"Marcia Howard is an exceptional teacher with qualities I admire. I have come to appreciate her as a relaxed, courteous, thoughtful and well-disciplined person. Her enthusiasm, dedication and organisational skills are outstanding, and she has been a valued and appreciated staff member who is professional in all aspects of her presentation. What really strikes me about Marcia is her cheerful personality, her ability to act with discretion and goodwill, and the strong connections she builds with staff and students. She has the ability to make a difference in students’ lives whilst retaining a sense of humour and a genuine personal interest. Marcia’s unwavering passion shines through in everything that she does. I admire her dedication to giving every student the best possible experience of Music which will benefit their lives at school and afterwards in so many different and profound ways. Marcia inspires students to reach higher and dream bigger and she cultivates a growth mindset that continually improves and enhances quality. Marcia empowers students by building meaningful relationships, listening actively, treating students with respect, and valuing their voice." April 2021. SHARON MEEHAN M.Arts (Mus. Ed.), B.Ed.Mus. SCHOOL HEAD OF MUSIC CAULFIELD GRAMMAR SCHOOL, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA.
Marcia Howard, Music Educator (PhD candidate, Deakin University Melbourne, Creative Arts & Communication) Research MEd, Monash University, Melbourne. Dip T, ACU, Melbourne, Cert IV Music, Cosamp. Estill Vocal Method, Kodaly and Orff. Piano and Voice, AMEB, Trinity College, London).
Marcia is currently completing a performance based PhD with Deakin University. She has been a Performing Arts Specialist in Primary and Secondary Schools for over twenty years, beginning her teaching in the remote Walmajarri and Googatha school at Mulan in the Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia in 1991. She has completed a Research Masters Degree in Education for Monash University, as a member of the Korrie Cohort in 2009. Her thesis, Holy Wells To Waterholes: belonging through song is about her songwriting and connection to place both here in Australia and in ancestral Ireland. Marcia has been a lecturer for many years in Music Eduction at Deakin University and at the Insititute of Korrie Education on the Waurn Ponds Deakin University site known as IKE. She has taught Vocal Masterclasses as a part of the Music Performance Degree at Collarts in Collingwood in Melbourne. She works with schools and local indigenous songwriters and artists with schools and community in the music, language and cultural education space. She runs Professional Development Workshops at House of Song in Geelong for music teachers bringing together local indigenous educators and non indigenous educators to exchange musical knowledge. She is also a facilitator for educational music conferences, vocal workshops, Orff and Kodaly methods. She directs choirs and is a composer, musician and singer songwriter. Marcia’s experience as a Vocal Director, and Performing Arts teacher over the past twenty years, combined with her professional music career as a singer-songwriter for over thirty years (beginning with the Goanna Band) has given her a great breadth of experience as both a music educator and performer. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and understanding of singing and songwriting in both her vocal and songwriting masterclass sessions at festivals, concerts, schools and conferences. She has also released five solo albums. music.apple.com/au/artist/marcia-howard/380041375
She is a casual lecturer in Music Education at Deakin University, and IKE, Geelong. Marcia is trained in using the Estill vocal method, which looks at using the anatomy of the voice for vocal production and how to use the voice to create different vocal sounds. Vocal yoga breathing and various warm-up methods are employed in her sessions and she will teach you two, three-part harmony songs to sing with her in a live performance. All ages.
Celebrating, culture, roots, the deep listening in place, where music and stories rise from the deep well of ancestral folklore and memory.
Using the processes of song writing Marcia Howard’s thesis, Holy wells to Waterholes, belonging through song, explores the notion of belonging and place and the ways in which practices and beliefs around water connect us to place. In the context of the politics of location it engages with personal stories that bring together understandings of the experiences of the Irish Diaspora in western Victoria in relation to colonisation and Indigenous communities in Australia. The songs that comprise the thesis draw on the meaning of family, loss, hope and identity. The thesis offers pedagogy of possibilities and hope.
The research for this educational thesis on song writing is located in Marcia’s family background and her experiences in music making with indigenous communities in Ireland and Australia. The work encourages others to be reflexive in relation to their own ancestors and the land that they build their lives upon. The five songs that the research is based upon were written by Marcia and recorded by her in her home studio. The songs are beautiful and relate to the political, to family and to place. The lyrics are emotive and the harmonies together with her voice and the different instruments evoke wonderful images for the listener. The mixing and recording process has been an additional task of the production of the thesis that Marcia has mastered. She has expressed her heritage and responses to injustices through her talent as a beautiful music maker. This is a very important thesis. A wonderful, enlightening and stimulating set of songs and stories. Dr Nerissa Albon, Monash University.
Abstract I explore issues of belonging to place, through the medium of song writing. I interrogate the historic social effects of colonisation and what it is that connects me to place in relation to my Irish immigrant ancestors and their subsequent relationships with the local Gunditjmara people whose land they were now occupying. My songs tell the story of my geographical location combining folklore from our area, memory and connectedness that has unearthed stories for me from an historical Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspective. As a songwriter I enter the liminal space of the song in order to put myself in the emplaced world of the song. I forge an imaginative engagement with place; just as Indigenous song creators and singers have always done in the Australian landscape. I discover how a shared history of oppression between local Indigenous people and my own Irish ancestors has affected my life and the choices I’ve made as an artist. My experiences have all influenced and informed my relationship to place, my identity and sense of belonging. I am writing about the complexity of the human experience in place by documenting my personal ancestral family stories in the context of South West Victoria, historically referred to as “a distant field of murder (Critchett).
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