Dr Vicky Abad & Professor Margaret Barrett
Workshop Presenter

Dr Vicky Abad is a mother, business owner, Registered Music Therapist and researcher. Her expertise focuses on clinical and research practice in the areas of parent-child music therapy, family music therapy, community music therapy and music early learning, with a particular focus on families with young children.

She is the Founding and Managing Director of Music Beat Australia, a multi-faceted business that provides community music, music early learning, education and therapy programs for children and adults of all abilities to support them to develop every day. She is also a researcher at the University of Queensland. Vicky has achieved international recognition for her clinical work and research in the area of music therapy parent-child intervention and the impact of music early learning on family health and well-being. She holds an Undergraduate Degree in Music, Post Graduate Degree in Music Therapy, Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Research and a PhD in music early learning and music therapy. She is an internationally regarded presenter and speaker and is currently the President of the Australian Music Therapy Association.

Margaret Barrett is the Professor and Founding Director of the Creative Collaboratorium in the School of Music at the University of Queensland. Her research investigates issues in the pedagogies of creativity and expertise, early musical development, the meaning and value of engagement in music and arts activity, career pathways in and through music, and arts and music program evaluation. 

Workshop Topic
Using music as a part of everyday practice in childcare rooms

To be human is to be musical. As humans, we soothe, bond and teach our children through music. This has traditionally been conducted by parents in the home. This century has witnessed a change in the way that children interact musically in the early years. Technology and changing cultural working habits of families have both impacted on this, resulting in children experiencing music both in and out of their homes.

This means that children may now experience music in formal childcare settings. The onus of providing these musical moments and interactions therefore shifts to the Educator, but not all educators feel adequately trained or supported to be the person responsible for the music exposure and interactions, and later education as the children grow. Yet research shows that musical moments embedded in everyday moments support little people to learn and develop both cognitively and emotionally, as well as supporting physical, social and behavioural development.

This presentation will focus on providing the research findings from our study into music provision in childcare centres, followed by practical step by step instructions on how to support educators to a. feel confident to use music and b. actually use music as a part of their everyday interactions and incidental teachings in the childcare settings. This will be in the form of tips and ideas and take home messages. The presentation will also briefly outline the importance of music ‘education’ and how this differs from musical moments embedded in everyday practice.