The Council

The Music Teachers’ Association of NSW Ltd is administered by a council of skilled music teaching professionals. Membership of the council is on a voluntary basis.

Council Members are:

President: Dr Rita Crews OAM
Vice President: Karen Green
Treasurer: Annette Brown
Councillors: Neta Maughan AM
Slobodan Zivkovic
Susan Deas
Marlicia Travis
Lorraine Chai
Andrea Calilhanna
Nodira Islam
Ex-Officio: Elaine Davis
Michael Power
(Illawarra Branch)
(Newcastle Branch)
Patrons: Signora Lidia Baldecchi-Arcuri
Dr Deanna Hoermann
Mr Mark Coure MP
Honorary Life Members: Ms Rosemary Allen
Mrs Valerie Barton
Mrs Betty Hanna
Mr James Powell OAM
Mr Richard G. Morphew
Mrs Rosalind Carlson
Mr Mark Walton OAM
Mr David Miller AM
Honorary Life Associate Members: Miss Christine Edwards

Dr Rita Crews OAM

PhD(UNE), BA(Hons)(UNE), AMusTCL, GradCertDistEd, FMusicol(ASMC), HonFNMSM, DipMus[hc](AICM), MIMT, MACE, MMTA, JP

Having first joined Council in 1987 and over the years served three terms in the capacity of Vice-President, Dr Rita Crews is currently President of the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW and editor of The Studio journal. With over 30 years teaching experience at the private and tertiary levels, including distance education, she has been an AMEB written examiner since 1988, is Chief Examiner [Theory] and is Deputy Chair of the AMEB (NSW) having been a member of the Board since 1990. From 1996 to 2006 she was Head of Professional Development at the Australian International Conservatorium of Music where she taught research and co-ordinated the pedagogy stream of the BMus programme. For many years Rita lectured Professional Development courses for private music teachers through the University of New England and she continues to conduct similar sessions as well as workshops at the behest of various music teacher, conservatoria and examination organisations, nationally and internationally.

Apart from numerous reviews and articles in publications such as Ossia, Sounds Australian, The StudioPiano Rendesvouz, Music and the Teacher, Music in Action and the British Music Society’s Newsletter, Rita’s own publications include piano music for children [some of which appear on the AMEB syllabus]; she is the author of several articles in the Oxford Companion to Australian Music; two musicology courses, Music of the Classical Era and Piano Music of the 19thCentury published by the University of New England; the liner notes for the CDs The Australian Album and Anthology of the Chamber Music of Miriam Hyde and the author of the Introductions and text for The Six Piano Sonatas of Roy Agnew, The Piano Miniatures of Roy Agnew and Tribute to Miriam Hyde, published by The Keys Press; her poem Uluru, published in the USA, has been set for a capella female voices and subsequently recorded. With a special interest in the history and analysis of Australian music, Rita’s honors thesis concentrated on the keyboard works of Miriam Hyde while her doctoral thesis is an exhaustive analytical study of the piano works of Roy Agnew, Dulcie Holland and Margaret Sutherland.  The Masonic music of Mozart is also a particular field of interest and she often lectures on this topic.

Rita is a member of many professional organisations and her biography appears in several international dictionaries. In 1992-93 the Cambridge Biographical Centre honoured her with the award of International Woman of the Year for services to music education. In 2002, she was created a Fellow of the Australian Society of Musicology and Composition for her contribution to Australian music and composers. In 2008 her biography appeared in the inaugural edition of Who's Who in NSW and in 2017, the inaugural edition of Who's Who of Australian Women. In 2014 Rita was honoured with the Order of Australia Medal for her services to the performing arts as a teacher, examiner and composer and in the same year the University of New England recognised her contribution to the community with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Since a teenager, Rita has been involved in, and committed to, various avenues of community work but for recreation, she plays the drums, travels the outback and indulges her life-long interest in astronomy.

(Photo courtesy of UNE)

Karen Green

B.Mus, (Voice with Distinction), Grad.Cert.Mus, (Vocal Pedagogy), M.Mus.Ed, (Vocal studies).

