Workshops and festivals

    • Beginner Shakuhachi Workshop

      If you’ve always wanted to try the shakuhachi, now’s your chance!

      Shakuhachi Master Bronwyn Kirkpatrick will present this workshop and demonstration introducing shakuhachi, the traditional Japanese bamboo flute.

      The demonstration/workshop is open to anyone 16 years of age and over and no prior musical experience is necessary.

      It will interest students who feel drawn to Asian music and philosophies and people who want to find out more about the shakuhachi and its tradition. It may also be of particular interest to flute and recorder students who are exploring contemporary techniques on their instruments, as many of these techniques are similar to traditional shakuhachi techniques.

      The demonstration will include the history of the shakuhachi and performances of different styles of music, from Zen Buddhist to contemporary. There will also be plenty of opportunity to try it out for yourselves! In the workshop, we will work on making sound and improving tone. We will learn to read basic Japanese notation and to play some simple Japanese folk songs.

      There will be a limited number of shakuhachi in D available to try on the day, so please bring your own if you have one. Inexpensive beginner shakuhachi in D (1.8) can be purchased at

      Suitable for: Anyone from 16 years and beyond!

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    • Breeze through the Baroque - The Enquiring Listener

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      This engaging 90 minute workshop will explore the Music of the Baroque Period. We will look at the characteristic features of Baroque music including the typical instrumental and vocal forces of the time, the types of works written and the pre-eminent composers.

      Using skills developed in “The Enquiring Listener” course, we will investigate the dramatic impact and technical intricacies of Baroque Music, utilising recordings and scores from works by Baroque masters such as J.S. Bach, Handel, Purcell and Vivaldi.

      This course is suitable for anyone who has completed “The Enquiring Listener” course or who has some music theory background and an interest in the exploration and analysis of music.

    • CONverge

      The Smith Family is one of Australia’s best known charities. The University of Sydney is proud to be a partner in The Smith Family’s emotional literacy programs.

      Since 2005 the CONverge program, presented by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, has been helping disadvantaged students explore their creative side and build confidence. CONverge seeks to help students explore and develop their musical identities, creatvity and potential by inviting them to participate in an 8 week singing program which culminates in a performance at the Conservatorium.

      This program is designed support the physical, social and emotional development of our students as well as their emerging personal skills, talents and interests.

      CONverge is made possible by the Smith Family’s generous supporter, Westpac.

      In 2020 the participating schools are:

      Please check back shortly for the 2020 confirmed schools.

      2020 CONverge Concert

      Due to Covid restrictions the 2020 Concert will be held at the participating schools' campus.

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    • Chord Progressions Decrypted

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      This workshop is designed to assist both instrumentalists and vocalists understand and master the common chord progressions that they encounter every day. Using several real-world examples from various popular genres, students will gain valuable insights into song structures that will accelerate their repertoire-learning skills and provide new options for improvisation and composition. If you’ve ever wondered “how did they come up with that?”, then this workshop is for you. If you have a particular song you’d like to suggest for discussion, then please get in touch prior to commencement.

      Students must have a knowledge of Major and Minor scales and chords and their basic relationships within a key, eg. tonic and dominant

    • Cracking Code for Choristers

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      Cracking Code for Choristers

      If you have ever been in a choir, intend to join one or just have a desire to understand written choral music more, this course is made for you!

      In this dynamic 90-minute Workshop Rebecca Scott will show you how to decipher a song using correct musical terminology. You will learn to sing a song using sheet music and discuss what the different musical markings and terms mean. This workshop will demystify any of your fears about how to follow musical notation.

      You will navigate the ins-and-outs of repeats, time signatures, bar numbers, melody/harmony lines and how to mark up a score. Once these musical directions are learnt, they can be applied to any song to help you understand the magic language of music.

      REQUIREMENTS: Suitable for intermediate students who have basic music reading skills but have found it difficult to apply them fully during your singing. Students should be familiar with notation terms such as crotchets, quavers, treble and bass clefs etc. Sight-singing skills are not necessary but being able to follow the notes on the score will be. Join this class to strengthen your score-reading skills.

    • Music Theatre Taster

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      Join Dr. Narelle Yeo, Senior Lecturer in Voice and Stagecraft and Program Leader of the Music Theatre stream of the Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the Conservatorium as she introduces you to the skills needed to be a great musical theatre performer.

