Why Australia gets its music teaching all wrong

Why Australia gets its music teaching all wrong


norman lebrecht

February 11, 2020

Almost any time we write about music schools in Australia, we tend to receive a tiresome letter from lawyers – invariably, at the expense of the taxpayer, parents and students. These institutions are very protective of their dignity, and the protetion increases the more they lurch into crisis.

So, instead of troubling our learned friends again, let us direct your attention to a new article by Professor Peter Tregear, former head of the Australia National University’s School of Music (ANUSm), on what the eucalyptus has been going wrong at Aussie music schools, from the top down.

Peter writes, inter alia:

Changes […] imposed on the School appeared to many to have been motivated by managerial priorities that seemed at best indifferent not only to the particular traditions and needs of music scholarship, but also to this discipline’s capacity to contribute to the public mission of a university more generally….

Could be the lawyers looked at this first. But there’s more.

Read the whole article here.


  • A bystander says:

    The acronym is ANU SOM – a little nicer than the one written above…..

  • fflambeau says:

    It’s a nice letter (if a bit on the long side).

    What it amounts to is that yet another “democracy” (in fact a right-wing government labelling itself as such) is making cuts for “austerity” but really because it doesn’t like the public, music, or the arts,or real public universities either (they are very dangerous because they promote thinking).

    It is a world-wide phenomenon.