The Wood And The Trees: Changing Thinking In Relation To Music Making


6:00 pm

Speaker: Dr Susan West, Senior Lecturer and Music Education Convenor, School of Music, Australian National University.

Date: RESCHEDULED TO 30 June 2011

Time: 6pm to 7pm

Location: Old Arts Theatre D, University Of Melbourne Parkville Campus (Building 149, coordinates G14 on this map)

Bookings: This is a FREE event, but bookings are essential. Please email

**To hear the audio and see the slide presentation, click here.**

The literature recognises that there can be a disjunct between notions of our innate musicality and the reality of everyday music making in society. Some do (that is, make music!), and are deemed good enough to do, and some don't because they believe they are NOT good enough to do. This problem can be particularly obvious in relation to singing. At the same time, solutions to the problem of the lack of adult singing as part of normal human life may involve the same sort of activities that caused the disjunct in the first place. It's as if we can't always see the wood for the trees. How can we think about music making, in particular singing, in order to find a way around this problem?

This is a FREE PUBLIC LECTURE hosted by the CMMW in association with the Australian Music and Psychology Society

Dr West is Convener and Senior Lecturer in Music Education at the School of Music at the Australian National University. She trained in music performance at the Melbourne University Conservatorium of Music and the Victorian College of the Arts and obtained a post-graduate degree in music education from the Kodaly Institute of Hungary. She played Principal Piccolo with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra in 1980 and then Associate Principal and Principal Flute with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 1981-1985. During this time she was also a member of the Australian Wind Virtuosi, touring nationally and internationally.

She was invited to the Canberra School of Music in 1984 to help establish the Music Education Program. Recognizing a need for different and more successful forms of music education, she continued her studies, first at Charles Sturt University and later with the Institute for Music and Health, New York. She developed the innovative approach to music education ‘The Music Outreach Principle’ a therapeutic approach that affects the musical lives of over 10,000 adults and children in the ACT.

Dr. West’s work has attracted both national and international interest. She not only works as a music educator but composes and arranges for children, instrumental groups, and for film. Her work is being documented in a range of short films from Ronin Films, Australia. She has been recognized through various awards, including a National Children’s Week Award, a National Women’s Day Award and a citation for Teaching Excellence from the Carrick Institute. Most recently the Hand-in-Hand Outreach Program was recognized for its excellence as a community outreach program through a national awards program run by the Music Council of Australia.