Anita has worked to involve herself in projects that can change the landscape of music education as well as challenge her professionally. These current projects are both passion projects and professional milestones.
Creative Chair of Learning and Engagement
In 2021 the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra created the first ever Creative Chair position in Learning and Development and invited Anita to become the inaugural holder of the position. Anita works with MSO Learning and Engagement team to develop a forward looking and innovative learning program.
Bigger Better Brains Online
Bigger Better Brains began as a Facebook community when Anita did her TEDx Talk in 2014. She wanted a way to share the ever-expanding field of neuromusical research with teachers, parents and schools around the globe. This small beginning has grown into the Bigger Better Brains online community providing resources and training in neuromusical research.
Bigger Better Brains Courses
In 2019, Anita launched the Bigger Better Brains Educator Program, which is a series of two-day face-to-face courses to update and upskill music educators on their understanding and application of the neuromusical research. The BBB Educator Program has three levels – Educator (launched in 2019), Facilitator (launched in 2020) and Leader (due for launch in 2021). The courses in the program aim to build the capacity of music educators to apply the neuromusical research with authenticity, rigour and creativity in their own teaching contexts.
Music Education Strategy
The South Australian Music Education Strategy is a bold ten-year vision and implementation to fundamentally change the landscape of music education across an entire Australian state. Anita’s work lies at the foundation of this innovative and very tried before approach, and she continues to advise and consult with the implementation team and work with the generalist and specialists’ teachers of South Australia.
Music Education Initiative
Anita has worked closely with the Tony Foundation, which is associated with Alberts Publishing, to form the basis of The Music Education Initiative. This initiative grew from the Alberts and Tony Foundation’s involvement with the documentary Don’t Stop the Music and instrument donation campaign. The Music Education Initiative key goal is to ensure all Australian primary school students receive quality, sequential, ongoing music education. Anita remains a key advisor for this project.
Australian Chamber Orchestra Foundations Program
The ACO Foundations Program is based in Western Sydney and looks to solve the same social and educational issues as the Goulburn Strings Project but in an entirely different way. Anita has advised the development, evaluation and model for this program in conjunction with Australia’s premier performing ensemble.
The Lullaby Effect
The Lullaby Effect is a short book for parents and grandparents of children between the age of 0-5 years. It shares the stories of Anita’s own first five years raising her daughter as she was also finishing her PhD on music learning and brain development. The book was inspired by a podcast series that Anita did with the Australian radio station, Kinderling Kids Radio.
Canberra Symphony Orchestra
The Canberra Symphony Orchestra engaged Anita to envisage their new education program in 2017. The CSO is a unique performing ensemble as it is a part-time professional orchestra serving the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding regions, Anita’s hometown. Anita has continued to engage with the CSO around their education program since that time. She is extremely proud of the innovative Music in MY School performances, and commissioning and conducting the premiere of The Goulburn Concerto by Sean O’Boyle AM, which included performers from the CSO and students from the Goulburn Strings Project.
Goulburn Strings Project
The Goulburn Strings Project is an innovative music program in regional Australia that integrates music learning into the school day for every student from Year 3-6. This unique program tackles the challenge of social disadvantage and regional location through a unique partnership that we hope will model a new way to deliver equitable music education in regional Australia.