back to Professional Development


Jemma Tabet | Michael Sollis | Joanna Patrick | Karen Kyriakou | Sue Lane | Assistant Professor Katie Dawson | Ormond Professor Gary McPherson | Graham Hilgendorf | Biddy Seymour | Cameron Gregory | Thea Rossen | Dujon Niue | Adam Page | Deb Brydon | Robyn Staveley | Joss Willmott | Jim Sharrock | Tobias Cole | Michelle Rollins

Our Professional Development presenters are highly trained musicians and educators. They have a wide range of experience in performing and educating students and teachers, and in creating and inspiring music-making in the classroom.

Jemma Tabet, Musica Viva Professional Development Manager

Having been involved in music and dance since very young, Jemma has developed a lifelong love and commitment for exploring and sharing the power of music, movement and creative expression. Having travelled extensively, she has a keen love of world music and dance and is a passionate advocate of the creative arts to support and enrich learning and understanding and as a means for connection, expression and inclusivity within our communities.

With a Bachelor of Music and Graduate Diploma of Primary Education, Jemma has worked as a generalist classroom teacher, specialist music teacher and private music tutor for more than a decade, also working extensively with primary school choirs and instrumental ensembles. She is the Professional Development Manager for Musica Viva, running workshops nationally for teachers in classroom music.

In 2018, Jemma completed a three-year teacher training in the TaKeTiNa rhythm method with founder Reinhard Flatischler and Master TaKeTiNa teacher Tania Bosak.

Jemma will be presenting the following PD workshops in 2019:

Singing and Playing in the Classroom, Thu 21 Feb in NSW
Inclusive Music for Diverse Needs, Tue 19 Feb in NSW
Singing and Playing in the Classroom, Tue 12 March in WA
Singing and Playing in the Classroom, Wed 14 March in WA
Singing and Playing in the Classroom, Thu 28 March in VIC
Storytelling through Music, Wed 3 April in NT
Storytelling through Music, Thu 4 April in NT
Storytelling through Music, Tue 9 April in SA
Storytelling through Music, Wed 10 April in SA
Inclusive Music for Diverse Needs, Tue 7 May in NSW
Singing and Playing in the Classroom, Tue 21 May in NSW
Inclusive Music for Diverse Needs, Wed 29 May in ACT
Singing and Playing in the Classroom, Thu 25 July in VIC
Singing and Playing in the Classroom, Thu 24 Oct in NSW

Michael Sollis, Artistic Director of Musica Viva In Schools

Express Yourself Through Improvisation, Wed 11 Sept in WA

Michael Sollis has been the Artistic Director of Musica Viva In Schools since 2016. Michael combines his work as a practising musician in the Griffyn Ensemble and highly sought after composer with wide ranging experience as an educator. He has taught at various levels, from early childhood music to tertiary composition. Michael has conducted workshops in countries as diverse as Australia, Papua New Guinea, Egypt and the United Kingdom. Michael’s aim is to ignite the creative potential of the next generation of Australians through the unique experience of live ensemble music.

Joanna Patrick

Music and Movement, Tue 5 March in SA
Music and Movement, Mon 18 March in SA
Music and Maths, Mon 29 July in SA
Music and Maths, Thu 1 Aug in SA
Music and Movement, Mon 16 September in SA
Music for Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom, Tue 17 September in SA

Joanna Patrick is the Junior School Music Teacher and R-12 Arts Coordinator at Tyndale Christian School in Adelaide, where she has been teaching for the past 14 years. Joanna has also been an active member of the Orff Schulwerk Association of South Australia since 2006. She is a qualified Orff Schulwerk Levels 1-2 Course Presenter, and regularly presents at state and national conferences. She has completed many courses including Levels 1-4 Orff Schulwerk National Accreditation Courses, the Kodaly SA Stage 1-2 Courses and Orff Schulwerk Dance and Movement in Education Course. Joanna has composed and musically directed many productions for the Junior School and directs a thriving choral program. In her spare time Joanna enjoys musical theatre, performing and musically directing for several amateur theatre companies in Adelaide. In recent years Joanna has presented numerous informative and inspiring Teacher Forums across South Australia for Musica Viva In Schools.

Karen Kyriakou

Karen Kyriakou holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters of Music Education. As a violinist and music educator, Karen currently works broadly in the area of music education, teaching students from kindergarten to tertiary level. She currently holds three residences with Musica Viva’s ‘Equal Music’ program, delivering music education to Students With Additional Needs, including one school for Deaf children. Karen has been working in this program since 2010.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra engages Karen as the writer and facilitator of the ‘Jam for Juniors’ concert series for children up to 5 years old. The MSO have also used Karen in their 'Outreach' Programs, providing Professional Development for the Teaching Artists involved with ‘The Pizzicato Effect’, MSO’s ‘El Sistema’ based string program.

Karen was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2012 to support her studies in the area of ‘Music for the Deaf’, and travelled to the UK to investigate inclusive ways of bringing authentic educational and musical experiences to Deaf children in schools.