KarenGreen Karen currently holds the position of  Vice President of the Music Teachers' Association of New South Wales and is an AMEB(NSW) Examiner and AMEB Federal Examiner for written subjects.  She has many years' experience in singing,  piano and theory teaching, vocal performance and eisteddfod adjudication. She has performed as a soloist with choirs, orchestras, musical shows, recitals and events. Additionally, she has enjoyed much success training voices of all ages, male and female, but her speciality lies in training children's voices, guiding them through adolescence, the teenage years, young adulthood on to vocal maturity. Karen teaches most genres including classical, sacred, musical theatre, jazz and popular music in preparation for examinations, recitals, auditions and competitions.

Karen  accompanies her students in examinations and other events, as well as accompanying music society performances and church events. She enjoys conducting and coaching adult, youth and children choirs, and is a singing consultant to larger district choirs. She is a trained pipe organist and plays regularly in church.

Karen is experienced in composition and music arrangement and was selected to compose over 40 children's songs for an international sacred education program which will be released in 2015.

As a young singer, Karen studied with Walter Barnes and at the Qld Conservatorium. She was the recipient of many certificates, scholarships and prizes from eisteddfods, competitions and the AMEB. Also singing at Brisbane City Council concert events.

Further qualifications were attained at UNSW: B.Mus, (Voice major with Distinction), under the guidance of Neil Easton and Geoffrey Chard; G.Cert.Mus, (Vocal pedagogy), M.Mus.Ed, (Vocal performance and teaching studies).

Other employment has included teaching at Performing Arts Schools both in an individual and group environment, university aural tutoring, office administration and PR. Karen also holds a Certificate in Editing and Proofreading.

Annette Brown

AnnetteBrownAnnette Brown's dedication to music education over the last 15 years has included positions with well known music organisations such as the Australian Music Examination Board, The Australian Youth Orchestra, Sydney Youth Orchestra and Musica Viva.

Annette firmly believes in equity and access to a musical education for all and her wealth of experience in the area of arts administration, both volunteer and in a professional capacity, has always centered on this.

Annette's role as Manager of the Willoughby Symphony sees her managing the ensemble’s day to day operations.

She is looking forward to many more successful years with Willoughby and is particularly passionate about giving performance opportunities both locally and regionally to the incredible talent of our musical youth in NSW.

Susan Deas

B A (UTS), B Mus (UNSW), A Mus A, MMTA

Susan Deas is a professional musician, lecturer and teacher. In addition to her private piano teaching, she has performed as professional pianist at venues around Australia for more than twenty years, and gives lectures in music appreciation atSydney University ’s Centre for Continuing Education and WEA. Susan has worked in a variety of musical fields, as a teacher, pianist, organist, percussionist, lecturer, conductor, arranger, and music director. She is currently completing a Master of Music Studies (Studio Pedagogy) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Neta Maughan AM

NetaMaughanNeta Maughan studied for her DSCM at the Sydney Conservatorium, taking voice studies with Elizabeth Todd and piano with Alexander Sverjensky where her passion and flair for teaching was unearthed.  She would later become Sverjensky's assistant and credit his mentorship and methods as the basis for her own teaching ideology.

She has served for 40 years on the MTA Council, has made an outstanding contribution to music education in Australia and has nurtured thousands of students in her main discipline of pianoforte, but also in vocal and theory training.  Her students are internationally recognized and hold many professional positions throughout Europe, United States and Asia.  As well as prizes in international competitions, her students have won every major competition offered in Australia and have performed in over 40 countries worldwide.   She has had three winners of the Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards viz Bernadette Harvey-Balkus in 1987, Tamara Anna Cislowska in 1991 and Simon Tedeschi in 1998 and her students have won international prizes at major competitions around the world.

Ms Maughan served on the teaching faculties of the Newcastle and Sydney Conservatoria and the University of Sydney for 40 years and was an adjudicator and AMEB examiner for 44 years.  She has guided many of her students to university degrees and as well as tutoring over 250 successful Associate, Licentiate and Fellowship Diploma students for the AMEB, Trinity College, London and Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations.

