What is your role in the Bellingen Youth Orchestra Ensembles?
My role is to co conduct the BYO String School with Jacquie Gill. We founded this Ensemble to extend the young string players in our community. Learning from a young age means students are often excellent players in primary school and relish this opportunity for more challenging repertoire. It is a fantastic stepping stone to Youth Orchestra and we focus on fluent reading, counting, technique and ensemble balance. Student’s social skills are enhanced, meeting and playing with new friends from many schools.

What are some of your musical achievements?
I believe that my greatest musical achievement is continuing to be excited about teaching every new student, after 44 years, and coming to them with the same enthusiasm and love that I ever had! My grandma left me money ‘for education’ and I spent it traveling to Japan to have lessons with my guru, Dr Shinichi Suzuki. I began my teacher training in Japan and have continued in Australia to become an Accredited Suzuki Violin Teacher. His pedagogy is clever and philosophy to learning and life has been a great basis for joyful teaching of little people.

Teaming a musical upbringing with an Education Degree in Primary Teaching has meant I am employed as a Specialist Primary Music Teacher. I am also passionate about singing and have taken more that 400 students over 20 years from Bellingen Public School to sing in the Opera House. So I guess my greatest achievement is ongoing and it is to inspire young people to love singing and playing music together for life.

What do you love about playing music?
I love playing music to entertain and make people feel happy.

I love honoring composers by connecting with their music and sharing it with students.

I love tripping around the world, through the music I play.

What inspired you to teach music in Bellingen?
I was inspired to teach music in Bellingen as it is the most beautiful place to be. The environs are breathtaking and the community is close nit and supportive.

Miss Phelan and I wished to work in Public Schools so all children have the opportunity to experience music education and the connection between Bellingen Public School and Bellingen High presented this forum for us.

More than just an orchestra
More than just music

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