Term 3 2020

Newsletter No. 4


UPDATE: Annual General Meeting - 27 October

Members of Gunnedah Conservatorium are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting for the organisation on Tuesday 27 October.
To assist with COVID Safe guidelines, please indicate your attendance by registering through trybooking 

Please arrive at 5.30pm for a 6pm start.
Financial report to be presented and election of office bearers.

Some long-standing committee members have indicated that they will stand down at the AGM. For information on the committee roles and responsibilities please contact director@gunnedahconservatorium.com or call the office on  6742 3998.

Annual Membership

Annual membership of Gunnedah Conservatorium is due now. The annual membership fee of $2 is normally added to Term 3 accounts. Unfortunately there was an oversight during the invoicing process and this was not added. For families with open invoices the annual membership fee has now been added and you may have noticed the additional fee on your last statement.

If you have already paid your Term 3 account, you can pay your $2 annual membership in cash to the office. A paper receipt will be issued for this amount.

AMEB Exams

By now all AMEB candidates should have recevied their notice of exam.

AMEB exams schedule
Vocal: Thursday 8 October @ Town Hall
Clarinet: Friday 9 October @ Town Hall
Piano: Tuesday 20 October @ The Civic

Students should have received their Notice of Exam via email from AMEB (NSW) nonreply@nesa.nsw.edu.au  If you have not received the notice, or have any questions please contact Rebecca Ryan director@gunnedahconservatorium.com 6742 3998

AMEB Trial Exam: Saturday September 12 
Time 9am-12noon

We had good attendance for the AMEB workshop at the end of August and it was great to see students learning in a collaborative environment.

This Saturday 12 September we move to phase 2 with students participating in a trial exam scenario to give them a similiar experience to the exams.

Students who have enrolled in this program will have received an email from the Gunnedah Conservatorium advising them of their trial exam time. If you have any questions, please call the office on 6742 3998.

Now is the time: Practice and then practice some more
Exam students should have a structured approach to their weekly home practice and if necessary, increase the amount of work they are doing at home over the coming weeks. 

It has been great to see parents coming to lessons and checking in with teachers regarding their child's progress towards exams. If you have not already, parents and carers of exam students are encouraged to attend part of their child’s lesson to familiarise themselves with what their child has to prepare for the exam and what they should be practicing. If you are attending your child's lesson please aim for the beginning of the lesson so as to not impact on lesson time of other students. For students who have lessons at school during the day, please contact the office and leave a message and we will arrange for the teacher to call you back. 

Scale Helper AMEB

Scale Practice Made Easy!

Scale Helper will assist students in their scale practice and encourages scale practie in a fun and interactive way. Scale Helper is Voice Activated and a fantastic tool. It can be accessed through Amazon Echo or any Alexa-enabled device. 
Just ask Scale Helper for a scale or arpeggio, set the speed, range and practise along with Alexa.

Learn more at https://ameb.edu.au/alexa

Guitar course success

Early Childhood Teacher Julia Rennick and guitar teacher Joel Pickett have just delivered our new professional learning course, Guitar for the Stage 1 Classroom.

Designed to assist classroom teachers to develop their guitar knowledge and playing skills to incorporate music in the Stage 1 classroom, the course was fully enrolled with six participants in the first round.

Throughout the six weeks we had great feedback from participants regarding the course structure and content.

All participants successfully completed the course.

If you are interested in future professional learning opportunities with Gunnedah Conservatorium make sure you follow our Facebook page and watch this newsletter. Teachers can also ask to be added to the Music + Education email list which is used to publicise opportunities for educators - by sending an email to enquiries@gunnedahconservatorium.com 

Return to singing, playing and learning music together, safely


Recently we told you that the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums has helped in the formation of RIVMEO – a Roundtable representing the huge NSW music community.

The Roundtable includes organisations in the band, vocal and orchestral communities, music educators and their students, school and tertiary music education, major arts institutions and instrument repairers. It represents the biggest coalition of the music sector ever assembled in NSW and encompasses metropolitan and regional areas.

The main aim of the Roundtable is to work collaboratively with each other and the government to find a way that we can all return to singing, playing and learning music together, safely.

Here is an update from the facilitator of the Roundtable, Stephen O’Doherty.

There’s positive news. We have secured a meeting next week with the NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, and Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant.

As well as representing the concerns of so many people about the effect of the current guidelines and restrictions on music, we will be exploring ways that we, as a music community, can play our part in the great public health challenge facing us all, while also returning to the musical activities that sustain the wellbeing of so many people of all ages in NSW.

The Roundtable is very grateful to have this opportunity, especially given the unimaginable load carried by these public officials in this pandemic.

The voice of our music community is being heard. We understand that the importance of music to community health and wellbeing is well understood and taken seriously in government circles.

Some professional arts companies and venues have been able to gain accreditation for COVID plans, and the Roundtable is drawing on their expertise.

Some community bands have also been able to resume within the guidelines. These are hopeful signs.

However, the lack of uniform application across different regions and local government areas is among the many issues on RIVMEO’s agenda.

The task in front of us is not to be underestimated, but we must believe there is a pathway to a better future.

