Valerie Lang is a passionate music practitioner who has extensive and varied interests in music and education. Her undergraduate studies in Piano Performance/Pedagogy and Master’s degree Music Education (UWA Conservatorium of Music) fostered her life-long interest in encouraging technical ease in intermediate and advanced pianists. Valerie also enjoys teaching young children, integrating the Kodaly concept with traditional methods. To enhance her knowledge of historical keyboard practices, Valerie undertook independent studies in fortepiano with Geoffrey Lancaster (Perth) and with Bart van Oort in The Netherlands in the late
Valerie spent much of her career as a classroom Music Specialist at Perth College where she coordinated the secondary curriculum, accompanied young performers, mentored new teachers and temporarily held the role of Director of Music (Acting). Whilst at Perth College, Valerie initiated a program of ‘integrating aural skills in instrumental lessons’ and facilitated an innovative program of collaborative singing between school students and a residential care facility. Currently, Valerie has a flourishing private piano teaching studio, and is the Academic Development Officer at the AMEB (WA).
A performer as well as a scholar, Cecilia Sun holds doctoral degrees in both piano and musicology from the Eastman School of Music and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Cecilia is a graduate of the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music, where she studied piano with Dr. John Roberts. Before returning to Perth to take up her current position at the University of Western Australia, Cecilia taught at the University of Sydney and the University of California, Irvine.
A specialist in the area of historical keyboards, she studied with renowned forte pianist Malcolm Bilson.
Cecilia is one of the music directors of the Irwin Street Collective, a UWA-based group dedicated to the research, teaching, and performance of historically-informed music.
Other research interest includes the study of post-1960s Anglo-American Experimental Music, the intersections between music and identity politics, and the performance practices of the late 18th- and early-19th centuries. She has published on and given papers about the music of Beethoven, Brian Eno, and La Monte Young.
Paul Tunzi was ten years old when a piano technician was called to service the family’s piano. Watching the technician disassemble the instrument and explain its mechanism and condition, Paul’s intrigue of this craft was birthed. Following a failed attempt to pull the piano apart himself, Paul’s mother decided that instead of calling the technician to return and repair the mess, she would organise for him to attend the technician’s workshop so he could learn how to reassemble the piano himself.
Paul received a scholarship at a specialist music school, receiving ongoing encouragement from teachers, and nurturing from the same patient technician to peruse the technical crafts of piano restoration. Paul was then offered a position to train at Perth’s leading piano retail workshop under the tutelage of some of Western Australia’s finest technical artisans.
For over 40 years Paul has maintained the keyboard instruments for most of the musical institutions and venues throughout Perth, building a reputation as a highly skilled and specialised piano technical artisan. Throughout this time, he has worked on instruments including harpsichords, fortepianos and concert grand pianos for concerts and recordings, and has prepared pianos for a diverse range of artists, from Angela Hewitt to Ray Charles.
In 2017, Paul was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate the advanced conservation and preservation techniques of historical keyboard instruments, researching instrument collections throughout Europe.
The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University now holds one of the world’s most significant collections of historical keyboard instruments. The collection has highlighted the ongoing need for elite, experienced piano technicians and restorers, and the diminishing skills in this area. Currently there are no training opportunities for piano technicians or restorers in either Australia or the UK.
As part of an effort to create future training opportunities for this now rare and important artisan craft, Paul has been given the ECU Vice Chancellors’ Founding Pianos Scholarship, to undertake his Master of Arts by research.
Paul’s passion is to capture and re-discover the diminishing art of traditional piano technical crafts. He hopes to develop methods of training opportunities that can offer a multi- disciplinary approach to acoustic keyboard instruments, from the historical to contemporary.
Katherine Smith is passionate about music education. She holds a Master of Music from UWA, the Dalcroze Certificate in Music Education and the Australian Kodály Certificate in Music Education.
Katherine has worked as a freelance orchestral clarinettist, a clarinet teacher in primary and secondary schools, a primary school classroom music teacher and an early childhood music teacher. She currently teaches for the UWA Junior Music School in their kindy group music classes, and for IMSS as a clarinet teacher.
As the president of Dalcroze Australia, Katherine works with a team of other volunteers to facilitate Dalcroze training opportunities for music teachers in Australia.