During her long teaching career Neta has has overseen more than 300 solo performances of her students with orchestra and has instigated many performance opportunities for young people including the Inner West Eisteddfod where she has been a Patron and President for 22 years and has sponsored the Neta Maughan Bach Award since the eisteddfod’s inception. She is also a long term sponsor of the McDonalds Sydney Performing Arts Challenge.

Today, her students are scattered around the world, some in teaching positions in major teaching institutions, others are professional performers and some are in administrative positions.

Slobodan Zivkovic

MA ,DipMus, BMus, MMus, BME, MMTA.

SlobodanZivkovicSlobodan Zivkovic, pianist and accompanist, has been teaching piano for more than 35 years. He was born into the fifth generation of a renowned musical family. He gained the BMus in Piano with Merit and a Masters degree in Piano from the Belgrade Music Academy. He has studied with renowned professors and pianists, including Guido Agosti (Rome), Aldo Chiccolini (Paris) and Lev N. Vlasenko at the “Tchaikovsky” Conservatorium of Music in Moscow. He performed as a soloist with various Symphony Orchestras and was a Member of the Advisory Committee for the 3rd Piano Pedagogy Conference in Sydney in 1997, where he presented his paper “My approach to Piano Technique”.

Marlicia Travis

Associate Degree in Music

Marlicia TravisMarlicia is a music teacher and musician based in Sydney. She has taught in New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria teaching private piano students and working for local based music schools on site and in local public schools. She has directed church music, choirs and small ensembles with experience in composition, recording and arranging. Her music work has taken her to various places throughout the world including the United States, Canada and China.

Not long after Marlicia began private teaching she realised that all students learn differently. Some find classical work easy to embrace while others require a different approach to develop their skills and love for music. This led to Marlicia taking lessons in improvisation and then further with jazz, so that she could provide the broad range of options to her students that she saw was necessary. Music is a versatile emotional outlet and Marlicia believes that everyone should be able to enjoy expressing themselves through music.

After raising an autistic son, Marlicia decided to steer her work into the field of mental health, utilizing music for therapeutic purposes. She enrolled in the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy course run by Western Sydney University to further her skills and practice offerings. She found that music is a pathway to communication, even when words cannot succeed.

Marlicia holds university degrees in Theology, Music, and Psychology and is further developing her interest in communication and relationships in family therapy. Her current work, music classes with young families, helps to develop strong emotional bonds between parents and their children.

As life is all about relationships, Marlicia is focusing on helping people to develop their relationships with themselves and with others, and to become the best people that they can be. As musicians, she works to bring out the best in each of her students.

Lorraine Chai

BMus GradDipEd ATCL

Lorraine is a multi talented instrumentalist and educator.  She graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music Studies in 2008 and then completed her Graduate Diploma of Education at the Australian Catholic University a year later. In 2009, Lorraine completed the ATCL Recital (Associate Diploma Trinity College London) in classical singing and in 2011, completed a certificate of conducting from The Australian Band and Orchestra Director’s Association (ABODA) under the direction of Jerry Nowak.

Having grown up with a musical family, Lorraine began playing and performing from the age of four. Through her years, Lorraine studied the Guitar, Percussion and Oboe and completed final grades on the Violin, Clarinet and Voice.

Although classically trained, Lorraine has extensive music skills having studied with many renowned jazz teachers such as Judy Bailey, Sandy Evans and Kerrie Biddell and music theatre with Pat H. Wilson.

Lorraine has created multiple arrangements for choirs, duets and ensemble groups, and this has furthered her skill and ability of passing on her extensive knowledge to others. In 2010 and 2011, she arranged choral scores for St Mary Primary School, winning 1st prize in the State music competition.

Lorraine has been teaching for 16 years in and out of Australia. She has also tutored in Sydney Primary and High schools, Lane Cove Music and Cultural centre and runs ensembles, choral workshops and professional development weekend workshops for studio teachers...