Sue Lane

Music and Movement, Tue 28 May
Singing and Playing in the Classroom, Wed 26 June
Music and Dance of the Torres Strait Islands, Thu 24 October
Music and Movement, Mon 28 October

Sue Lane has been a member of the Musica Viva In Schools education team for many years, as a professional development manager, resource writer, presenter and consultant, supporting classroom teachers in the planning of creative music education experiences for the classroom. Sue worked for over 20 years as a classroom teacher and music specialist presenting classroom and performance programs in primary schools on the Central Coast of NSW. She also worked for 7 years as a lecturer in Music and Dance Education in pre-service courses at the University of Newcastle. As an active member of the Orff Schulwerk Association of NSW, Sue is passionate about music education advocacy and supporting teachers at all levels of experience. She is currently researching arts provision in Australian primary schools.

Assistant Professor Katie Dawson

Creative, Active Music Education, 16 March 2019 in SA

Katie Dawson is a member of the faculties of the University of South Australia and The University of Texas at Austin, where she is director of the Drama for Schools program. She is an internationally-recognised consultant in drama-based pedagogy and creative learning, and has facilitated training, presented workshops and given interactive keynotes at universities and professional and arts conferences around the world. Her scholarship has appeared in numerous international journals, and she is a multi-award-winning teacher and author.

Ormond Professor Gary McPherson

Creative, Active Music Education, 16 March 2019 in SA

Gary McPherson is the Head of the University of Melbourne’s Conservatorium of Music. He is internationally renowned for his research into the power of music in people’s lives and in children’s education, and along with Graham Welch, he co-edited Musica Learning and Teaching in Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence (Volume 2 of An Oxford Handbook of Music Education). Gary has made an extensive contribution to an increased understanding of factors involved in musical learning processes. Gary is a former President of both ISME and ASME.

Graham Hilgendorf

Finding your groove: Exploring rhythm, Wed 20 Feb in SA
Finding your groove: Exploring rhythm, Thu 21 Feb in SA
Finding your groove: Exploring rhythm, Tue 15 Oct in ACT

Graham has studied various percussion instruments and styles of music from all over the world and has a Bachelor of Music Degree (performance) from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney University. He is a founding member of Yu Ni On a taiko and percussion ensemble, a founding member of B’tutta, and was a member of Taikoz for 17 years. He has travelled throughout Australian and internationally and has performed with Australia’s major Symphony Orchestras.

Biddy Seymour

Inclusive Music for Diverse Needs, Wed 13 March in QLD
Inclusive Music for Diverse Needs, Wed 3 April in QLD

Biddy is currently employed as a Teaching Artist for The Song Room, providing a Music program at Milpera State High School School; an English language focus school for migrant and refugee students in Brisbane. Prior to this, Biddy’s experience was initially in mainstream primary settings, and then for many years in a variety of special education settings. Biddy is qualified to teach the Movement and Pedagogy strands of the nationally accredited courses. She has 3 of the Orff Master Practitioner Courses: David Spurgeon’s Dance Course, Richard Gill’s ‘Brown Books’ Course (2014) and Robyn Staveley’s Neuropedagogy Course (2016). Biddy was President of ANCOS (Australian National Council of Orff Schulwerk) for 6 years, and is a past president of QOSA, another committee she was part of for almost 20 years. She has presented at numerous workshops and conferences throughout Australia and internationally (New Zealand).

Cameron Gregory

Express Yourself Through Improvisation, Wed 16 Oct in VIC
Express Yourself Through Improvisation, Tue 26 Nov in NSW

For more than 30 years Cameron has performed, composed and arranged music professionally. His versatility on all things drums and percussion has seen him tour Australia and the world with many local and overseas artists in a huge range of styles and genres of music. As an artist in residence and performer for the Musica Viva In Schools program and the NSW Department of Education, Cameron has built an immense knowledge of how to facilitate workshops for students of wide age ranges and abilities.

Thea Rossen

Thea Rossen is a percussionist, creator and educator based in Melbourne and is part of the Musica Viva In Schools ensemble Water, Water, Everywhere. She is director of the Ad Lib Collective, an ensemble focused on concert curation, commissioning new Australian works and community engagement. Her work with the group has recently taken her to a residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada where she developed a program of works dealing with the issues surrounding climate change.

As a soloist and chamber musician, Thea has performed with a range of international artists including So Percussion, Speak Percussion, Lisa Moore and Simone Young as well as with the Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria and presented works at the Perth and Melbourne International Arts Festivals, White Night Festival and Bendigo International Festival for Exploratory Music.

As an educator, Thea has designed and facilitated music workshops in regional, remote and metropolitan Australia. She has developed touring school shows and workshops with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Recital Centre (Tomorrow Today Fund) and is currently developing a new immersive installation for children as part of Art Play’s new ideas lab. Thea studied at the Australian National Academy of Music as well as the University of Western Australia.

