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On Tuesday 4 September, the Saints instrumental music and classroom music teachers from both the Junior and Senior Schools spent the morning with the award winning Dr Anita Collins; educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. She is internationally recognised for her unique work in translating the scientific research of neuroscientists and psychologists to the everyday parent, teacher and student. Over the last two years Anita has interviewed close to 100 researchers in labs across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia so she can share the most up to date research with educators. Increasingly Anita is being invited to provide expert opinion on education, creativity, strategic direction and innovation. Anita is the Founder of Bigger Better Brains, an education program for the global music education community about the application of neuromusical research.

Anita presents regularly on radio and television and in 2018 will take up the role of onscreen expert and campaigner for the three-part ABC documentary Don’t Stop the Music. This documentary and campaign will focus national attention on the benefits of music education for all children in November. Anita is currently expert education advisor for the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Independent School Association, Brand Anonymous Productions in the UK, Artemis Productions in Australia, Music Education Research Counsellor for Music Australia, a Founding Director of the Rewire Foundation and Associate Fellow of Music, Mind and Wellbeing at the University of Melbourne.

Anita is a prolific and eclectic writer, including the “The Lullaby Effect”, opinion columns for The Age and The Conversation, authored papers for international peer-reviewed journals, guest author on international sites and specialist technical writer for OECD Education Framework 2030. Anita is the author of one of the most watched TED Education films ever made, she a Churchill Fellow, a TEDx speaker and will soon release a book for expectant and new parents called The Lullaby Effect.

Anita brought a wealth of experience as an active educator to her presentation. She is an experienced classroom teacher and conductor (Canberra Grammar School) across the breadth of beginner to advanced musical performers. Anita has been the Musical Director for three award winning productions and she has over a decade of experience as a teacher and educator across all areas of tertiary education (University of Canberra and the Australian National University). Anita is also a creator, commissioning and conducting the world premiere of the The Goulburn Concerto by Sean O’Boyle, a work specifically written to bring professional musicians and disadvantaged children together as equal partners in performance.

Anita’s workshop was highly valued by all who attended and we all thoroughly enjoyed her most insightful and passionate presentation of her research. It was also invaluable for us as educators to reaffirm and validate the benefits of music education for all children in terms of enhancing development and performance.

Philip Walsh
Director of Music

Junior and Senior School instrumental music and classroom music teachers pictured with Dr Anita Collins (centre)