Summer School Music Program


Virtually Summer School Music Program – Monday 3rd – Friday 14th January, 2022

Daily accredited classes for Musicianship, Conducting, Choir and Research Assignment subjects, as well as a special daily Seminar Session on a broader-view topic relating to Music Education.

To register and to view full program details, please visit


2021 ONLINE – 1 WEEK ONLY – Monday 11th – Friday 15th January 2021 – ONLINE via ZOOM


Click HERE to register!

Click HERE to download the full program!


Earlier this year, we announced that the Summer School Music Program would be going ahead in January 2021 and we have remained optimistic that we would be able to come together for our yearly gathering of learning, music making and networking.

However, the course of the pandemic is unpredictable and in this uncertain climate it is necessary that we cancel any plans for a face-to-face Summer School. The ever-present threat of infection, restrictions on gathering, health advice about singing and playing, ongoing border closures, travel restrictions and quarantine periods means that it is not possible to guarantee the viability of our usual program. The safety of our staff and participants is our priority and it is essential that we do all we can to assist in minimising the spread of the virus.

The good news is that we are in the process of finalising our plans for a week of online sessions that you can see from the comfort of your own home or studio. There will be a dedicated pedagogy stream for classroom educators, choral conductors, and instrumental and studio teachers as well as an additional stream for performers – pianists, instrumentalists and singers.

We will have many of our usual presenters involved but the flexibility of an online program allows us to include new faces and ideas with an expanded range of national and international presenters. This program will provide a chance to reflect on our teaching practice, expand our thinking and meet with colleagues from all over Australia and the world!

The program will have a morning block of sessions from 8:30 – 12:30 (30 minutes break between each session) and an evening block from 16:00 – 20:00 (again with 30 minutes between each session). This means that we can include an extensive line-up of international presenters from a range of time zones and happily there is a long break for a swim, a long lunch or a siesta!

Details on the scope of this program will be available soon but in the meantime, make sure you’re following our Facebook page for any further updates. To be added to our mailing list, please email (office @

We are looking forward to seeing you all in the Online Summer School Music Program from Monday January 11th – Friday January 15th!

James, Michael and Hayley

PREVIOUS Summer School Music Program

Monday 6th – Friday 17th January 2020 – St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, Brisbane Kodály

Initially run in conjunction with Holy Names College (California) and then held at the University of Queensland, the Summer School Music Program is now run through Sound Thinking Australia and the Cuskelly College of Music and is directed by Dr James Cuskelly OAM.

This year’s 2020 Brochure can be viewed here.

The Summer Music Program is a pivotal component of our commitment to Music Education. The key characteristic of this program is the development of requisite skills and knowledge for effective teaching and learning in Music.

Featuring highly experienced Australian music educators, courses are offered for teachers in Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary classroom music specialists. Special programs are available for secondary (years 10-12) and tertiary students as well as a childrens’ choir for singers aged 8-14 yrs.

Interested members of the public are also welcome to attend.

Participants embark upon the Summer Music Program with a range of goals in mind:

  • Accreditation with the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia (KMEIA)
  • A pathway for articulation for postgraduate study at the International Kodály Institute (Hungary)
  • Personal development for assessment or for audit (non-assessed, non-credit)
  • Credit towards other studies – check with your institution for the possibility of credit.

For further information on the Summer Music Program, please see the 2020 Summer School Brochure.



Program Materials

For Musicianship, Conducting, etc, see Summer Program Materials

Required Textbooks

Please see the Summer Music Program Required Textbook List.

Class Placement Materials

See more information about Class Placement Materials.

Course Lecturers



There is a growing body of evidence that singing in a choir is not only good for your musicianship but also good for your health! The combination of many voices into a wholistic ensemble requires that both the conductor and the choristers possess great skill, informed understanding and a sensitivity to the text.


Participation in Music is often sabotaged by ideas of giftedness and talent, resulting in piecemeal and disorganised thinking about music education. This preoccupation with the talented has failed to provide most students with meaningful engagement in music; what is needed is a deep understanding of processes which provide logical and measured progress from one level of skill and understanding to the next. Such a conception of music teaching and learning would mean that not only the talented but the majority can be led to a real love of Music in all its forms.


Musicians are performers and it is important that music teaching and learning happens in an authentic manner, one which reflects the actual world of performance. However, successful performing requires much more than mere technique; a true artist demonstrates technical prowess, sophisticated aural musicianship, informed music knowledge and an expressive and sensitive connection with the music itself and with the audience.


Jazz is a specialised genre of music requiring a sophisticated understanding of harmony and melody matched with great performing skills. Essentially improvisatory in nature, good jazz is recognisable through a personalised interpretation of musical materials. While jazz is characterised by this highly individualised and somewhat spontaneous musical expression, the underlying structures and gestures of the style are best taught and learned in an engaged and participatory fashion, led by musician-educators with great expertise and experience in the style.


“The course was brilliant to be part of and really helped me improve my own knowledge and musicianship. I look forward to the next one!”

“It was a truly wonderful experience. Thanks again.”

“A fantastic experience I will remember for the rest of my life! Will definitely coming back again and again.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed it, gave me a lot of confidence and motivation to become a more effective and influential teacher.”

“Thank you – as always, this is a truly life-changing and amazing program and I come as often as I can. Well done! I feel proud to be a part of this community.”

“My child was actually deeply disappointed that the experience had to come to an end! He expressed that he would love to go to school like this all year round and is already eagerly anticipating next year’s Summer School!”

“My first time and already I can’t wait till the next summer school! Am resolved and inspired to give a lot of time to improving my Musicianship levels throughout this year!”

“I really enjoyed the summer school. It was full on but I learnt so much and enjoyed every minute. Thank you, will defiantly be back again next year!”