Life before Girton
I worked as a professional musician before deciding to become a teacher. I worked as a trumpet player with many ensembles including the Melbourne Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony and have played on many movie soundtracks. I joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for a period of six years and travelled Australia extensively with the RAAF Band. It was after this that I enrolled to do an education degree and was ready for a career change.
Bachelor of Music (VCA, Melbourne University). Diploma of Education (University of New England, NSW)
My teaching experience has included Presbyterian Ladies College, Lauriston Girls School and Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School
What I Love about Teaching
I enjoy sharing my love of music with students and seeing the enjoyment they get from their accomplishments.
Girton has a wonderful music culture and the colleagues that I work with are contagiously passionate about their craft.
What do you like best about the subject/s you teach? / Why should a student choose your subject?
It is a subject that takes years of discipline and refinement, yet the skills can stay with people for a lifetime. In many cases music ends up being a hobby/ outlet in their adult years.
What does your subject teach students applicable to outside of the classroom?
Music teaches students about the importance of not only playing an instrument but the role of the arts in the wider community and the discipline that it requires. Whether they listen to a TV jingle, professional concert or a busker, they learn to have an appreciation and a respect for performances.
My favourite classroom activity
Students learn the music curriculum in a variety of ways and obviously the performance component is a large part of learning an instrument. However this is the area that most students find difficult, they may be quite happy practising at home or playing in their lesson, but when they have to perform in public, then they sometimes find it very difficult.
Performing involves finding an inner confidence and security to allow you to present well. If a student feels that they can replicate what they do in a practice room during a performance, then they feel successful.
What difference can good teaching make? Describe the traits of a successful student in your subject or class.
A teacher is many things, but motivation is imperative. A successful student will believe that the information presented is relevant and then use this information to develop their knowledge and skills. A successful student listens however they should also question the information that is given to them. A successful student should practise and think and be inquisitive about their subject
What attributes of your own do you hope your students benefit from?
I like to think that I am passionate and knowledgeable about my subject area. I also believe that I deliver the knowledge in an approachable, relevant and enjoyable way.
What co-curricular activities are you involved with at Girton?
I am MiC Wind Symphony and Junior Advanced Band, then I assist with Big Band and Symphony Orchestra
What are your passions or hobbies outside of work?
I live opposite a National Park, so I frequently enjoy bush walking. My family owns a winery and vineyard, so this keeps me very busy during the school holidays. I love travelling anywhere, but I also just love being at home with my family.