Surge in music teachers holds new promise for musicians of the future

Making musical knowledge more accessible is a driving force behind the surge in enrolments in postgraduate music teacher education.
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Enrolments in post-graduate music teacher education have doubled at one Australian university.

The surge of students at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Western Australia has been propelled by the introduction of a one-year Graduate Diploma in Teaching course.

When ECU introduced the Graduate Diploma in Teaching in 2024, the aim was to address the demand for Western Australian teachers by accelerating the number of teachers in the classroom.

The one-year ‘Grad Dip’ is available to aspiring school teachers who have already completed a three-year degree in another field.

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ECU Coordinator of Secondary and Instrumental Music Education Dr Jason Goopy says the surge in enrolments is a clear indication of the course’s strong appeal for musicians aspiring to be school music teachers.

“This year the music education major and instrumental music education minor were the largest single subject areas in ECU’s postgraduate teacher education courses,” he says.

Championing music education

Dr Goopy says the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) with a major in music suits students with significant previous tertiary study in music.

“It is perfect for our Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) Bachelor of Music graduates, and we also welcome students from other institutions locally and interstate,” he says.

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“Our students range from graduates who have recently completed their bachelor’s degrees, to highly experienced instrumental tutors in schools now looking to gain a formal teaching qualification.”

ECU’s Executive Dean of Education Professor Caroline Mansfield says the number of new enrolments was good news for Western Australian schools.

“As the largest provider of graduates to public schools in WA, we are dedicated to ensuring that future teachers experience quality initial teacher education, developing knowledge and skills to support success in the future,” she says.

“It is exciting to see the appeal of the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) for aspiring music teachers, and it doesn’t stop there.”

“The number of students who have enrolled in post-graduate teacher education at ECU has increased across the board.”

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Sharing musical knowledge

Magda Lisek is a new student for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) with a major in music education, but she is no stranger to ECU.

“I completed my Bachelor of Music (Classical Performance) and Graduate Diploma (Opera) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and know the strong reputation of ECU’s School of Education,” she says.

Ms Lisek currently works as a school music tutor and is looking forward to gaining her formal teaching qualification.

“I want to share my passion for the art form and make music and musical knowledge more accessible,” she says.

ECU introduced the Graduate Diploma in Teaching in Semester One 2024, giving students the flexibility to graduate after one year and teach in Western Australia with provisional registration.

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During that time, students can choose to complete a second year towards ECU’s nationally accredited Master of Teaching through online self-paced study.

“ECU’s School of Education is committed to supporting workforce needs through offering the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary/Secondary), which provides an employment pathway for students to work in WA while completing a further year of study to achieve a Nationally accredited Master of Teaching qualification,” Professor Mansfield says.

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