Past Events

Sounds Great 2015

15-18 July 2015 - Arts Centre Melbourne

Sounds Great – The Victorian Music Educators’ Conference – is a collaborative event hosted by ABODA, ADMIS, AMUSE, ANCA, AUSTA, DET, KMEIA and VOSA. Each of these music organisations has been involved in designing a ‘stream’ of workshops that will be of interest and benefit to a wide range of music teachers, including instrumental, ensemble and classroom educators who work across both primary and secondary schools. Those involved in community music and musical theatre may also find the workshop program of use, particularly on Saturday which features a keynote and workshops by Musical Theatre gurus Tim McDonald and Stephen Kennedy, as well as a a day of open string and band rehearsals with MYM ensembles led by Richard Gill and Steve Smith. 

For more details, and to register, visit the website -


Welcome to the Sounds Great Conference 2015. 

This biennial conference has been held since 2003 and is a wonderful opportunity for those involved in music education to come together to meet, socialise, learn, network and share their ideas with other music education professionals across all sectors. This important professional learning opportunity is coordinated by aMuse and brings local and international presenters and workshop leaders together to share their knowledge and examples of best practice in Music Education. Music educators in all stages of their careers will benefit from attending this conference with streamed sessions for primary and secondary teachers in classroom and instrumental settings, directors of music, ensemble directors, and music technology novices and experts. Music makes an important contribution to the life of every school and Sounds Great 2015 will provide inspiration on how we can further develop and promote music learning and teaching as well as the importance of music education in our own school settings.

Nicholas Cowall, Secretary of ADMIS on behalf of the Sounds Great Partners


Full registration fee is $395. Daily registration fees are $195 per day or attend any two days for $295. Full time tertiary students may attend for half price. Student ID required. All prices include GST.



Sitting beneath one of our city’s great symbols – the magnificent spire – Arts Centre Melbourne is not just a defining Melbourne landmark and cultural symbol of the city, it is also Australia’s largest and busiest performing arts centre. For over 30 years Arts Centre Melbourne has played a leading role in showcasing the best local and international performing arts – music, dance, drama, opera, comedy, cabaret and festivals – and now a music teachers’ conference!


Keynote Addresses

Sounds Great has assembled an inspiring team of keynote speakers. Richard Gill will be the principal guest presenter throughout the conference and will open the event with an insipring address. Other keynote speakers include Karen Kyriakou, Danny Lane, Michael Griffin, Daphne Proietto, Tim McDonald and Steven Kennedy.



The depth and breadth of the practical workshops offered at Sounds Great is truly amazing. There is something for everyone at Sounds Great with streams being offered in the areas of strings, band, choral, music theatre, secondary, primary and ICT. Many of the workshops are interactive. Presenters will include Richard Gill, Michael Griffin, Steve Smith, Bruce Pearson, Greg Spence, Steve Falk and Katie Wardrobe.


Trade Exhibition

Retailers and publishers will be on site in the ANZ Pavilion to provide delegates with an opportunity to peruse and purchase sheet music, instruments, text books, hardware, software and accessories.



Registration includes coffee and tea on arrival, morning tea and lunch –  all served in the ANZ Pavilion and foyer. Please advise if there are any special dietary requirements.


Conference Dinner

The Conference Dinner will be held on Friday night 17 July in the ANZ Pavilion at a cost of $80 per person.



Registration should be completed via the website with an online (pay now with credit card) or an offline (pay later with school PO number) option. You may download an outline and printable registration/tax invoice to give your PD coordinator or business manager. Registration are now open.


Conference secretariat


150 Palmerston Street

Carlton VICTORIA 3053


Wednesday 15 July


7.00pm            Pre-conference reception in ANZ Pavilion foyer


Thursday 16 July


9.00am            Keynote Session 1 

                        Richard Gill: A Happy Country is a Singing Country


10.15am          Workshop Session A

A.1                   Orff percussion: The movement of harmony

                 Stephen Hutton (VOSA)

A.2                   Setting up for success

                        Inge de Kosta (AUSTA)

A.3                   Blast off: Launching successful brass players

                        Bruce Pearson (KJOS)

A.4                   Tricks of the trade: Composing for young band

                        Tim Fisher (Brolga)

A.5                   Sounds Great! Inspiring Year 4 - 7 students to create their own music 

                        Ros McMillan & Michael Travers (ASME)


12.00pm          Workshop Session B

B.1                   Singing as the basis for all music education 1

                 Richard Gill (Principal Presenter)

B.2                   The iPad music stand in the instrumental classroom

                 Martin West (DET)

B.3                   Getting the best out of your ensemble percussionists

                 Steve Falk (Yamaha)

B.4                   How to get the best out of your music staff

                 Panel (ADMIS/Directors of Music In Govt Schools Network)

B.5                   Hands-on approaches for deaf children

                 Danny Lane & Karen Kyriakou (Music & the Deaf)

