Thanks for adding:

Proceed to Checkout

Continue browsing


Australian Violin Pedagogy Conference

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Friday 27 September to Sunday September 29

The Open Academy is delighted to again be presenting the Australian Violin Pedagogy Conference at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, curated by Associate Professor Goetz Richter AM and Caron Chan.

The conference covers a wide range of topics related to teaching violin including presentations and discussions on aspects of technique, the teaching environment in schools and the studio, repertoire and masterclasses.

This is the perfect opportunity for violin teachers to expand their knowledge and skill sets and to network and share ideas with their fellow string teachers.

The Conference will open on Friday September 27 with a recital by International violinist and Professor of Violin at the University of Queensland Adam Chalabi and acclaimed pianist Anna Grinberg.


Presenter Topic
Keynote Addresses
Madeleine Easton Bach and the violin
This keynote will attempt to give a comprehensive view for teachers and students of the contribution J.S. Bach made to violin playing and the violin repertoire. I will explore the rationale for historical performance practice and the question of performing Bach in a stylistically informed manner. Bach’s relationship to the violin in both sacred and secular music will be discussed, and why we perform his works. Finally, what did Bach contribute to the development of violin playing and how we best continue to perform and teach Bach in the most comprehensive an informed way possible.
Caron Chan New Australian Violin Repertoire for the HSC
Performances of and discussion on a curated selection of appealing new Australian works for violin suitable for performance in the HSC. With Dr Anna McMichael and Paul Cheung.
Clinic Sessions
Ole Böhn Competitions in today’s music education
Competitions and Eisteddfods are a reality for teachers, students and parents today. They can contribute important impulses to the study process and they can also distract. This talk explores the benefits and challenges for an educational context of these opportunities and discusses ways to enhance their benefits and limit their negative impact.
Fintan Murphy Towards the Third Eye, the art of observation
The dynamic in the instrumental/vocal studio is complex. The teacher works on many levels and endeavours to assist the student develop: knowledge, skill, emotional context, imagination, ethical behaviour and resilience. To become effective professionals, teachers need to be able to reflect on their own training and challenge their own preconceptions. Observing a range of teachers can help develop insights into the transference between teacher and student and can help in finding ways; to refine technical skills, emotional connection with music and the motivation and resilience needed for the career as a musician. This paper will explore the art of observation which can be used not just for ourselves as teachers but for ourselves as performers.
Anna McMichael Developing Improvisation
Today’s violinists are fortunate to have access to many traditions and approaches to music making. A successful performer in today’s musical landscape must draw upon wide knowledge and skills to attract modern audiences. As teachers, therefore, we need to encourage our violin students to continue to grow as adaptable musicians. Improvisation is an example of an historic tradition that is now being revived and practised by many eminent violinists, both historically informed and modern. The skill of improvisation is not necessarily innate but rather can be taught using different perspectives depending on the time period, genre and culture. Having some facility in improvisation can enrich a students’s music-making. Using historical approaches to ornamentation, cadenzas, preluding and romantic approaches to rhythmic freedom are all ways to introduce improvisation into a violinist’s vocabulary. More experimental traditions such as exploring sound colours, extended techniques or contemporary works with more open scores are also ways to explore improvisational thinking and musical growth.
Janet Davies Addressing tension in violin playing using Alexander Technique
Many schools of violin pedagogy value the ability to play in a relaxed, free and natural manner, since a relaxed technique is thought to be more reliable, create a more resonant tone, and avert injury. However, with so many different schools of playing, there appears to be little consensus about the specifics of these ‘relaxed’ techniques, even amongst famous violin teachers. Moreover, our students often emulate great violinists who may not always appear free or relaxed while playing. Knowledge of Alexander Technique (AT) may be useful for violin teachers, since AT principles are more fundamental than the specifics of various playing styles. This presentation will explore Alexander’s method for addressing common tension and coordination issues as they are encountered in violin playing. Alexander’s unique perspective on the notion of ‘relaxation’ will also be presented, and we will discover the value of cultivating ‘good’ tension.
Sheau-Fang LowViolin Teaching in Schools: 5 Effective Features
Many Australian children have their first experience of learning to play an orchestral instrument in the string or band programs at schools. While there is some high quality string teaching in private studios, the teaching outcome for string teaching in schools is seen as less desirable. This paper outlines five features of effective violin teaching in the school setting, based on the author’s action research in her 20 years of teaching experience at a primary and high school in Sydney, and her research into related literature. These are: Rapport, Assessment, Peripheral Vision, Emotional support and Meta-cognitive strategies for learning (RAPEM).
Hayley Cush, Joanna Drimatis, Lisa Grosman & Victoria Jacono-GilmovichRound Table Discussion
String Teaching in Schools
Roger Benedict Singing Strings – Thoughts on String Orchestra Development
The string orchestra is the heart of every symphony orchestra and the skills learnt through participating in a string orchestra program flow on to solo, orchestral and ensemble playing. Roger Benedict will discuss how to select appropriate repertoire for string orchestra, look at how to develop the fundamental skills of ensemble, intonation, sound and style, and share some useful rehearsal strategies.
Goetz Richter Violin Teaching in Australia
A reflection
Alice Waten Cornerstones of Violin Technique
Repertoire sessions
Dr Curt ThompsonThe Fourth Sonata for Violin and Piano, “Children's Day at the Camp Meeting” by Charles Ives: Contextual, structural and stylistic considerations
The Fourth Sonata for Violin and Piano is one of Ives' most accessible works and it serves as a particularly useful starting point, not only for one interested in the four violin sonatas of Charles Ives, but also as an initiation to the subtleties of his style. The purpose of this presentation is to provide contextual information necessary to affect a sympathetic performance of the sonata. It will include a discussion of pertinent biographical information and an overview of three main influences on his style. A subsequent analysis of the Fourth Violin Sonata will demonstrate in each movement Ives' uses of borrowed material in the formal procedure called cumulative setting by Dr. J. Peter Burkholder, followed by a performance of the work.
Fintan Murphy & Caron ChanRound Table Discussion
AMEB Level 3 Repertoire
Dr Evgeny Sorkin
Dr Robin Wilson

Detailed information of the Conference schedule is available here.

For information on the presenters and performers please click on Presenter Information


Full Conference Pass - $250
includes a free ticket to the Adam Chalabi / Anna Grinberg Recital on Friday September 27

Conference Day Pass - $150 per day

Discounts for AUSTA members and concessions for students and University of Sydney Staff are also available. To obtain a concession enrol into the conference and then follow the prompts to apply for the relevent concession price.

Early Bird rates available until September 8.

Click on the “Enrol Now” button above to register for the Conference


Adam Chalabi, violin and Anna Grinberg, piano

Franz Schubert – Sonatina in D major, D.384
Ralph Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending
Paul Stanhope – Agnus Dei (after the fire)
Ludwig van Beethoven – Sonata No. 1, Op.12 No 1

Friday September 27 at 7pm
Recital Hall East, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Tickets $35 ($30 concession, $15 students)

Recital Tickets

Single tickets can be purchased through the Sydney Conservatorium Box Office. To purchase tickets please click here

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music Box Office is open from one hour prior to concerts. Read more about our ticketing policies online here.


Please click here for information about getting to the Conference

Presenting partner