The Strike A Chord Teachers' Conference is designed to complement Strike a Chord – the National Chamber Music Championship by building capacity in the teaching of chamber music at secondary school level.

A dynamic combination of panel discussions, workshops and open coaching sessions will be on offer to teachers at all levels of experience, working with students of varying skill levels online via Zoom.


Attendees can look forward to a keynote address by Monica Curro and dynamic panel discussions, workshops and open coaching sessions from talented presenters such as Howard PennyNicole CanhamLeigh HarroldJoanna DrimatisStefan CassomenosMargaret Barrett, Rob McWilliamsNicholas DinopoulosWenhong Luo and James Le Fevre

Session 1 & 2

9:00am - 10:10am | Register Here

How Does Music Speak? Teaching the Context of the Score: Howard Penny

Head of Strings at the Australian National Academy of Music, Howard will present an introduction to rhetoric in music and notation conventions followed by a live interaction with the Taralindy Quartet from Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University using a movement from a Haydn quartet.

10:15am - 11:15am

Keynote Address: Monica Curro

Engagement or Extinction: How to assemble an army of music-making warriors.

Humans love music. Humans invented music. Independently of one another, the world's diverse cultures developed their own language, art, dance, poetry, and performed their rituals and told their stories through music. If music is such an essential and innately human expression, why do we musicians feel like an endangered species, and what can we do about it?

Session 3

11:30am - 12:30pm

A. Wind CoachingNicole Canham Register Here

Nicole Canham, Wind Program Coordinator at Monash University, will work with the RGS Saxophone Ensemble from the Rockhampton Grammar School using Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process for giving and receiving feedback. This process is a transformative learning approach that offers makers an active role in the critique of their own work.  

B. The Art of Effortless PlayingWenhong Luo | Register Here

Dynamic violist Wenhong Luo will discuss and demonstrate how to play an instrument and shape musical phrases in a natural and organic way.

Session 4

1:30pm - 2.30pm

A. String / Piano CoachingLeigh Harrold | Register Here

Experienced, collaborative and chamber pianist Leigh Harrold will work with the Staccato Piano Trio from the Methodist Ladies' College, Perth, to break musical works down into smaller parts and examine the historical context and hidden meanings within. Teachers will be able to observe a variety of teaching techniques employed by Leigh to enhance the students' playing and ensemble skills.

B. Teaching Intonation (wind/brass)Rob McWilliams | Register Here

There are nuances around teaching and developing intonation skills and awareness for students of wind and brass instruments. Experienced clinician Rob McWilliams will discuss some of the most effective ways to build intonation confidence and techniques for wind and brass students in a small ensemble setting.

C. Adding Rigour - simple is good, insulting is not! And what’s the difference?Nick Dinopoulos | Register Here

Artistic Director of the Australian Boys Choir, Nick Dinopoulos will discuss adding and increasing rigour in both vocal teaching studio and choral rehearsal contexts through a hybrid lecture-style / interactive workshop approach.

Session 5

2:40pm - 3:45pm | Register Here

Panel Discussion: Australian Music for Student Chamber Groups
Margaret Barrett (chair), Stefan Cassomenos, James Le Fevre and Joanna Drimatis

There's plenty of great Australian music written for chamber ensembles, but how do you find something at the right level for your developing high school group? This panel will discuss resources, strategies for finding repertoire at all skill levels, commissioning composers to write for your student ensemble, and encouraging students to write for their friends and peers. Discover more about these amazing panellists here.

Limited places are available for each session, register now to avoid disappointment.

Performance Details

Dates & Times

Saturday 14 August   9:00 AM - 3:45 PM


Free Registration Online Teachers' Conference



Watch online from the comfort of your home.

Professional Development


You may claim up to 5 hours of teacher-identified professional development and learning from this conference. All attendees will receive a certificate detailing the relevant Australian Professional Learning Standards for each session attended.

The standards addressed will be 3.4, 3.5, 6.2, 6.3 and 7.4 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Event notes

Limited places available

Register for as many sessions as you wish via Zoom. Registrations are essential to secure your place.

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