Welcome to the May E-News.

The story that dominated our last eNews was that the international music industry was standing on the brink. To some extent little has changed. While there have been significant and welcome interventions from the federal government and most state governments, two issues have focused industry attention. The first is campaigning for a large number of music industry workers who fell through the cracks. The second and latest preoccupation is the (12 month?) gap that exists between the 6 month federal support program ending and the ongoing support that would be required until a vaccine is available.

For venues, social distancing at a concert would reduce capacity by 80-90%, which is not viable unless prices rise stratospherically. Even if audiences wanted to return (which is an open question), until we remove the need for social distancing and other protocols it will be hard to make events viable. So, looking at this unexplained mid-term gap, not a whole lot has changed.
Articles in this edition include:

  • An international overview of the challenges facing the music industry, which looks like being ‘First In, Last Out’ (FILO);
  • The challenges of teaching music virtually and online
  • Remote Learning
  • MCUI announces a new partnership with Garrijimanha
  • We look to the future in tough times with Ensemble Offspring and The Song Company 
  • Virtual Choirs during COVID-19

On 12 June, Music Australia publishes its new book on Musicians & Addiction: Research and Recovery Stories. More information can be found at We will report on this in the June edition.

For more national and international music news don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter



Paul Saintilan
CEO, Music Australia





The International Music Industry: First In Last Out? 

By the end of April, Australian artists had lost over $340M in live revenue since the Govt-issued lockdown was put into place.  Full story





Classical Sector Searches For Answers Under COVID-19

With live performance facing perilous times, great efforts are being made by the orchestral, opera and chamber music sectors to try to keep music-making alive during these difficult months with a range of online activity. We survey the scene.   Full story



Looking To The Future In Tough Times: The Song Company

News that The Song Company has lost its four-year Australia Council funding came soon after restrictions came into effect as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask artistic director Antony Pitts how the group is coping with the circumstances. Full story



Looking To The Future In Tough Times: Ensemble Offspring

News that Ensemble Offspring has lost its four-year Australia Council funding came soon after restrictions came into effect as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask artistic director Claire Edwardes how the group is coping with both developments. Full story





The Challenges of Teaching Virtual and Online

For private music teachers, the present times pose particular difficulties while social distancing remains in force. ‘Virtual teaching’ using Zoom and similar apps can be mixed in its success. We survey the situation generally and offer suggestions. Full story



MCUI Announces New Partnership with Garrijimanha

Music : Count Us In has forged a new partnership with the arts and cultural collective Garrijimanha to develop indigenous resources for the 2020 program focusing on the Yamatji Nation. Full story 



Remote Music Learning Comes Into Its Own 

Online music education offerings have rapidly expanded with the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Australian National Academy of Music has a digital music academy, and both the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra have well designed resources. Full story





Singing From The Balconies and Couches: Virtual Choirs During COVID-19

With the sprouting up of many internet-based choirs in recent months, Australia has embraced the idea of virtual choirs with gusto. Queensland’s Pub Coach Choir is a striking example, but there are many others working at a community level. Full story




All the latest music opportunities - here and online! 


Access our complete suite of Opportunities at your leisure on our website. Your one-stop-shop for all the latest music information: competitions, awards, funding, jobs, conferences, events, workshops, resources and more. View the OPPORTUNITIES section on our website now! And the latest opportunities are below.

To share an Opportunity send us an email. 


Competitions & Awards


Upcoming Award Presentations and Competitions:

National Campus Music
Applications close 31 October
The National Campus Music Competition (previously known as the National Campus Band Competition) is an annual Australian music competition specifically for tertiary students.

2020 APRA Music Awards

25 May 
The 2020 APRA Music Awards #VAPRAs will be streamed online for the very first time to music fans around the world as a virtual event on Monday 25 May from 7pm AEST.

2020 First Nations Arts Awards 

27 May 
First Nations Arts Awards 2020 will be held on the 27 May. The Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding creativity and lifetime achievements of First Nations artists. 


Strike A Chord

Applications close 27 August
The search for Australia’s best young ensembles has begun! Whether you play the violin, classical guitar, marimba or sing Musica Viva is looking for secondary students to enter Strike A Chord.


Workshops, Seminars & Programs


Workshops just around the corner:

Going Digital: Copyright and Licensing 
19 June 
What are the copyright regulations that you need consider when you create and use digital content? Before you start uploading and streaming content online, it is important to have a good understanding of the legal and copyright requirements for both users and creators. 

Contracts in the Time of COVID-19
This session covers a range of legal topics including understanding the effect of COVID-19 on contracts.