Lorraine loves finding new and exciting ways students can learn music in either a classroom setting as well as in private lessons. Along her musical journey and exposure to the various educational methods including Kodaly, Suzuki, Orff, and Dalcroze, Lorraine has also attended Alexander Technique workshops, and has found that she can integrate these various methods into her own teaching technique for the benefit of her students. Lorraine is the author for Stringstastic books which are music theory books for string player. Her teaching approach differs with the age and capability of each student. She strongly believes that Music should be a FUN experience, and endeavours to achieve nothing but this through all her teaching experiences Lorraine has been adjudicating at several music competitions in and out of Australia.

Lorraine has extensive ensemble and orchestral experience in Malaysia and in Australia. She also co-ordinates instrumental programmes and runs string ensembles for some of Sydney’s most celebrated schools.

Apart from her role as an MTA Council member, Lorraine is also a former committee member of the Australian Strings Association of NSW, AUSTA.

Andrea Calilhanna

Andrea is part of the sessional casual academic staff at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is currently enrolled in a Master of Music (Musicology) by research at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her area of research concerns teaching of modern meter theory following a semester of study with Yale University Battel Professor of the Theory of Music Richard Cohn. Andrea recently organised a Meter Symposium at the Sydney Conservatorium where she will also present a research paper.

Andrea teaches Diploma level piano students through to beginners for both career and leisure outcomes.

She attained undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and also the Queensland University of Technology.  She commenced studio music teaching and piano accompanying in 1984 and classroom music teaching in 1991. Her teaching subjects include piano, saxophone, keyboard, theory, musicianship, music craft, tutoring in HSC music, preparation for auditions, composition, ear training, sight-reading for solo or part-singing, and Gregorian Chant.

In her career as a musician, Andrea has performed in chamber music ensembles with many musicians including members of The Queensland Orchestra and she has conducted Catholic Church choirs in both Brisbane and Sydney. She also has industry experience playing jazz and popular music and reviews musical material for The Studio journal.

In her role as a classroom music teacher, where she was Co-ordinator for various Music Departments in both private and State schools, teaching both primary and secondary students, various universities in Queensland employed Andrea to train their student teachers. She was awarded the title and teaching level of Senior Teacher and in 2013 she received Accreditation with the NSW Institute of Teachers for Professional Competence. Andrea was awarded a Fellowship with the Collegiate of Specialist Music Educators in 2013.

Since graduation she has continued to play piano accompaniments for examinations, HSC, concerts, eisteddfods, musical societies, schools and university auditions. As well as her studio teaching Andrea also works part-time as a secondary music classroom teacher and conducts a vocal ensemble which sings mainly Liturgical music.  In 2013 she was the adjudicator for the pianoforte section of the Castle Hill Festival of Performing Arts.

Apart from her role as an MTA Council member which she commenced in 2006, Andrea is a member of several professional associations including the Australian Society for Music Education; the Music Council of Australia; the Australian Music Centre and the Collegiate of Specialist Music Educators. from which she was awarded a Fellowship in 2013.

Andrea is married with two children and has a family-friendly attitude and approach to teaching and enjoys teaching students of all ages and for examinations, concerts or leisure.

Nodira Islam

Nodira studied Piano at Uzbekistan State Conservatory, where she obtained her Honours Bachelor of Music and also Honours of Master of Music.

Nodira specialises in Music Education, Pedagogy and Performance. She has extensive performance experience as a solo and chamber pianist. She is an International Award winning song writer and composer.

Nodira is an Accredited Piano Teacher and a Full Member of NSW Music Teachers Association.

Nodira runs a successful teaching studio located in Castle Hill, NSW. She has been teaching students of all ages and is extremely passionate about music education. She teaches classical, contemporary, modern style, pop-rock and jazz style music.

She prepares students who are interested and or considering in Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB) Examinations.

Her innovative and interactive styles of teaching enable to create an environment where students feel comfortable as  well as bring out the fun in improvisation and composition.