The Sydney Music Educators Conference

Background and Purpose

The Sydney Music Educators Conference was initiated by the ASBOF (then the NSW School Band Festival) in 2011 in response to a growing need for professional development specifically designed for music educators working with school and community instrumental music programs.

Initially the focus of the Conference was on wind band programs, however, the intention has always been to broaden this to include all forms of instrumental ensembles including: wind bands, big bands, strings, orchestral, and choral groups.

We are also keen to present sessions which explore the interconnectedness and relationships between classroom music and the instrumental music program.

Conference Philosophy

The broad emphasis of the Conference focuses on the following themes:

  • Teaching Philosophy – why we ‘teach’ instrumental music
  • On the Box – conducting as teaching/expressive conducting
  • Ensemble Development – practical advice to improve your ensemble
  • Repertoire Selection – tied back to philosophy
  • Leadership, management, and administration of community and school based instrumental music programs
  • Instrumental Pedagogy – the ‘How To’ Series. The How To sessions are designed to upskill MDs in directing the sections of the ensemble where they might have limited playing experience, and as a refresher for more experienced players. Sections covered can include:
    • Brass for the non brass player
    • Percussion for the non percussion player
    • Strings for the non string player
    • Woodwind/Reeds for the non woodwind/reed player
    • Voice
  • Musician wellbeing
  • Technology in music education
  • Composition, arranging/flexi arranging for ensembles

We believe these broad themes encompass what it is MDs should be thinking about/learning in order to effectively develop their instrumental music programs, however, we are always looking for feedback and we welcome any suggestions you have which might assist us to improve our program.

Potential Presenters

The ASBOF is always looking for dynamic music educators to showcase at our Conference. If you are interested in presenting a session at the next Sydney Music Educators Conference, contact the General Manager now with your idea or abstract.

2024 Conference Details

Dr Peter Boonshaft

Steve Williams

  • Dr Peter Boonshaft and
  • Steve Williams

head a fantastic team at this year’s Sydney Music Educators Conference.

Presenters also include:

  • Garry Clark
  • Mandy Fara Boonshaft
  • Megan Lipworth
  • Rebeccah Morris
  • More presenters will be added as they confirm