Academic Engagement

A new Academic Engagement strategy for the Grainger Museum initiated in 2022 amplifies the Museum’s connection with academics and tertiary students across a wide range of disciplines, as a Teaching & Learning resource. The Academic Engagement team collaborate closely with academics across all disciplines to develop and support new and repeated curriculum engagements, through Collections-Based Learning, inquiry-based learning, and transdisciplinary approaches.

Examples of disciplines and subject areas that engage productively with the Museum include musicology; music history; music performance; art history; social history of the 20th century; histories of sexuality; archive history; architecture and design history; leadership studies; sociology; psychology; health and creativity. Other classes take creative inspiration from the collections, architecture, curated displays, and legacy themes, providing a context for students to create new work, which may be translated into public-facing outputs such as performances or installations.

Within the Museum are distinct learning zones, which stimulate different types of learning activity. Zones include a curated display of collections relating specifically to Percy Grainger and his musical legacy, including playable experimental musical instrument recreations, a Collections-Based Learning area fitted with collections-tables and onsite collections store (a changing subset of the main Grainger Museum Collection which is held off-site), and open internal and external architectural spaces suitable for performance or installation outputs. The Grainger Museum building itself, on the Parkville campus of The University of Melbourne, is integral to the Collection and its history. The architecture of the building is the basis of research and curriculum engagement, enhanced by archival material related to its construction and the planning and creation of museum display equipment, in the 1930s.

Teaching facilities at a glance

  • Exhibition spaces (3 galleries), including selection of the Museum’s historic collections that focus on Percy Grainger’s legacy in musical innovation, and the socio-cultural contexts of the formation of the Collection and Museum (1880s-1960s) Capacity approx 60-70 across whole museum​
  • Education Space/Collections-Based Learning lab for Collection-based sessions, including Collections-Based Learning tables for handling and viewing objects, and flexible display screen and Zoom facility (laptop not provided) OBL space capacity: 24​
  • Flexible internal and external open spaces in unique historic environment, available to develop and perform/deliver creative works in disciplines such as music and dance​
  • Supervised Research Room for researchers and students to access Collections stored offsite for research purposes​
  • Bathroom facilities, including baby change facilities​

Collections exploration and selection for Teaching & Learning:

Academics developing ideas for new T&L engagements utilising the Collections-Based Learning lab, drawing on Collections stored offsite, can explore the Grainger Museum Collections virtually through the Online Grainger Museum Collection catalogue search.

Reach out to the Academic Engagement team for assistance in defining or refining the Collections search, and identifying and requesting specific collection items to be brought into the Museum for a Collections-Based T&L experience.

Academics are encouraged to discuss Collection requests with the AE team prior to the start of each Semester, and with at least 4 weeks notice before the anticipated T&L session in the Museum.

Student research in the Collection:

Students at all levels of tertiary study are invited to explore the Grainger Museum Collection through the Online Grainger Museum Collection catalogue search. Students may contact the Academic Engagement team directly for assistance in defining or refining the Collections search, and identifying and requesting specific archival materials or collection items to be brought into the Museum to be viewed in the Research Room. Visit how to access and search our collection.

Many larger or more fragile Collection objects are not suitable for transport, and the AE team will support specific Collection requests by students on a case by case basis.  Visit how to access and search our collection.