Founder and Artistic Director: Associate Professor Susan West
BMus (Melb), GradDip (Kodály Inst., Kecskemet), MEd (CSU), PhD (ANU)
Associate Professor Susan West brings to her role as Artistic Director of the MEP over thirty years experience as a performer, educator, composer and arranger. Her work in developing pre-tertiary music programs and post-graduate teacher-training is at the cutting edge of music education with wide-ranging in uences from traditional music philosophies, both ancient and modern, to holistic and therapeutic uses of music. Dr West 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 Engagement Program. Recognizing a need for di erent and more successful forms of music education, she continued her studies, rst 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 a ects the musical lives of over 10,000 adults and children in the ACT. Assoc. Prof. 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 lm. Her work is being documented in a range of short lms 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.
Dr Georgia Pike
Georgia Pike is the Convenor of the Music Engagement Program at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia. A singer, educator, community outreach facilitator and transdisciplinary researcher, Georgia spent a year in New York training in voice with Susan Burghardt Diamond and Claire Alexander (former voice coach to Frank Sinatra) and studied at the Institute of Music and Health with founder Dr John Diamond (2002). She completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Law and Classics at the ANU (2006), a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education through Monash University (2009), and submitted her doctoral thesis in September 2016, also at the ANU. Her thesis developed a transdisciplinary framework encompassing history, ancient world studies, etymology, pedagogy, philosophy, and the origins of music in human society, for application to the everyday practice of music in classrooms and communities. She specialises in developing unique cross-disciplinary professional development workshops for teachers and students. Georgia has presented at International conferences across Europe, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. One such presentation resulted in the Program’s inclusion in the United Nations Compendium of Music as a Natural Resource (2013 and 2015), which is made available to members of the UN General Assembly.
Supported by the ACT Government, each year the Program trains over 250 teachers and engages thousands of children in music making and outreach through their free programs and events, designed in response to teacher and student feedback. Georgia visits up to ten schools and community groups every week, including preschools, primary schools and secondary schools, introductory English centres, nursing homes, and schools for children with disabilities. She coordinates and hosts the Program’s ‘Big Gig’ outreach concerts engaging thousands of children and community members in communal music making. In 2016 Georgia was presented with a Children’s Week Award by the Governor General of Australia for her work with Cranleigh School, a specialist school for children living with significant disabilities.