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AMEB News – November 2013

State Manager’s message

2013 has been yet another busy year for examinations and syllabus development at the AMEB. We were thrilled with the number of teachers who attended the recent play-through of the new Percussion syllabus (see page 4) which will be launched nationally at the Sydney Opera House in December. Another new syllabus, Double Bass, will be available to students in 2014.

Nominations are now closed for election to the AMEB (NSW) Board. The AMEB (NSW) Board is a dedicated and energetic group of people who play an important advisory role in shaping examination policies. You will find a list of Private Teacher representative nominees and a ballot form as an insert in this newsletter. Please be sure to post your vote in so that it is received by 13 December 2013.

As AMEB (NSW) continues to expand and develop its e-communication, regular e-newsletters will be introduced in 2014. These will replace the bi-annual posted newsletter that you are reading now. This means less paper wastage, and the ability to notify teachers in shorter messages provided on a more regular basis. Teachers will receive news and regular reminders regarding important dates and events. Check your emails for your first copy next year. The
e-newsletter will also be available as a download from our website.

AMEB (NSW) has experienced an overwhelmingly positive response to the introduction of online enrolments. In the week of 26 July, around 4,300 enrolments were received online – 40% of all enrolments received during this one-week period.

Teacher feedback includes quotes such as:

‘I would like to congratulate the AMEB for the new online enrolment system. It is extremely user friendly and makes the entire process very easy. Brilliant work!’

‘Too easy! If I can do it, anyone can do it (and I am usually very challenged!). Took approximately 10 minutes. All my colleagues will be thrilled.’

‘This is a splendid feature ... as is the new emailing facility for candidates’ mark sheets. Bravo AMEB for moving with the times!’

Online enrolments for 2014 will be open from 17 January for the first two examining periods.

AMEB (NSW) staff will take a well-deserved break when the office closes at 5.00pm on Friday 20 December,
re-opening at 9.00am on Monday 6 January 2014.

We wish all our examiners, teachers, parents and students a restful break over the coming festive season and look forward to seeing you again in 2014.

Maree Lucas, State Manager

Talented trio at 2014 Diploma Presentation Ceremony

photo of Wong trio

Based in Muttama in rural New South Wales (south of Cootamundra), the Wong family have a huge array of AMEB certificates and diplomas to grace their walls. All talented multi-instrumentalists, the four Wong siblings have successfully undertaken AMEB assessments on the piano, harp, violin, flute, recorder, viola and cello since 2002. Their passion for music and hard work, studying with some of the best teachers in New South Wales over the past decade has resulted in three of the Wong siblings qualifying to receive their LMusA at the upcoming Diploma Presentation Ceremony on Sunday 9 March 2014 at the UNSW Clancy Auditorium.

We look forward to their Cello, Flute and Piano trio performance at this prestigious event, along with performances from several other outstanding musicians and Speech and Drama diplomates. Call the AMEB (NSW) office on 9367 8456 to purchase tickets during January and February for this exciting event which commemorates excellence at the demanding diploma level during the 2013 examination year. It is certain to inspire you and your students!

Bonus points for AMEB achievements in Years 11 and 12

Did you know that your students may submit their higher-level AMEB results to many universities to receive bonus points towards University entry? Success in Grade 8, Certificate, Associate and Licentiate examinations in AMEB Music or Speech and Drama can be awarded anything up to five bonus points towards a student’s ATAR score, which may just boost them into the tertiary course of their dreams. Please note that the additional written requirement MUST be met for each of these achievements and the certificate or diploma must be completed during Year 11 or 12 of their schooling in order to qualify. Please visit the website of tertiary institutions such as the University of New South Wales for conditions, application dates and further information.

May written examination period withdrawn

As online written examinations continue to gain in popularity, a decision was made by all AMEB State Offices to discontinue the face-to-face written examinations held each May.

From 2014, August will be the only opportunity to sit for a face-to-face examination in Speech and Performance Theory, Music Theory, Musicianship and Grade 5 or 6 Music Craft. Visit the FAQ section of the online written examination website for more information about how you can enrol for your next written examination online: www.amebexams.edu.au/faq.php

Ethics, copyright laws and photocopies

Teachers should be aware that original music must be brought into the examination room for every piece that is presented. This is also the case for any public performance, including eisteddfods and studio concerts.

Copyright laws are infringed when one of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner is exercised without the permission of the owner.

Copyright may also be infringed by a person who authorises someone else to use an unauthorised copy. This means that the copyright owner may sue both the person who authorises, as well as the person responsible for the unauthorised copying of a musical work.

To avoid putting yourself and your students in this situation:

  1. Lead by example. Only allow your students to play from original copies in your studio. Make sure students buy their own music as soon as they start working on a piece – do not allow them to work from a pirated copy ‘borrowed’ from you until they get around to buying their own copy.
  2. Encourage your students and their parents to value printed music. Cricket players don’t buy cardboard bats they dispose of at the end of each cricket season. Sporting families understand that the bat is a valid expense and an important part of participating in the sport. In the same way, don’t let your students take this approach with exam pieces they can throw out on photocopied A4 paper once their exam has finished. Encourage your students to start their own sheet music collection. They should revisit older sheet music albums to improve their sight-reading skills as they progress and generally explore new pieces in their leisure time for enjoyment and relaxation. The broader a music student’s repertoire, the more their love and understanding of music will develop and the greater the skills they will bring to their next year of examinations.
  1. Explain the logic and ethics behind copyright laws. Make students aware that artists should support fellow artists. They too might one day become a composer who relies on the sale of their music to make a living in the performing arts.

What are the penalties for breaching copyright?

