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Strike A Chord | Teachers' Conference

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5 Sep - 6 Sep 2020

The Strike A Chord Teachers' Conference is designed to complement Strike a Chord – the National Chamber Music Championship by building capacity in the teaching of chamber music at secondary school level. A dynamic combination of panel discussions, online workshops and open coaching sessions will be on offer to teachers at all levels of experience, working with students of varying skill levels.

Limited places are available for each session, register now to avoid disappointment.


Presenters include Anne Gilby, Aura Go, Grace Tan, John Noble, Dr Julie Haskell, Mark Walton, Monica Curro, Naomi Crellin, Nick Begbie, Roland Yeung and Roman Ponomariov

Learn more about the presenters here.


You may claim up to 5 hours of teacher-identified professional development and learning from this conference. All attendees will receive a certificate detailing the relevant Australian Professional Learning Standards for each session attended.

The standards addressed will be 3.4, 3.5, 6.2, 6.3 and 7.4 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Session 1

5 Sept | 11am - 12pm

Keynote Address: Ed Ayres - content TBC


Session 2

5 Sept | 12.15pm - 1.15pm

Plenary Panel - Establishing and Maintaining a Successful Chamber Music Program: John Noble, Anne Gilby and Alex Hiew​. Chair: Julie Haskell

A discussion of the key skills, tasks and resources needed to build and sustain an engaging chamber music program. Including advocacy skills, costs, transferrable skills for students (eg into large ensembles or in solo work), success stories, and things to avoid.


Session 3

5 Sept | 2pm - 3pm

a. Playing in the Creative State: Developing listening and imagination through collaboration: Aura Go. 

This interactive workshop explores ways in which teachers can work creatively with students to develop essential listening, collaborative and imaginative skills in a chamber music context. Drawing on Michael Chekhov’s psychophysical approach to acting, this session introduces participants to core principles such as Giving and Receiving, the Spatial Imagination and the Four Qualities of Movement and demonstrates how these can be applied to music. Participants will engage in group activities and gain tools that may be utilized in chamber music rehearsals, coaching and performance in order to promote deeper listening, stronger connections between players, greater spontaneity and joy in students’ music-making.

b. Open Coaching (strings): Monica Curro

Monica shares her unique skills and experience working with a young group of string players.


Session 4

6 Sept | 11am - 12.10pm

a. Chamber music and small ensemble skills. Can they be taught online?​: Roman Ponomariov

This session will focus on the value chamber music training and the role it plays in the holistic development of a modern musician, or of simply a well-rounded individual. It will expand on the key aspects that young chamber groups develop, such as critical thinking, imagination, communication skills, and most importantly – listening. It will give examples of rehearsal techniques that could be used by teachers whilst working with less familiar repertoire or tutoring an ensemble with instrumentation that is outside of their immediate area of expertise. Whether it's in person or in an online environment.

b. Open Coaching (wind/brass): Mark Walton. 

Mark will share his unique skills and a lifetime of experience working with a young group of wind and brass players. Mark will explore the magic and mystery of playing with a rich tonal balance at the same time as bringing out the spirit and musical characterful of every note and phrase. 


Session 4 - A Capella

6 Sept | 11am - 12.10pm

c. Singin' A Capella, the art of holding a part: Naomi Crellin/Nick Begbie

Come and join two of Australia’s masters of their craft as they freely impart their combined knowledge of this incredible art form. A cappella singing is one of the most difficult yet rewarding activities on the planet, and The Idea of North has decades of experience in this field, entering their 27th year of singing together. Their ‘Singin’ A Cappella’ workshop is packed full of information, application and phonation, and takes you on a journey through many of the aspects of the discipline and precision required to become a skilled harmony singer.

You will be guided through vocal warmups, four-part harmony exercises, techniques for blending, tuning and tone manipulation, and will add to your skill set more than you thought possible in one short session, all with the group’s signature warmth, humour and approachability. Singing in such close quarters can be an intimidating experience, but this session will loosen your shoulders, unfurrow your brow and free your voice. They’ll take you through some techniques to challenge your brain, the way you think about singing vocal harmony, and address aspects of your personal performance experience and the intimacy of close harmony singing at its best.


Session 5

6 Sept | 12.30pm - 1.45pm

Repertoire and Arranging for student chamber groups: Naomi Crellin, Mark Walton, Roland Yeung. Chair: Kevin Kelley

Where to find interesting repertoire, how to source works for unusual instrumentation, arranging for instrumental and vocal ensembles, and how to use the AMEB Ensemble Syllabus to your advantage. 


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Event Dates

  • Session 1 05 Sep 2020 11:00 AM
  • Session 2 05 Sep 2020 12:15 PM
  • Session 3 05 Sep 2020 2:00 PM
  • Session 4 06 Sep 2020 11:00 AM
  • Session 4 - A Capella 06 Sep 2020 11:00 AM
  • Session 5 06 Sep 2020 12:30 PM