B.6                   Arts Centre Tour


2.15pm            Keynote Session 2

                        Danny Lane & Karen Kyriakou: Why and How? Music and the Deaf


3.45pm                        Workshop Session C

C.1                   Let’s start at the very beginning

                 Lynne Burt (VOSA)

C.2                   Forum: Running a string department

                 Panel (AUSTA)

C.3                   Effective rehearsal techniques for ensemble performance

                 Steve Smith (Hal Leonard)

C.4                   Getting the most out of your big band

                 Greg Spence (Yamaha)

C.5                   Pans in the band

                 Paul Varney (DET)

C.6                   Flipping the music classroom and teaching studio

                 Katie Wardrobe (Midnight Music)


5.00pm                        Q&A  (chaired by ADMIS)


6.00pm                        Drinks At Curve Bar (sponsored by ABODA)


Friday 17 July 


7.30am            Conference breakfast at Cafe Vic


9.00am            Keynote Session 3 

                        Daphne Proietto: The rewards and benefits of teaching music to children with special needs


10.15am          Workshop Session D

D.1                   Singing as the basis for all music education 2

Richard Gill (Principal Presenter)

D.2                   Setting up beginner violin/viola students: From primary to secondary age  

                        Julie Hewson (AUSTA)

D.3                   Woodwind Boot Camp: You can do it

Bruce Pearson (KJOS)

D.4                   Leading and building a music program

                        Panel (ADMIS/Directors of Music in Govt Schools)

D.5                   Everybody dance now

Tim McDonald & Steven G Kennedy (Hal Leonard)

D.6                   GarageBand for iPad: 10+ lesson ideas

Katie Wardrobe (Midnight Music)


12.00pm          Workshop Session E

E.1                   Singing games in the primary school: So much learning and so much fun

Mark O’Leary (KMEIA)

E.2                   General maintenance of string instruments

Alex Grant  (AUSTA)

E.3                   Using Essential Elements curriculum and technology in the Australian classroom

                        Steve Smith (Hal Leonard)

E.4                   Teaching strategies for musical success

Michael Griffin (aMuse/ADMIS)

E.5                   Australian and New Zealand choral reading session


E.6                   Arts Centre Tour


2.15pm            Keynote Session 4

                        Michael Griffin: The Tools for Musical Progress


3.45pm            Workshop Session F

F.1                   Singing as the basis for all music education 3

Richard Gill – Principal Presenter

F.2                   Running a Year 7 string program

Tim Blake & Karen Kyriakou (AUSTA)

F.3                   Crafting a purposeful warm up

Bruce Pearson (KJOS)

F.4                   Getting your kids to improvise

Steve Falk (Yamaha)

F.5                   ‘Novel’ approaches to music: Using stories in the music classroom and studio 

Robin Czuchnowski & Piri Jakab (ASME)


7.00pm            Conference dinner in ANZ Pavilion 


Saturday 18 July 


9.00am            Keynote Session 5 

                        Tim McDonald & Steven G Kennedy: Music Theatre Extravaganza Presentation


10.15am          Workshop session G

G.1                  The $50 music budget

Alena Schnieder (VOSA)

G.2                  Improvisation and creative games for beginner string rehearsal

Tim Blake (AUSTA)

G.3                  Maximising student engagement in compulsory music

Kate Hargreaves (MusicEdu)

G.4                  Cultural protocols when teaching indigenous content

Sue Lane (Musica Viva in Schools)

G.5                  Get up on your feet

Tim McDonald & Steven G Kennedy (Hal Leonard)

G.6                  Open band rehearsal at St John’s Southgate

Steve Smith (Hal Leonard) with MYM’s John Antill Youth Band


12.00pm          Workshop Session H

H.1                   The pursuit of pitch

Susan Searle (KMEIA)

H.2                   Effective instrumental teaching

                        Shannon Ebeling (DET)

H.3                   Mystery to Mastery: Wind playing

Greg Spence (Yamaha)

H.4                   Great sounds: Planning a classroom program for Year 7 and 8

Ros McMillan (Bushfire Press)

H.5                   Choral conducting lab

                        Sharon Batterham & Southern Voices

H.6                   Open string orchestra rehearsal St John’s Southgate

Richard Gill with MYM’s Melbourne Youth Chamber Strings 


2.00pm            Workshop Session J

J.1                   Using folk dance in primary music

Audrey Fine (VOSA)

J.2                   Making music their way

Kate Hargreaves (MusicEdu)

J.4                   Conducting 101

Ingrid Martin (ABODA)

J.5                   Musical Theatre Boot Camp

Tim McDonald & Steven G Kennedy (Hal Leonard)

J.6                   Open choral rehearsal at St John’s Southgate

Richard Gill with Southern Voices


3.30pm            Closing celebration at St John’s Southgate

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