The Age: Uni Melb Music Want Out

Posted by savevca1 on March 10th, 2010

In an embarrasing blow for the University of Melbourne, even its own Music School wants out of VCAM (or “Vacuum” as it has been nicknamed by some Music staff).

What do you think of the idea of a new “con”?

Would VCA have a better chance of NIDA-levels of funding if it were smaller (by music seperating out into a new “con”)?

Or does losing music defeat the purpose of VCA being a multidiscplinary school on one campus?

Post your thoughts below.

One thing seems for certain though – University of Melbourne are struggling to find anybody that thinks they have done a good job with either VCA or Uni Melb Music since the merger.

In other news, the entirely VCA-based theatre company Artisan Collective has today (10/3/10) received a 5 Star review  from the Herald Sun for its production Self Torture & Strenuous Exercise. Guess VCA grads aren’t so “siloed” after all huh VCAM Dean Sharman Pretty? And guess what Sharman….they made “their own costumes and sell their own tickets” (and the set, sound and the lighting), all without the help of the Melbourne Model. Who knew!

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10 Responses to “The Age: Uni Melb Music Want Out”

  1. Glad to be gone

    I’ve just completed the final requirement for my Masters course in Music at Melbourne University (quite literally one week ago). I’ll not go into the absolute farce that was the entire assessment process, but I had my final recital last week. Thanks to a 2 week lead time I didn’t have time to organise my access to Melba Hall (in the hour or so before the assessment) until the day prior to the exam. I called about half a dozen times, being put through to phone numbers that were no longer in existence, before finally getting through to Reception at the Parkville campus. They assured me I’d be able to have access to Melba Hall for the whole 1.5 hours before my recital. I dutifully turned up 1.5 hours before to find there was a class running in there (which supposedly wasn’t meant to start until week 3).

    The kicker? I was told that the only way anything would change with regard to bookings and access for Melba Hall was if I made a complaint to the Student Union about what had happened, because there were no longer any Student Services based at the Parkville campus to organise things on that campus.

    I remain mystified as to why UoM would centralise Student Services and things like room bookings for both campuses over at the Southbank campus. Apart from cost cutting, obviously. Clearly, it took only 3 days into 1st semester for it to break down.

  2. I studied music at the VCA and then transferred to UniMelb (the “con”). I have to say that my time at the VCA was far superior primarily due to the multidisciplinary nature.

    Being a musician, having the dancers there alongside and working with them in performances was incredibly valuable to my education. It must remain this way if we are to create artists that can collaborate in the real world.

  3. As much as I love reading all the news concerning VCAM, can you please include more news about the puppetry course? I know more people are interested in the music, etc. but puppetry was unique to the Southern hemisphere and pretty important to those of us who do work in that area.

    That is, if there’s any news at all to be reported on it.

  4. Hi Puppetry Supporter.

    We’re very happy to cover Puppetry in whatever way we can…but we rely on the Puppetry staff, students and industry to supply us the information to publish.

    Remembering Puppetry is now suspended at VCA, unfortunatley there is very little to report as far as we are aware(which is sad in itself).

    Uni Melb have alot to answer for.

  5. Not sure you can read the Music ‘academic’ staff attitude as a vote FOR VCA. Easy – offer practise-based training in a wide variety of music styles at VCA and let students vote with their feet. Note VCA not VCAM – the ‘M’ for music being a tautology cos – last time I looked – music was a for of the ‘A’ Arts.

  6. Whoops – meant to say: “… – music was a form of the ‘A’ Arts”.

  7. I guess Glyn Davis will now have to tell the Con staff that public discussion of his decisions are not going to improve their career prospects, and perhaps they are under the false impression they still work for a university rather than the Glyn Davis corporation?

  8. Natalie Beattie

    I think you will find that all areas within the newly formed Melb Uni model will have their international reputations damaged! Where once-students were proud to say they were attending the Vic College of the Art,it is a different story now! So much damage done-in such a short time…and to think-these kids all grew up aspiring to get into this college!
    Shame on ‘the powers that be’ for ruining their dreams!!

  9. Suzanne Zhou

    I’ve been asked to repost this here, so:

    That’s more or less what we argued for as [the Music Students' Society] as well, although our submission isn’t up yet. Note that the Age article doesn’t make it clear that the music staff are still in favour of a music-only merger [added note: the MSS submission is much more ambivalent about this], or that both Parkville and Southbank staff signed the submission and that there are some practical staff among the 31. I know that SaveVCA gets this already because you’ve commented on whether music should be parcelled out of the VCA, but just wanted to point out that the Age’s characterisation of this as the Con breaking away is a little bit misleading.

  10. This is probably the wrong place to post, so apologies in advance. I was wondering if someone could direct me to some bits of information. I’m still very unclear on some of the basics.

    1. What was the land before it became VCA? Was it part of Telstra? Who gave the land to VCA in the first place? And then who gifted it Melbourne Uni? And why was this done?

    2. Why does NIDA get funding from the Federal Government, and why exactly does VCA not qualify for the same? What are the requirements? What would VCA need to do in order to meet these requirements?

    Many thanks.

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