm mentoring two classroom teachers," she said.
"It's an opportunity to come up from Melbourne and meet with them for the first time."
The Song Room has been running "Duets", an in-school music mentoring programme, during term 2. Funding has extended it for a further eight classes to help re-establish classroom dynamics and ease students back in after months of home-schooling.
For most of the time the programme has been online using Zoom and face-to-face visits to regional schools hasn't been possible.
The "Duets" course has access to an extensive online library of videos and teacher activities that align to the curriculum that students can follow out of the traditional classroom setting.
"It's been a stress-free way of providing music education to students at home," Ms Hull-Brown said.
She said the aim was to empower teachers to include music in their daily classes.
"It's been really successful, especially over this very stressful time," she said.
"Because everybody has been thrown in the deep end to provide learning resources for students at home that actually translate to at home learning.
"The teachers have just so appreciated not only having a mentor for music, but also a mentor to have contact with once a week and talk about the issues they were experiencing as teachers who, for example, had students who didn't have access to computers, ipads and laptops, so they had to provide the hard copy of whatever activity they could provide."
She said that the students were "loving" the format.
"We've had some really great feedback," Ms Hull-Brown said.
"Teachers would send an activity and the activity might be either the teacher demonstrating a music song or game and the students do the activity and they film themselves doing the activity and send it back to the teacher so they can see their students doing the activity they have taught them.
"We're getting the feedback that they are engaged and loving the activities and ideas."
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