Anita Collins is Australia’s leading music researcher, TedEd presenter and consultant to ABC documentary Don’t Stop the Music. Pat Devery talks with Collins and writes about her research and her work.
As a young teacher Anita Collins found herself responsible for the high pressure musical formalities which accompanied the end of year graduation ceremonies at her school. Once the tension of the opening procession and national anthem had been concluded, however, she would find herself, in her words, “a bit bored, to be honest – so I started a little game”.
That game would not be unfamiliar to many music teachers across the nation, namely, keeping a record of how many students from the band or orchestra were called up on stage to receive an academic award. Invariably Collins would find that seven or eight of the top prize winners in each year group either had a previous or continuing and significant involvement in music.
Australia’s top music researcher
Little did Collins know these musings would take her down a path to becoming Australia’s leading music researcher, delivering a TedEd presentation which to date has close to nine million views, being the consulting academic on the hit ABC documentary, Don’t Stop the Music, and now publishing her most recent book, The Music Advantage.
Invariably, Collins would find that seven or eight of the top prize winners in each year group either had a previous or continuing and significant involvement in music.