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Music in Religious Services

Schools have three national music licences available to them.  The licences are:

  • performance at a school event;
  • performed at a school event;
  • for inclusion in an electronic presentation;
  • as part of a course of instruction,
  • for the educational purposes of the school.
  • the APRA licence: allows schools to perform musical works at the school or at a function connected with the school's activities, for the educational purposes of the school.
  • the AMCOS licence: allows schools to photocopy sheet music, subject to copying limits.

 

All government schools and most Catholic schools are covered by the three music licences. Independent schools in each state, as well as Catholic schools in Victoria, need to opt in to the licences through their peak body’s representative.  To check whether your school is covered, you can contact your representative.

 

Music in Religious Services

Schools can rely on the national schools music licences when using music in religious services if the service is:

  • part of their students’ education;
  • connected with the activities of the school; and/or
  • ·organised by the school.

 

This includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

  • students and staff singing hymns during school assemblies, graduation programmes and seasonal services;
  • playing music in a school chapel;
  • playing music in school religious services, including services held off campus.

 

CCLI and OneLicense Music

Both CCLI and OneLicense represent a number of publishers and composers of Christian liturgical music and offer music licences for congregational use.

 

The majority of uses by schools of Christian liturgical music will be covered by the national schools music licences.  Schools will only need an additional licence with CCLI or OneLicense if they want to:

  1. do an activity that is not covered by the national schools music licences; or
  2. use music from the small number of composers/publishers that are not covered by the national schools licences.

 

Examples of activities not covered by the national schools licences are:

  • displaying lyrics at events (e.g. assemblies, school worship services) where people other than the staff and students are in attendance;and
  • unlimited copying (e.g. printing, photocopying) of sheet music for the singing assembly.

For more information on what is covered by the national schools music licences, see: https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/copyright-guidelines/education-licences-(statutory-and-voluntary-licences).

 

If a school wishes to check whether a particular composer and/or publisher is covered by the national schools licences, please use the  APRA AMCOS Works Search or contact schools@apra.com.au, or phone (02) 9935 7900.  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a church rely on the national schools music licences to perform religious music for church services held on behalf of a school?

Yes, but only where the church service is:

  • for the school and/or the school community (i.e. students, staff, parents and other people with a close connection with the school);
  • connected to the activities of the school (i.e. for educational purposes); and
  • ·organised by the school.

 

Can a church rely on the national schools licences for music used in general religious services?

No, a church cannot rely on the national schools licences to perform music for its general religious services.  The church must obtain additional licences.  For more information see:

OneLicense information (for a list of music publishers covered by OneLicense see https://www.onelicense.net/publishers)

 

Can a church rely on the national schools licences to print and/or project/display lyrics for the congregation at a school church service where the school community (i.e. students, staff, parents and other people with a close connection with the school) is in attendance?

No, to print and/or project/display lyrics in this instance would require an additional licence.  NCU recommends you look into the CCLI and OneLicense licences:

 

Can a school print lyrics to hand out to students and project/display the lyrics during a school assembly that is only attended by students and staff of the school?

In most instances, yes.  This will likely be covered by an exception in the Copyright Act or your school’s Statutory Text & Artistic Licence.  To further discuss, please give us a call on 02 7814 3855 or email us smartcopying@det.nsw.edu.au.