Contemporary Aboriginal music has a multi layered connection to both contemporary Western popular music and to traditional culture, song lines, dreaming, language, country and the spiritual.  Like other art forms it has the power to simultaneously transform our understanding of history and culture and to communicate the authentic experience of what it is to be an Indigenous Australian today.
“…we were able to take our music, ‘Treaty’, to the world. But what ‘Treaty’ caused here, back in Australia, was the young people, black and white, of different nationalities, understanding our music – Aboriginal music, language, the thinking. When we went out and faced the world, the world accepted our music.” Mandawuy Yunupingu interview with George Negus, ABC TV, George Negus Tonight, 8/07/2004.

Western Australian peak bodies and ATSI music education providers or programs:

  • Gina Williams '... is one of those rare performers who connects and captures audiences through the power of song. She brings a fresh, modern take on ancient traditions; merging evocative sounds, poignant stories, rare language and that beautiful voice. The songs and performances are informed by four principles; Koort (Heart), Moort (Family), Boodja (Land) and Koorlangka (Children/Legacy).' Check out Wanjoo, Gina's book exploring Noongar language and song.
  • West Australian Music (WAM) – the peak industry body responsible for supporting, nurturing and
    growing all forms, genres and levels of original contemporary music in Western Australia.
    - Just released! Capturing five Indigenous languages, 54 Indigenous voices and 26 original tracks, #SoundsOfThePilbara II has launched and is ready to be listened to, and inspire!
  • ABMUSIC - Registered Training Organisation delivering Certificates II through IV from the Music Industry Training Package in a program especially tailored for Australian indigenous people.   
  • Madjitil Moorna (Perth): Led by professional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians, this all ages choir sings indigenous music in both traditional language and English.
  • Desert Feet Inc – offers music projects using the arts to create educational and musical opportunities in remote Western Australian communities but also to create greater cultural awareness.
  • Community Arts Network (CAN) WA – Voices of the Wheatbelt ‘Healing Songs’.
  • State Library of Western Australia – Guide to Indigenous music.
  • The Australian Society of Music Educators WA have developed a new resource page to assist music teachers in Western Australia to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the classroom.



Mobile device applications:

Further reading and contacts:

To find out more about the arts education events linked to the arts subject Music, visit our What’s On page.
Professional teachers association list.
Artist-in-Residence case studies incorporating Aboriginal student engagement in Music or ATSI arts or cultural content include: Ngaanyatjarra Lands School (Warburton Ranges Campus), South Fremantle Senior High School, and Quairading District High School.
Musicians, composers, songwriters, music tutors interested in developing programs for schools, visit Working in the School Context for tips about project planning, creating education resources and professional learning opportunities for teachers, and marketing to schools.
Invite an ATSI artist or organisation to be artists-in-residence in your school; check funding providers here.

Warning. Information in this section of the ArtsEdge website may contain the names, images or recordings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. The ArtsEdge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture in education portal may also contain links to sites that may use images and/or recordings of Aboriginal and Islander people now deceased. Artists or educators researching Indigenous content for educational purposes should use their discretion when viewing online content.

Details about artists and organisations outside the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries do not constitute an endorsement of those artists or organisations or their programs, products or services. School communities are responsible for making their own assessment of these artists or organisations in accordance with relevant Department of Education policies, procedures and guidelines. Users should seek professional and specialised advice for their individual situations.