The Copyright Act, Trade Marks Act and other legislation provide severe penalties for dealings in music that infringe the rights of artists, composers, lyricists, producers, record companies and music publishers.

Penalties range from injunctions, damages and costs through to fines of up to $60,500 for individuals and up to $302,500 for corporations per infringement and/or up to five years imprisonment.

For more information about the legal use of photocopies and music downloaded from the internet, visit the following websites:

www.apraamcos.com.au/media/6289/ampal-guide-to-print-music_final.pdf
www.musicrights.com.au

photo of Carolyn Antoniou

Staff news

Carolyn Antoniou comes to us with over 20 years of experience in customer service, scheduling, operations and office administration. Previously, Carolyn has worked for Qantas Link as Customer Service Agent, Duty Airport Supervisor, Flight Scheduling and more recently with Regional Express Airlines (REX) as Assistant to the Airport Manager. Carolyn will be using her customer service and scheduling skills in her new position of Practical Scheduler for timetabling exams in both metropolitan and regional venues.

Syllabus news for 2014

Piano – only the one syllabus as published in the 2014 Manual of Music Syllabuses is examinable in 2014.

Piano for Leisure – only the one syllabus as published in the 2014 Manual of Music Syllabuses is examinable in 2014. Series 1 grade books are not being withdrawn and are a component of the current Piano for Leisure syllabus.

Violin – only the one syllabus as published in the 2014 Manual of Music Syllabuses is examinable in 2014. The older syllabus from 2011 and earlier is no longer examinable. The pink Checklist for Technical Work form is no longer required in 2014 examinations as this relates solely to the now defunct Technical Work Book.

Classical Guitar – only the one syllabus as published in the 2014 Manual of Music Syllabuses is examinable in 2014. The older syllabus last published in the 2011 Manual of Music Syllabuses is no longer examinable.

Double Bass – for the next two years, both the older (2013) and the new (2014) Double Bass syllabus can be presented for examination in 2014, but no combination is allowed. Teachers must consult one manual only in order to correctly prepare candidates for the enrolment code(s) for which you have enrolled.

Flute – both the older (2012) and new (2013) flute syllabus can be presented for examination in 2014, but no combination is allowed. Teachers must consult one manual only in order to correctly prepare candidates for the enrolment code(s) for which you have enrolled.

Bassoon – only the one syllabus as published in the 2014 Manual of Music Syllabuses is examinable in 2014. The older syllabus from 2011 and earlier is no longer examinable.

Percussion – for the next two years, both the older (2013) and the new (2014) Percussion syllabus can be presented for examination in 2014, but no combination is allowed. Teachers must consult one manual only in order to correctly prepare candidates for the enrolment code(s) for which you have enrolled.

For greater detail, please consult the Federal News section of the 2014 AMEB (NSW) Enrolment Handbook.

Don’t forget to vote!

With this newsletter, eligible teachers will receive ballot papers for the election of three Private Music Teacher representatives to the AMEB (NSW) Board for the next two years. Examiners will also receive ballot papers for the election of two Examiner representatives.

Please read the enclosed biographies, complete your ballot paper(s) and ensure that your votes are returned to the office in the enclosed reply-paid envelope by Friday 13 December 2013.

These envelopes are only to be used for submitting Board Election votes. Please do not use these envelopes for any additional correspondence.

Congratulations to Victoria Clancy who was re-elected unopposed as the Private Speech and Drama representative to the Board.

Music Practice Diary

Music practice diary cover

The AMEB Music Practice Diary is a handy A5 publication that would provide a perfect companion for monitoring your students’ progress throughout the examination year. Lesson headings relate to the ongoing preparation required for each section of an AMEB examination, including technical work, aural skills and sight-reading skills. A composer timeline can be found in the centre pages and a glossary of key signatures, terms and symbols is printed at the back of the diary.

At $7.95 per copy (with teacher discounts for purchases of 10 copies or more), this diary will be a must-have for all keen musicians as they work towards their 2014 examination goals. Just complete your pink AMEB (NSW) order form and return it to us via email or post.

Percussion workshop

photo of David Montgomery
David Montgomery plays samples from the syllabus
photo of Maree Lucas
Maree Lucas AMEB (NSW) State Manager addressing the play-through

A play-through was held for the new AMEB Percussion syllabus at Sydney Grammar School on Wednesday 23 October 2013. A keen group of AMEB percussion teachers and students came along to hear details of the new syllabus available to them from 2014. Including a Preliminary grade, and now extending through to the Associate and Licentiate level, this exciting syllabus emphasises progressive development of a sophisticated understanding of rhythm, pitch, phrasing and dynamics and their contribution to expressive playing. The repertoire has been divided into lists according to the five basic instrumental streams: untuned, two-mallet, four-mallet, timpani and multi-percussion.

David Montgomery performed an impressive hour-long continuous play-through of a sample of pieces from the preliminary to eighth grade syllabuses, moving fluidly from instrument to instrument and grade to grade. He provided an enviable example of the myriad skills and varied approaches percussionists must master as they progress to a professional standard.

Wollongong Con/AMEB (NSW) partnership

We are very pleased to advise teachers and students in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven areas that the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music and AMEB (NSW) have entered into a partnership whereby it will be possible to hold all music examinations at the Wollongong Conservatorium for the next three years.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Wollongong Conservatorium and thank them for their support in assisting the AMEB to provide music examinations to their community.

Teachers and students should note that all examinations at the Wollongong Conservatorium will be held during school holiday periods.

We look forward to working with the local communities of Illawarra and Shoalhaven and examining the many talented students in this area in the future.

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