“Sydney Music Educators Conference is the best conference I have ever attended. It provided me with numerous useful takeaways. It’s a great conference in a great city, and I always want to come and join it again.”
Ignatius – 2019 Conference Delegate

Presented by ASBOF in association with ABODA NSW

Dr Anita Collins to headline a stellar cast of presenters at this year’s SYDNEY MUSIC EDUCATORS CONFERENCE. Joining Dr Collins will be Dr Peter Boonshaft,  Mandy Fara Boonshaft, Jacki Cooper, Daryl McKenzie, Jason Isaac, Rebeccah Morris, John Morrison, Paul Vickers, and more. Read more about the Conference and Register below.
Wednesday 12th – Friday 14th July
Venue: St Mary’s Cathedral College, Sydney
EARLYBIRD Rate $485.00 –  closes Friday 5 May
FULL Conference Rate: $550.00

Wednesday 12th July      
Start Finish Duration Workshop Presenter Venue
8.45am 9.15am 30 Registration: tea and coffee    
9.15am 9.30am 15 Welcome and housekeeping Pat Devery  
9.30am 10.30am 60 Keynote Address Dr Anita Collins  
10.30am 11.00am 30 Morning tea    
11.00am 12.30am 90 What are we really teaching in music? The power of teaching for executive function Dr Anita Collins  
12.30pm 1.10pm 40 Lunch    
1.15pm 2.30pm 75 It’s all about the music, except for all the other stuff! Paul Vickers  
2.35pm 3.50pm 75 25 Things you can do tomorrow to improve your ensemble Dr Peter Boonshaft  
3.50pm 4.05pm 15 Afternoon Tea    
4.05pm 5.30pm 85  ‘How to…’ Series
Bec Morris & Gerald Steinmann  
Thursday 13th July        
8.30am 8.45am 15 Tea and coffee    
8.45am 10.00am 75 Arranging for Flexible Ensembles Daryl McKenzie  
10.05am 11.20am 75 Jazz Ensemble Development 101 John Morrison  
11.20am 11.40am 20 Morning Tea    
11.40am 12.55pm 75 Common errors and misunderstandings in conducting Dr Peter Boonshaft  
12.55pm 1.30pm 35 Lunch    
1.30pm 2.30pm 60 APRA Presentation TBA  
2.35pm 3.50pm 75 If you can sing it, you can play it! Jacki Cooper  
3.50pm 4.10pm 20 Afternoon Tea    
4.10pm 5.30pm 80  ‘How to…’ Series
Brass or Woodwind
6.30pm Late   Conference Dinner    
Friday 14th July        
8.30am 8.45am 15 Tea and coffee    
8.45am 10.00am 75 Expectations without limits: helping middle level bands achieve their best Mandy Fara Boonshaft  
10.05am 11.20am 75  ‘How to…’ Series
Brass or Woodwind
11.20am 11.40am 20 Morning tea    
11.40am 12.55pm 75 Did I Do That? Developing autonomous musical literacy from day one. Jason Isaac  
12.55pm 1.30pm 35 Lunch    
1.30pm 2.45pm 75  ‘How to…’ Series
Brass or Woodwind
2.50pm 4.00pm 70 Closing Keynote Peter Boonshaft  
4.30pm     Drinks    

Proudly supported by ABODA NSW

ASBOF, in association with ABODA NSW, are pleased to announce the lineup for this year’s Conference.

Presenters will include an exciting range of leading local and international music educators and Conference will surely prove to be one of the ‘must do‘ PD opportunities of 2023.


  • Music Directors working with school and community instrumental and vocal programs
  • Classroom teachers looking to integrate/assist with the school instrumental program
  • Schools looking to start an instrumental music program
  • Music tutors, and
  • Tertiary music students

Looking for some inspiration? Come and learn how it’s done from some of the best in the business!