      During the session we will give you insights into the art of musical theatre including stagecraft and presence, vocal technique, characterisation, ensemble work and more. You will have the chance to dance, act and sing in this hands on workshop giving you not just a glimpse but a taste of the fascinating, exciting, sometimes glamorous but always hard working world of music theatre.

      The Workshop presenters are drawn from the Music Theatre industry as well as the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. This Taster will be run at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. 

      There will be some music to learn before the workshop you are also encouraged to bring sheet music for 16 bars of your favourite musical theatre solo. Bring comfortable dance gear to the workshop.

      Saturday 18 June
      9:30am - 1.00pm
      Music Workshop at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

      For students 15-25 years of age

      Narelle Yeo - Direction and Music Coaching

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      Narelle Yeo achieved considerable performing success in the USA, performing numerous professional roles in opera and musical theatre, ranging from CioCioSan in “Madama Butterfly” to the soprano in Terence McNally’s “Masterclass” for Pacific Repertory Theatre. On the concert stage, she soloed for the San Francisco Symphony and the Berkeley Symphony before returning to Australia. A “singing actor” and champion of new music, Narelle has premiered a number of new works in both the USA and Australia, including her recent portrayal of Catherine in the new Australian opera “The Long Ride Home” by Thomas Rimes. Narelle worked as a Director in the Opera Program at the San Francisco Conservatory.

      Since her return to our shores, Narelle has directed opera and musical theatre for the Sydney Conservatorium and numerous other companies and schools in the USA and Australia. She has most recently premiered new works at the Moorambilla Festival and the Brisbane Festival.

    • Sydney Piano Teachers Festival

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      Thursday 14 and Friday 15 July

      9.30am - 6pm each day

      The Sydney Piano Teacher's Festival is back at the Open Academy!  

      The Festival provides piano teachers with a number of professional development opportunities as well as featuring practical lectures, masterclasses and workshops for students of Levels 1 (AMEB preliminary to 4th Grade) and Levels 2 (AMEB 5th to 8th Grades).

      DISCOVER  newly published piano works by Australian Composers.

      LEARN key aspects of our teaching practice focussing on technique and repertoire.

      LISTEN to the world premiere performance of 6 Sonatas for piano 4-hands by J. C. Bach.

      EXPLORE historical keyboards and find out how to interpret works from those times on modern instruments.

      Aimed at all levels of teaching the Festival is an opportunity for studio and school piano teachers to immerse themselves in their craft, develop new skills and insights into their teaching as well as providing a networking opportunity for teachers across NSW and Australia.

      Enrol your students to play their exam pieces at a MASTERCLASS and receive tips on how to polish the performances and achieve great results in exams and eisteddfods/competitions.  

      Teachers can also book a WORKSHOP for their student or a group of students. This will not be open to the public, with only the teacher, their students and parents being able to attend. Any repertoire, technical and artistic questions can be raised and discussed. 




      Kirill Monorosi  (Director)
      Glenn Riddle (Melbourne)
      Jeanell Carrigan(Sydney)
      Paul Rickard-Ford (Sydney)
      Nathan Cox (Sydney)  

      For information on the presenters please click on Presenter Information




      *Registration type**Early bird (til 16th June)**Full rate*
      2-Day Festival Pass$212.50$250.00
      1-day Festival Pass$127.50$150.00
      Student 2-day Festival Pass $100.00
      Student 1-day Festival Pass $50.00


      Please click here for information about getting to the Conference

    • Tertiary Jazz Pre-audition Workshop

      Are you planning to audition for a Conservatorium tertiary degree in jazz? Be well informed about the audition requirements and process so you can achieve your best result in this highly competitive field.

      This three hour workshop includes discussion and demonstration of the process, a mock Jazz aptitude test and the opportunity for some students to have their mock audition critiqued by members of the Tertiary Jazz staff in front of your peers (this is optional). This is an invaluable opportunity to ensure your optimum preparation for the “real thing”.

      If you wish to do submit a mock audition we recommend you check the tertiary course audition requirements and prepare yourself as suggested CLICK HERE PLEASE NOTE, these requirements may be amended for 2022 so please keep checking.


      The tutor was really good! I liked that he gave very detailed feedback for each audition. The feedback came to be very useful even when it wasn’t my instrument, the broad tips still applied. There was a lot I did not know and I know feel a lot more prepared and somewhat advantaged after getting the insider tips

      Craig Scott was extremely helpful and really tested my abilities to make sure I would improve the second time round

      This course gave me a lot of pointers in how to improve my playing. It was very nerve racking standing on the stage in front of everyone but I think it’s a good simulator of actual audition nerves.

