Whether I am leading a community residency in a small town in Timor-Leste, a songwriting project with refugee children, or a large-scale jam for thousands of people in the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, connection and collaboration are at the heart of my music practice.
I studied clarinet at the Victorian College of the Arts, the European Mozart Academy (Poland), with Janos Macak in Hungary and Hans Deinzer in Italy. I was the first Australian graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s innovative and pioneering postgraduate course in Performance and Communication Skills (Musical Leadership). There, I developed my skills as an improviser, composer and workshop leader in schools and communities.
From 2002-2008 I was the founder and creative director of the award-winning Community Outreach Program at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 I embarked on a freelance career, working with many of Australia’s flagship ensembles and arts education organisations, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian Art Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, The Song Room, Musica Viva, and the Australian Children’s Music Foundation.
I am also a writer and researcher in cross-cultural community music practice and music education, and regularly present and publish my work internationally. I completed a Master of Education with first-class honours at the University of Melbourne in 2010. In tandem with my freelance music leadership, I lecture, facilitate and tutor for Melbourne Polytechnic, with previous adjunct faculty appointments at Boston University, University of Melbourne, and the Australian National Academy of Music.
My projects thrive on the cross-fertilisation of ideas, and my long-running blog Music Work extends this intention, offering educators around the world many ideas for teaching music creatively. It is also an open reflective journal, sharing thoughts on the range of projects and collaborations I have underway each year.
I am currently a PhD candidate at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, researching the impacts of music schools and community music centres on communities recovering from war and violent conflict.