Roundtable of Instrumental, Vocal and Music Education Organisations
- members and participants

  • Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums (ANSWRC)
  • Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODA NSW)
  • Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB NSW)
  • Australian National Association of Teacher of Singing (ANATS NSW)
  • Australian National Choral Association (ANCA NSW)
  • Australian School Band and Orchestra Festival (ASBOF)
  • Australian Society for Music Education (ASME NSW)
  • Band Association of NSW (BANSW)
  • Gondwana Choirs
  • Kodály NSW
  • Moorambilla Voices
  • Musica Viva Australia
  • National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians
  • Orff NSW
  • Pipe Bands NSW
  • Sweet Adelines
  • Sydney Conservatorium of Music
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  • Sydney Youth Orchestras

Developing a Cabaret

Gunnedah Conservatorium has received funding from the Federal Government, through Gunnedah Shire Council to present the project Gunnedah See Me Hear Me. The project has come to life over two intensive weekends of workshops with Director Kate Gaul and Designer Jasmine Christie.

The project was featured in the Namoi Valley Independent recently, when the funding was announced by Deputy Mayor Rob Hooke. 

While the brief was developed earlier in the year, the project has now taken on a theme related to the COVID world in which many of us continue to operate. During the weekend workshops local cast members have tested our ideas and pitched a number of skits and stories related to the COVID world.

The thread and story of the cabaret will be further refined in future workshop weekends.

The schedule for future workshops is as follows:
19 – 20 September (included Design Presentation)
17 – 18 October
21 – 22 November
Evenings of 26, 27, 28 November

And it is intended the show will be performed on the 28 and 29 November in the Gunnedah Town Hall.

If you have missed the workshops and want to be involved, contact Rebecca Ryan 6742 3998 or director@gunnedahconservatorium.com

Bruce Mathiske Live Event

We proudly re-launched our 2020 Concert series on Saturday September 5, with Bruce Mathiske performing at the Gunnedah Town Hall. 

Thank you to all those friends of the Conservatorium who attended the evening. With more than 50 people in attendance it was lovely to see the local community out and about, as well as some of our Conservatorium students and their families.

Bruce showcased his solo guitar virtuosity. Didgeridoo and a loop pedal were also incorporated and sometimes it felt and sounded as though there where multiple guitarists at work. His performance was entertaining, providing a wonderful insight into his methods and life story as well as how he approaches his chosen instrument, the guitar, to allow him to create his own orchestra. 

Gunnedah Conservatorium student Dominic Goodwin-Hauck also took to the stage with Bruce with a beautiful rendition of La Vie En Rose which was essentially improvised.

In addition to the concert, Bruce led a workshop for St Mary's College students on Friday which was extremely well-received by the student body. He also worked with Dominic Goodwin-Hauck during the afternoon at the Conservatorium. 

Gunnedah Conservatorium's concert series is made possible through funding form the NSW Government through the Regional Conservatoriums Grant program and the support of Gunnedah Shire Council.

To view our photos from the evening please click here

Musica Viva In Schools back on Zoom

We'd hoped Musica Viva In Schools' program would be back in our local schools for Term 3 but with restrictions on band and choral music in school settings they have gone back to zoom for Term 3 concerts.

Photo shows studio set-up of artists Da Vinci's Apprective for zoom concerts to the region. On Tuesday 8 September, Musica Viva In Schools ensemble Da Vinci's Apprentice took children from Year 3 to Year 6 at Gunnedah South PS into the world Leonardi Da Vinci's workshop.

The concert explored the musical instruments of the time while telling the story of Da Vinci and some of his amazing inventions.

This is the second round of Musica Viva In Schools concerts that Gunnedah Conservatorium has presented to local schools via zoom with Indonesian mini-Gamelan orchestra, Makukuhan presenting to small schools earlier in the year.

Director Rebecca Ryan has watched the series from her office and been moved by the high level of engagement this delivery method has offered students.

"We love giving children a chance to see live music and in many cases experience their first live music concert. For me it is about showing kids that there is a job in the world for musicians and sharing music is a possible career path if you work hard," said Ms Ryan.

"But it is also about training children to be the audience members of the future - to give them an experience of going to a concert and experiencing live music.

"Of course COVID has other plans for us this year but I am so thrilled Musica Viva has transitioned to an online delivery method.

"I loved sitting in my office and seeing the comments come through from Gunnedah South students during this week's concert. I could tell they were having a great time and interested in the music and the story."

Gunnedah Conservatorium is hopeful that live music events will be back in 2021 and is keen to ensure the Conservatorium program includes events for children and adult audiences.

Rebecca Ryan recommends that teachers also look to the Musica Viva In Schools website and Facebook page for upcoming events including professional learning, such as Music and Movement Workshop scheduled for 28 October https://www.facebook.com/events/233276018104634

CANCELLED Workshop Event: 6pm Thursday 10 September 2020

CANCELLED Gunnedah Conservatorium Workshop Event: 6pm Thursday 10 September 2020, Gunnedah Town Hall

ATTN: Educators, Teachers, Principals and Service Providers - please share with staff and colleagues

With continuing uncertainty for events for the rest of the year, it was decided at the GECHO meeting on Tuesday to cancel the Teddy Bear’s Picnic event scheduled  for Thursday 29 Oct 2020.

This means that the professional learning session planned for Thursday 10 September has also been cancelled.

The songs may be revived for events in 2021.

Contacting The Conservatorium

Call us, not your teacher

STUDENT ABSENCES: If your child is going to be away from their scheduled lesson or you need to request a change to their lesson it is important that you contact the Gunnedah Conservatorium office and not the teacher direct.

While many families have the direct number of their child’s teacher and it seems as though this would be the most direct way to advise of a student absence, many of our teachers have other work and family commitments outside of their employment and it is not fair on them to be receiving messages and requests during the evening or while on the clock at their other job.

You can call 6742 3998 (please leave a message if the call goes to voice mail) text 0488 868 785 or email admin@gunnedahconservatorium.com

We will pass the message on to the teacher, see if a make-up can be arranged (if appropriate) and see if we can accommodate your request.