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    • The Complete Flute

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      Held over two days at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Complete Flute, directed by James Kortum, Lecturer in Flute at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Andrew Macleod, Principal Piccolo with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Mardi McSullea, former Head of Woodwind at the University of Melbourne, allows you to work up close with great teaching artists from around Australia.

      Tuesday, 19 July 2022

      • Alexander Technique with Penny McDonald
      • Masterclass with James Kortum (2 performers*)
      • AYO 2022 Excerpt masterclass with Emma Sholl (3 performers*)
      • Navigate the challenges of a musician’s life and THRIVE with flutist and performance coach, Mandy Hollins
      • Masterclass with Andrew Macleod (2 performers*)

      Wednesday, 20 July 2022

      • Alexander Technique with Penny McDonald
      • From the pianist's perspective with David Miller (3 performers*)
      • 'Soliloquy' masterclass with Mardi McSullea (2 performers*)
      • 'Know your flute' with Flutemaker, Jim Phelan
      • Techniques for managing performance anxiety on and off the stage with Mandy Hollins
      • 'The flute's other voice' masterclass and performance with Paula Rae (1 performer*) 


      Participant two days - $250 

      Participant one day - $125 

      Masterclass participant- +$65 (see Masterclass application information below)

      Participants should be over 18 years. Those under 18 but considering Tertiary study 2023 should contact 

      The Conference is not catered but Tea and Coffee will be provided.


      We have a limited number of Masterclass Performer opportunities but will endeavour to give as many flutists as possible an opportunity to perform. 
      Those who wish to apply as a Masterclass Performer should enrol in the event using the enrol now button above and complete a MASTERCLASS APPLICATION FORM choosing one or more of the following areas of repertoire/ study: 

      • Flute repertoire accompanied
      • Flute repertoire unaccompanied
      • Piccolo repertoire
      • Contemporary repertoire
      • AYO excerpt class
      • From the pianist’s perspective class


      You may apply for more than one masterclass category. 

      Applicants will be notified by email which performance opportunity they have been allocated by 1 July at the latest. We may offer some places in advance of that date so please submit your application as early as possible. If offered a masterclass opportunity, an additional fee of $65 is payable by Wednesday, 13 July to confirm your experience.

    • Voice Works: enhancing vocal control, communication and care

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      One in three of the working population are considered professional voice users who need their voices to work effectively. Healthy, efficient and enduring vocal use is based on practical techniques that are common to both good speaking and singing.

      This practical skills-based workshop aims to provide teachers, professionals and anyone else who would like to use their voice more effectively with the fundamentals of how the voice works, how to use it better and how to look after it. It will also benefit students whose career path requires confident vocal use.

      Voice Works teaches the basics of vocal anatomy and function using spoken and pitched exercises. Topics include posture, breathing, phonation and pitch, resonance, articulation and vocal health. All the workshop material is based on current voice research. This group workshop is for anyone interested in improving vocal quality, vocal confidence and endurance, and overall vocal care.

      What will be covered:

      Using elements from the somatic disciplines of the Alexander Technique, the Feldenkreis Method and Body Mapping explore how body balance and alignment can be achieved and its affect on the voice.
      Projected and sustained speaking requires active breath use. Explore how the body and voice work most easily and efficiently through active recoil inhalation and active exhalation using elements from Accent Method Breathing.
      Making sound and how the voice changes pitch is directly connected to body and breath use. Sounds made instinctively, like laughing and groaning, co-ordinate holistic vocal use and can lead to finding the most comfortable speaking pitch, more expressive intonation choices and the possibility of increased vocal range.
      Exploring the many adjustments that are possible in the Vocal Tract and the techniques that enhance and maximise vocal projection and timbre.
      Learning how and where vowels and consonants are shaped enables clearer, more precise and efficient diction and exploring how language and expressive communication is the end point of human sound.
      Vocal Health
      Looking at how to take care of the voice through a summary of healthy vocal use, personal health and voice care, to include physical and vocal warmups and general vocal hygiene.
      PLEASE NOTE: Teachers may be able submit this course as NESA Elective PD. For more info please click here:



      Absolutely excellent workshop. Christina is great!

      Christina is an excellent & passionate facilitator

      Christina is very professional, interested, empathic and prepared. She also has good humour and a natural presentation style. What a privilege being in her class.