Building Your Creative Community 
From 20 May
Are you a young creative? Tune into the Building Your Creative Community workshops: helping the youth of Sydney build a successful music community. Presented by Happy Mag and City of Sydney.

MEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) webinars 
An ongoing series of webinars, called Break The Isolation.  With 8 episodes already released, they feature interviews with musicians, teachers and other experts in their field and cover topics such as strategies for teaching online, teaching speech and drama, and wellbeing and connection in social isolation. After their initial live screening they are recorded and offered as free resources on YouTube and Facebook to help the AMEB community stay connected.

Until June
QMusic have released a free series of online workshops called QMUSIC CONNECT supporting and upskilling Queensland's music industry. The first six sessions are immediate response discussions with the COVID-19 CRISIS TALKS followed by targeted regional community discussions and QMUSIC CONNECT: The Masterclass Series.


Conferences & Festivals


 Festival and Conference Opportunities:

Make Music Australia 
21 June

Unlike traditional music festivals, Make Music Day is an open invitation for everyone to make music anywhere and everywhere. We hope to be taking over the streets with music on June 21, but if we can’t, we invite you to join one of the online Make Music Day initiatives that will take place no matter what.


When Artistic Expression and Censorship Collide 

20 May, Online Conference Talk
In 2020, it’s hard to believe selected artists and musicians whose freedoms to express the stories of a generation is often questioned by greater media or their message misunderstood by fans and critics alike.

Speakers: Lee Monro, Kim Delati, Izzy and Sarah Connor

Facilitated by Maxine Johns.

Colloquium: Music Scholarship at a Distance 

A virtual forum for music scholars to present papers that were going to be featured at now-cancelled academic conferences. Presentations will be livestreamed via Zoom on select weekdays at 4PM EST. Interested scholars can apply to present via this Google form. EOI. 




Applications closing soon for these Funding opportunities:

ABC Australian Music Fund 
Applications close 12 June

Supports independent Australian artists and musicians across all ABC music networks, including:

a. New music: Commissioning new works for ABC Classic and ABC Jazz.

b. Music scholarships: Supporting diverse emerging artists across multiple genres and themes, driven by triple j and triple j Unearthed.

Magnetic Places Grant Program 
Applications close 27 May
Grants for Australian artists are now available for exciting projects that bring Penrith local residents together, in new ways, to transform how people see and feel about the places where they live. All artforms.

1000x1000 Crisis Cash for Artists  
Requests for support will be will reviewed by an Advisory Committee in the first week of every month.
Applications open to individual artists who have lost their income to COVID-19.

Sustaining Creatives Workers Initiative 
Applications close 1 June
The Sustaining Creative Workers initiative seeks to support the continued work of Victoria’s independent creative practitioners who have been negatively impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Creative Arts Fellowship 
Applications close 10 July
The Creative Arts Fellowship, is open to creative practitioners and artists, working professionally in any art form, to create new artistic work that is inspired by or using particular collections. Artists may be working in such fields as music, dance, theatre, visual arts, emerging, hybrid and experimental art forms. 




Applications closing soon for these Jobs & Auditions:


The Song Room, National Arts Learning Manager

Applications close 3 June
An exciting opportunity for an innovative, passionate and outstanding National Arts Learning Manager who is a dedicated Arts and educational professional, determined to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in Australia. 

Mumbulla School, Music Teacher 
Applications close 1 June

Mumbulla School is seeking applications for an experienced, enthusiastic and dedicated Music teacher to start in Term 3 2020 for 1 year.

City Recital Hall, Finance Manager
Applications close 7 June

Applications open for a finance manager to manage the financial operations to meet City Recital Hall objectives and reporting requirements.


I Lost My Gig
I Lost My Gig want to know how your work has been affected over this period. They are also are collecting and sharing the stories behind the numbers; the individual hardships that together paint a picture of a community in crisis. 





Our favourite upcoming events and performances from our community

Indies & Idols: Lutoslawski's Overture for Strings
23 May, Facebook Live
Following Bryce Dessner’s Réponse Lutosławski earlier in the month, the ACO will be releasing their performance of the music that directly inspired it, Lutosławski’s extraordinary Overture for Strings, filmed live at the Indies & Idols concert.

Closed Beginnings
Australian Art Orchestra had originally planned the Closed Beginnings premiere performance as part of their series at MPavillion in collaboration with Monash University Museum of Art. So they shifted their plan to turn the concert into live stream from WeFo Studios in West Footscray.

CIMF Virtual Festival  

Their 2020 Festival may have been cancelled but the music lives on at home. The CIMF virtual festival features videos and blog posts.


Key Supporters 

  • The Australian Government through the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE). 
  • City of Sydney
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