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
Andrea Calilhanna
Slobodan Zivkovic
Susan Deas
Ex-Officio: Denise Heriot
Rosemary Allen
(Illawarra Branch)
(Newcastle Branch)
Patrons: Signora Lidia Baldecchi-Arcuri
Dr Deanna Hoermann
Mr Patrick Thomas AM MBE
Honorary Life Members: Ms Rosemary Allen
Mrs Valerie Barton
Mrs Betty Hanna
Mr James Powell OAM
Mr Richard G. Morphew
Miss Elizabeth Todd OAM
Mrs Doris Rowland
Mrs Rosalind Carlson
Mr Mark Walton OAM
Mr David Miller AM
Honorary Life Associate Members: Miss Christine Edwards
Mr Mark Coure MP

Dr Rita Crews OAM

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

RitaCrewsHaving 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 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. 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.

Karen Green

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

KarenGreenKaren has many years experience in singing 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 teaches Musicianship, Theory of Music and Piano, and 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. Karen currently holds the position of Vice President of the Music Teachers’ Association of New South Wales.

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.

Andrea Calilhanna

GradDipT(Mus) (QUT), DipMus(QCM), LMusA, AMusA, MMTA, FCSME


Andrea  studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and also the Queensland University of Technology.  She commenced studio music teaching 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 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.

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.

Susan Deas

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

SusanDeasSusan 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”.