Anastasia is a UWA piano performance graduate who plays an active role as a passionate performer, presenter, collaborative pianist and an experience teacher in both the W.A. community and abroad.
She is currently on the W.A. Music Teachers Association council serving as Vice President and was drawn to the council in order to assist in improving the standard and quality of private music studio teaching around the world.
Anastasia has strong experience in many forms of movement studies, including dance, yoga, Alexander technique and the Taubman Approach, assisting pianists to play with more comfort, speed, accuracy and ease as well as helping instrumental teachers in diagnosing teaching problems faster.
Jocelyn (Jo) Kotchie
Jo is a Western Australian composer and music educator with a career spanning more than 40 years and diverse experience across many areas of music education, including early childhood and secondary school curriculum development (Steiner).
As one of Australia’s leading pedagogical composers, Jo has written more than 400 works for children of all ages, from fun songs for young children, piano and instrumental music at all levels to vocal/instrumental ensemble work for primary and high school students and both sacred and secular choral works for all sizes and styles of choir.
In writing for young people, her philosophy is simple: to create music which engages the imagination whilst also guiding the child or teen towards technical facility and challenge according to their capability.
Where music has the power to influence so many aspects of a developing child’s life, Jo seeks to make that a joyous experience which is accessible to all children, not just those who are physically, intellectually or psychologically capable of managing the technical and interpretative requirements. She does this by crafting music which stimulates – rhythmically, melodically, dynamically, but most of all imaginatively, by creating a picture that the child can bring to life.
Despite her passion being the organ, regularly winning her divisions in the Yamaha Electone Festival in Perth and competing in the State finals twice, Simone’s parents discouraged her from pursuing a tertiary education in music and she instead completed a degree in Information Technology Systems at a time when the World Wide Web was in its infancy and largely the realm of science and IT students.
Being tasked to “look after” a website as part of a role in quality assurance before courses in web development existed, Simone devoured books and resources on everything from programming, design, user experience, information architecture, and search engine optimization, developing a love of organizing information online in a user friendly, accessible way.
With over 20 years of commercial website development experience, of which 9 were spent at the University of Western Australia working across all the faculties and administrative areas, Simone has received several awards for her websites.
As a piano and electronic organ teacher, Simone built her own music teaching website as a priority. Being one of the few teachers who has a website, she had to disable the contact page as she couldn’t accommodate more students! With a foot in both worlds, Simone enjoys teaching others how to navigate the online world of websites and social media as much as she enjoys teaching music.
Lionel founded Zenith Music in 1969, assisted by his father Richard and brother John, who to this day is an important part of Zenith. Initially focusing on guitar and print music, over the past 49 years under Lionel’s leadership, Zenith Music has been very active in selecting musical instruments for sale to both students and professional musicians.
In early 1975, recognising the immense, diverse repertoire and great importance of the piano, and having heard the sounds of so many out of tune and worn out pianos in schools and homes, Lionel commenced looking for new and acceptable pianos that Zenith could offer for sale which would produce a range of great sounds, be stable in tuning and have a controllable sensitive touch, that he believed must exist. This quest over the years has led him to discussions with performers, teachers, piano technicians, manufacturers and piano sellers world-wide. He has learnt much from visiting musical instrument factories and music museums which included factories in England (John Broadwood & Sons, Knight and Kemble), Germany (Ronisch and Bechstein), Czech Republic (Bohemia), Italy (Fazioli), Japan (Kawai and Yamaha) and the USA. Thus, since 1975, Zenith Music has introduced, stocked and sold many brands of pianos and catered for many styles of music and their unique demands.
On rebuilding Zenith Music in 1980, an auditorium was included that seats around 100 people and today has a fine Shigeru Kawai which is offered to teachers, schools and musical organisations to allow their students to play on a quality in-tune piano.
21 years ago, Zenith Music purchased Snadens Pianos, the oldest established piano shop in Western Australia. As well as offering for sale the mainstream brand of the seventies and eighties, Zenith Music & Snadens Pianos have presented quality alternatives from Europe and Japan. The emphasis has been on the many facets of sound and touch and this led to both Shigeru Kawai and Fazioli both being introduced and sold by Zenith / Snadens.