MiCN Research Projects & Surveys
Updated 2 December, 2013
The Music in Communities Network is currently involved in small research projects on the topics community music groups in Australia, community music practise, the needs of our members, and issues affecting community-based music making.
Report: Community Choirs in Australia
The second in a series of surveys focuses on community choirs. This report goes into more detail than our previous report, on community orchestras, in relation to support from community and government, leaders, contributions to the local community, budgets, and so on.
- Almost all Australian community choirs sing Australian music
- Most Australian community-based choirs have been running for less than 10 years
- There is a gradual increase in choir participation with each age bracket, 45-54 year olds being most likely to sing in a choir
- Over 80% of choirs are ‘mixed’ but only 30% of singers in community choirs are male
- Almost two thirds of choir directors/leaders have a degree related to music and most of those have a degree in music education
- The number of choirs where ‘singers must be able to read music’ is only 8%, in 57% reading is ‘useful but not required’, and in 36% of choirs ‘singers don’t need to be able to read music’
- Almost all community choirs give their time to the local community, with three quarters giving free concerts and even more performing at community events
- About a quarter of Australian community choirs have annual expenses of under $1000 (27%), a further 10% have between $1000 and $2500 in their annual budget.
- Besides the choir director or leader, the highest expenses for community choirs are Venue Hire, Sheet music, Public Liability Insurance and Accompanists
- More than half of all community choirs receive some form of support from local government, 13% receive support from state governments and 5% from the federal government
- Besides local government, the next highest level of support for choirs comes from churches and religious organisations
Report: Community Orchestras in Australia
The first in a series of surveys focuses on community orchestras. The results paint a picture of a diverse and creative sector embracing all age groups and playing a wide range of music.
- Over half of Australia’s community-based orchestras commission new music or have a member of the group compose for it.
- While classical music is still the most popular genre, community-based orchestras perform a wide range of music including contemporary, multicultural, baroque, and Australian music.
- There is great potential for orchestras to discover and try music which they aren’t yet playing. 46% of respondents are interested in playing a genre of music which they don’t currently play.
- Australian music ranks highly among genres that orchestras “would like to” play, if they aren’t already.
- All age categories are represented in at least 85% of adult/all-ages community orchestras.