Life before Girton
Bendigo Instrumental Music Program
1998 – 2008
Instrumental Brass teacher – Junior School to VCE
Classroom music teacher – Junior and Secondary
2003 – 2008
University of Melbourne
Brass Lecturer and Assessor
2002 – 2008
Victorian College of the Arts
Brass Lecturer and Assessor
Lecturer Orchestral Materials
2002 – 2008
Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School
2001 – 2005
1999 – 2003
Viewbank Secondary College
Conductor Intermediate Concert Band
Brighton Grammar School
2000 – 2008
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
2006 – 2008
Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
1993 – 1999
Royal Australian Air Force Band (Melbourne)
Assistant Principal Tuba
1999 – current
Recording sessions of various film, television, major events and advertising scores including: 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2008 IF Awards.
Certificate IV in Music
Graduate Diploma of Education
Bachelor of Music Performance (Honours)
University of Melbourne – Victorian College of the Arts
Victorian Certificate of Education / High School Certificate
Eltham High School
What I Love about Teaching
I enjoy hearing the different stages of progression when a student learns an instrument. Seeing the reaction from a beginner who has discovered how to play their first note to a senior student master the crux from a concerto after hours of problem solving. These are the moments that keep me motivated and coming back for more.
What is the best thing about teaching at Girton?
In some schools we need to justify to people why what we do is important, for fear of losing our programs. At Girton, music plays such a big part in the life of many and it is extremely well supported through all levels of school. This makes it such an enjoyable place to work.
What do you like best about the subject/s you teach? / Why should a student choose your subject?
- The benefits of learning an instrument are numerous and have proven through numerous worldwide studies. They include:
- Students who study music from an early age can do better at a range of subjects.
- Students who play music learn there are rewards from hard work, practice and discipline.
- Playing a musical instrument helps develop students’ creative thinking and motor skills.
- Music helps students become more active listeners and can enhance their health and wellbeing.
- Playing in an ensemble, working together and developing negotiation skills are complex processes that you have to work through to build confidence.
- Students learn to embrace other cultures through their music.
- Students can also explore emotions through music, which may help them better understand who they are.
My favourite classroom activity
Live group performances from Year Nine elective music. For many these can be the first time they have ever played their instrument in front of their peers and a live audience.
Once a term, in chamber ensembles, students perform for each other and their mentors. The progression from Term One to Term Four is obvious to the students. They can witness their growth in confidence as performers and they always feel a sense of achievement.
What do you feel your students get out of this activity?
Music is about communication, creativity and cooperation. These performances create opportunities to build on these skills, enrich their lives and see the world from a different perspective.
Describe the traits of a successful student in your subject or class.
Organised, active participant, curious, persistent, self-disciplined and a positive attitude.
What attributes of your own do you hope your students benefit from?
I hope my students share my enthusiasm for music. I was fortunate to attend a secondary school that valued music and opened many doors for my career and life. I still have the passion and discipline that was instilled in me from a young age.
What co-curricular activities are you involved with at Girton?
- Symphony Orchestra
- Senior Concert Band
- Big Band
- Year Nine Hike
What are your passions or hobbies outside of work?
- Spending time with my family
- Attending live performances
- Spectating all sports but mostly visiting the MCG to barrack for Collingwood