Dr James Cuskelly OAM is the current Head of Faculty: Creative Arts and Design Studies at St Aidan’s Anglican Girl’s School, Brisbane, President of the International Kodály Society, Director of the Summer School Music Program, and Director of the Cuskelly College of Music.
Dr Cuskelly completed undergraduate studies and a Diploma of Education at the University of Queensland. The Kodály Certificate from Holy Names College (California) was awarded in 1991 and the Master of Music studies (The University of Queensland) in 1997. He gained the Doctor of Philosophy (The University of Queensland) in Music Education in 2007. He was Head of Music Education and the Aural Musicianship Program at the University of Queensland from 2000 to 2010 and during that time received two awards for Excellence in Teaching.
James has a very broad base in education, having taught in pre-school, primary and secondary classrooms as well as in tertiary institutions. His passion for music, and his ability to enthuse and bring about effective learning in students across all ages or abilities, is internationally recognized. James is committed to teacher training in music education, and consequently, is frequently asked to lead teacher in-service programs and workshops. James runs a variety of accredited teacher training programs including the Summer School Music Program (Brisbane) and programs in Malaysia and Thailand.
A talented musician in his own right, James is also a highly regarded choral conductor and clinician. He is founding Director of the Queensland Kodály Choir and conductor of the women’s performing ensemble, Valency Ensemble. He runs choral workshops and is frequently invited to lead choral festivals and workshops, and since 1996, has convened the annual community choral festival in Brisbane, The Big Sing. James embodies Zoltan Kodaly’s vision of allowing people of all abilities, ages and backgrounds to access the best quality music. His humbleness and ability to work with a diverse range of people is lauded, especially in the choral world.
James has been involved in the Australian Kodály Summer Training Programs since their inception. As president of the International Kodály Society, James is well known as a global leader in terms of the Kodály philosophy of music education. He has a deep commitment to music education and teacher training and has a distinguished track record in organising and delivering courses of the highest professional standard. He is also a member of the Queensland Advisory Committee and the Australian Music Examinations Board.
James has a very broad base in education, having taught in Kindergarten, pre-school, primary and secondary classrooms as well as in tertiary institutions since 1987. His passion for music, and his ability to enthuse and bring about effective learning in students across all ages or abilities, is internationally recognized.
James is considered a global leader in music education and he directs internationally recognized programs including the Summer School Music Program (Brisbane) and Australian Kodály Certificate programs in Malaysia, Perth and New Zealand and Indonesia.
Dr Cuskelly was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to music education in The Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List.