Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Chaseling, MJ 2008, 'Through the eyes of Victor McMahon: the school flute band movement in NSW public schools', in J Southcott (ed.), Proceedings of the XXXth Annual Conference : Innovation and tradition : music education research : Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education, Melbourne, Vic., 3-5 October, Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 45-59. ISBN: 9780980311655

The abstract and pdf of the published paper reproduced in ePublications@SCU with the permission of AARME

Marilyn J Chaseling has also published under the name of Marilyn Ryan


The decision of the NSW Department of Education in 1939 not to systematically retain its archives has resulted in major gaps after this date in the historical record of state schooling in NSW. So inadequate are these records that not even the Department’s Music Branch is afforded a reference in the official archives housed at the State Record Authority. A chance conversation at the 2007 AARME conference revealed the existence of a private collection of documents of the late Barbara Mettam, former Assistant Supervisor of Music, then Supervisor of Music and later Inspector of Schools (Music) at the Music Branch. Tucked within this collection is a faded folder entitled 'Instrumental Music, V McMahon'. This file contains the Annual Reports of Victor McMahon in his role as Supervisor of School (Flute) Bands from 1938 until his resignation in 1954. This paper traces the development of school flute bands in NSW public schools during the period of McMahon as reported by him in his Annual Reports. It determines the positive outcomes that can be achieved for music when an empowered advocate and an inspiring teacher work together to effect change.

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