Master of Music (Performance Teaching)

  • CRICOS code: 076226J

The experience


Percussionist Hannes Lackmann was performing regularly on the Melbourne music scene after graduating – so what inspired this Jazz & Improvisation graduate to pursue teaching?

Young man with short hair wearing colourful shirt.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Music (Jazz & Improvisation) I was performing regularly, and teaching drums in and around Melbourne. I began to develop a passion for teaching and wanted to gain a deeper understanding of what, why and how to teach, so I applied for the Master of Music (Performance Teaching).

The Master of Music (Performance Teaching) allowed me to develop my skills as an educator, through a deep understanding of the role and scope of the instrumental teacher. While studying at the Conservatorium, I was offered employment at a fantastic institution, and I’m confident I wouldn’t have been offered this kind of opportunity had I not continued with postgraduate study.

My favourite class was a one-on-one in my area of specialisation – jazz drumming. This might involve a thorough analysis of my playing, working through technical exercises, or discussing the philosophy of music or ensemble playing. Some days I was on placement at Caulfield Grammar, giving percussion lessons, or helping direct small ensembles; other days I might be performing solo in a class, or taking a second instrument class.

Since graduating, I’ve started teaching drums and percussion at two schools, where I’m also directing and conducting the percussion ensembles. I’ve been recording an album with a big band called The Wirecutters, led by a fantastic bass player and arranger, Oscar Neyland. I’m composing, managing and performing regularly with my band RAMEN, and hope to record and release our second EP later this year.

Who will you learn from?

Dr Brad Merrick, Senior Lecturer in Music (Performance Teaching) at the Melbourne Conservatorium

Dr Brad Merrick

I grew up surrounded by music. My father played trombone, my mother taught music, and my older brother and I learned music together, initially brass instruments, and later guitar, then bass. I also spent much of my school life in choirs and bands, singing and playing some great repertoire.

One of the things my role at the Melbourne Conservatorium involves is course coordination of the Master of Music (Performance Teaching), where we look to develop the next generation of inspiring instrumental music teachers with the latest skills, knowledge and capacity related to teaching, performing, conducting and researching music. We want to prepare them to work in studios, schools and community settings, so they can make a difference to the musical journey of students locally, nationally and overseas.

I’ve always believed that music is nourishment for us all, and should be available for anyone, regardless of their location or background. I’ve supported this in a number of ways for many years, including as the National President of ASME (Australian Society for Music Education) several years ago, and more recently as an invited member of the ISME Music In Schools and Teacher Education Commission. I’ve also been a standing member of ISME’s International Society for Music Education – World Advocacy Committee for the last two years, in which we look at ways to advocate for the importance of music in learning around the world.

I feel strongly about all young people having the opportunity to learn about and experience the wonder of making music, as there’s nothing better.

Learn more about the depth and expertise of your teachers

Faculty of Fine Arts and Music

The course is taught at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, the proud home of the Victorian College of the Arts and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Much of the teaching, research and performance takes place in, or near, the new Ian Potter Southbank Centre on the University of Melbourne’s Southbank campus. Our facilities on the University's Parkville campus, including Melba Hall, are also used for teaching, research and performances.

While studying at the Faculty, you will have the chance to benefit from a range of partnerships and engagement activities at major arts companies in Melbourne's Arts Precinct, local and national festivals and sister institutions around the world.

Explore the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music

Wilin Centre

Situated in the heart of Melbourne's Arts Precinct, the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development provides exposure to contemporary Indigenous arts practices and supports the recruitment of Indigenous artists, academics and students.

Learn more about the Wilin Centre