EARLYBIRD RATE Closes Friday 5 May
5% discount for financial ABODA NSW Members.
Discount rate ($450.00) for SCS AMADEUS Program staff.
Only one discount category can be claimed.
ASBOF reserves the right to confirm your membership status with ABODA and SCS and adjust your fee accordingly 

Dr Anita Collins heads a stellar cast of presenters which will include:

Dr Anita Collins

Anita is an award-winning educator, researcher, and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. Anita is best known for her role as on-screen expert and campaign lead for the Don’t Stop the Music documentary that aired on the ABC in late 2018. She is internationally recognized for her unique work in translating the scientific research of neuroscientists and psychologists to the everyday parent, teacher and student. Increasingly Anita is being invited to provide expert opinion on education, creativity, strategic direction, and innovation and she is very excited to be working with the ASBOF for the first time. 

Dr Peter Loel Boonshaft

Called one of the most exciting and exhilarating voices in music education today, Peter Loel Boonshaft has been invited to speak and conduct in every state in the nation and around the world.  Honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education,” Peter is Director of Education for Jupiter Band Instruments and is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. He is also co-author of Alfred Music Publishing’s method book series Sound Innovations and his weekly “Boonshaft’s Blog” inspires music educators everywhere. Peter is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, where he is Professor Emeritus of Music.

Jacki Cooper 

Award-winning jazz vocalist Jacki Cooper has recently completed a research Masters degree on the challenges faced by classroom music teachers in regional areas when teaching jazz vocal students. This research has highlighted the need for more jazz education resources for high school students. Jacki is a sought after workshop clinician and conference presenter and is the organiser of the Big Band Blast big band conference.

Mandy Fara Boonshaft 

Mandy is currently on the faculty of South Woods Middle School in Syosset, New York (USA), and has also taught at Commack Middle School and Hewlett High School. In addition, Mandy is the conductor of the Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts Honor Band, a select ensemble of year seven and eight instrumentalists from across Long Island. Mandy is extremely active regionally, nationally and internationally as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and workshop presenter for universities, schools, festivals and conferences.

Jason Isaac

Jason has been conducting orchestras, symphonic bands, and jazz ensembles for the past 20 years. Currently Director of Bands at Ashbury Public, Newtown HS of the Performing Arts, Willoughby Girls High, and Director of Jazz at St Andrew’s College, Sydney University; Jason also works at The NSW Department of Education Arts Unit as conductor of the NSW Public Schools’ Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and the NSW Public Schools’ Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted at Pan Pacific Jazz Camps, State Music Camps, IAJE Jazz Camps, and for the Sydney Youth Orchestras.


Daryl McKenzie

Daryl is a composer, arranger, trombonist and conductor. Daryl’s undergraduate studies in music were at the Victorian College of the Arts and North Texas State University. He holds a Master of Education (Music) from RMIT University. Daryl has worked on national television shows including Hey Hey It’s SaturdayAustralia’s Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars, and has orchestrated and conducted numerous Australian and international movie scores including The Truman Show, Red Dog and The Sapphires. He is Musical Director of the Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra. Daryl is currently lecturing at the Australian Institute of Music and the Defence Force School of Music. Brolga Music Australia have published 12 of Daryl’s compositions in their Beginner Jazz Ensemble series. Sheetmusicplus (Hal Leonard)have over 1500 of Daryl’s arrangements in their online catalogue.

John Morrison

John Morrison is one of Australia’s most celebrated big band leaders whose band, Swing City, completed a mammoth 33 concert national tour of Australia in 2022. John is passionate about music education, especially for young people, and has been a driving force behind the Sydney Music Education Conference. John travels Australia visiting schools and workshopping bands in high schools and primary schools and has run Big Band Blast big band conference with his wife Jacki Cooper since 2013.


Paul Vickers

Paul Vickers is currently the Director of Music and the Director of College Improvement at The Scots College, Sydney. He is also Conductor of the Wind Symphony at the University of New South Wales where he has previously lectured in Music Educaion. Paul has a Bachelor of Music Studies (Performance) on trombone from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (USYD) and a Graduate Diploma in Education (UNE). Paul is a regular contributor to professional journals and has served on editorial boards for musicological and music education publications both in Australia and internationally. Paul is an experienced writer, adjudicator, speaker, clinician and guest conductor across various genre, and is regularly sought after in these roles.