Dujon Niue

Music and Dance of the Torres Strait Islands, Mon 1 April
Music and Dance of the Torres Strait Islands, Tue 2 April
Music and Dance of the Torres Strait Islands, Tue 2 July
Music and Dance of the Torres Strait Islands, Thu 24 October

Dujon Niue is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and songwriter from Mua (Moa Island) and a member of Musica Viva In Schools ensemble, Wyniss. Dujon completed his training at the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA Dance College) and continues to share his music, dance and culture there as a cultural tutor.

He has worked with the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre and Bangarra Dance Theatre and is the founder/Artistic Director of his very own Arpaka Dance Company at Wug Village.

Adam Page

Spontaneous Composition, Wed 11 September

Adam Page is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, music educator and record producer based in Adelaide.

Known widely for his award-winning solo multi-instrumental looping performances, Adam’s festival appearances include Glastonbury (UK), WOMADelaide, Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and Sydney International Arts Festival. Adam has a strong focus on artistic spontaneity, using traditional methods and new technologies.

Adam has toured widely throughout South Australia for Musica Viva In Schools, sharing his infectious joy for music with students, and showing how music can be an essential and accessible experience for everyone.

Deb Brydon

Music and Movement, Wed 15 May
Music and Movement, Thu 16 May
Music and Movement, Thu 13 June

Deb Brydon is a primary music specialist who has returned to music teaching after working as a Senior Project Writer with Education Queensland’s Curriculum into the Classroom project, writing for Music and The Arts.

She has taught primary school music for 20 years in both Charters Towers and Brisbane. Deb has been an accredited do-re-mi teacher and has also taught Classroom Music at Griffith University. She has been on the KMEIA Qld committee for 15 years.

Deb has been the project co-ordinator for KMEIA QLD’s DVD Projects including Musical Beginnings, Middle Years Music Education and the upcoming Step Up With Music. She holds an Australian Kodály Certificate (Early Childhood) and is currently President of KMEIA QLD.

Robyn Staveley

Neuropedagogy: How science informs music teaching , Mon 27 May

Robyn Staveley is a senior lecturer in the School of Teacher Education at UTS (University of Technology Sydney) where she teaches Music, Movement and Dance Education and Educational Psychology. Robyn has been a classroom teacher in general and music contexts, from early childhood to K-12, and is well known throughout Australia and internationally as a presenter of professional development courses and workshops for teachers. She has written many educational resources and materials for teachers, and academic articles for scholarly journals.

Robyn is a member of the K-6 Creative Arts Board Curriculum Committee (NESA), holds state and national positions in professional music education organisations (ANCOS), and was this year the recipient of the Award of Honour for outstanding contribution to music and movement education, from the Orff Schulwerk national association. Currently, Robyn is completing a PhD on the impact of cognitive neuroscience on music pedagogy and runs a PD course in Neuropedagogy in Music.

Joss Willmott

Rap, Rhythm and Rhyme, Wed 11 September

Joss Willmott, with an Honours Degree in Music and a Master of Teaching, has a lifelong commitment to music and high-energy enthusiasm for teaching junior primary and primary aged students.

His high-level skills within the classroom have long been recognised, and Joss is now mentoring both classroom teachers andspecialist performing arts teachers to have more music occurring in our schools; particularly those with students of low Socio-Economic-Status and Special Needs.

Jim Sharrock

Storytelling through Music, Mon 10 June

Jim Sharrock is an experienced teacher and working musician based in the ACT. He is a qualified Primary school teacher and has worked in most educational settings: including K-6, Special Education settings, and music specialist positions. He has tutored at University of Canberra, in the Education faculty, covering subjects ranging from Arts Education to Behaviour Management. Jim is also a songwriter and performer and is part of the Musica Viva In Schools group, Doctor Stovepipe. His focus is on the power of story and song and how stories can entertain, inform and convey complex ideas to children and adults alike.

Tobias Cole

Singing and Playing in the Classroom, Tue 6 August

Tobias Cole is an internationally sought-after and award-winning singer and choral director. From Julius Caesar to Oberon, King of the Fairies, Tobias has performed all the major countertenor roles with opera companies in Australia and overseas. Later this year he will perform the baritone role of Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore (Hayes Theatre Company, Sydney). Previously, he directed Canberra Choral Society (2011-2016) and now directs a number of youth choirs including Canberra Children’s Choir, Turner Trebles, Lyneham High Voices, ANU Vocal Fry and ANU Chamber Choir. His professional vocal quartet Clarion has performed over one hundred performances of Evensong in the National Portrait Gallery and his opera company Handel in the Theatre has staged three highly acclaimed productions in the Canberra Playhouse.

Michelle Rollins

Music and Culture, Wed 31 July

Michelle has been the specialist music and drama teacher at Waverley College Junior School for the past 21 years. She also directs a recorder ensemble, a stomp group and conducts a 50 voice boys’ choir. She holds a Bachelor of Education (primary) from CSU and a Bachelor of Arts (hons. in Ethnomusicology) from UNE, and a L.Mus.A (AMEB) in singing. Michelle is also the current National (ANCOS) and State (OSANSW) president of Orff Schulwerk in Australia.