BMus(Hons) MBA(UWA) GradDipEd GradDipEngl
He joined the School in this role in 2006 following extensive experience in both Music education and performance.
After finishing his training at the University of Western Australia, Kevin spent two years with the WA Symphony Orchestra (WASO) as a cellist. With music his passion, it had always been his intention to play in a professional orchestra. His parents were very musical and his mum taught her children the piano. Kevin started playing the piano when he was eight and cello when he was 13, and he went to music school.
However, Kevin found that performing in an orchestra didn’t allow for as much creativity as he would have liked. “We were told every day what to do and how to do it,” he said. “It made me realise that teaching offered many more options for creativity. It gave me more of a chance to use my own understanding of music, to impart a depth of knowledge and also continue to extend my own depth of knowledge. It also gave me a chance to draw on my passion for music history.”
After two years of Head of Music at Leeming Senior High School, Kevin completed his MBA and then went back to WASO as Orchestral Manager for a year. He then spent five years at Rossmoyne Senior High School as Head of Music, followed by nine years as a Music teacher at Churchlands Senior High School, home of the Gifted and Talented Music Program.
In his role at Christ Church, Kevin manages the staffing and workloads of 37 instrumental teachers, as well as co-ordinating the tasks of the music librarian, secretary and four other teaching staff. He manages timetables, reporting and assessments and teaches upper school music, as well as conducting the orchestra and the Prep School orchestra.
Kevin said he loved the positive energy of the boys, who always had such a fresh approach to the subject. “I also get huge enjoyment when I see an orchestra begin learning a difficult piece and eventually perform to a level of excellence,” Kevin said. “And if at the end of a rehearsal they leave whistling or singing the tune they have been playing, I know I’ve done my job as a Music teacher. I have imparted something to them.
“Music is extremely important for young people,” Kevin explained. “It’s important to grow up having a skill they can use as a means of leisure or enjoyment for the rest of their lives. They’re not going to be able to play football forever, for example. It’s not necessarily about becoming a professional musician, but music is very useful for giving people a sense of self worth.”
Kevin said the Christ Church Music Department was about inclusivity and excellence. “We aim to cater for all levels, while at the same time not giving up on the idea of chasing excellence.
“Our aim is to offer a total immersion in music – for the boys to have performed in a musical and played as part of an orchestra and to have experienced music in its entirety. We took the jazz boys to Melbourne and they played at the iconic jazz venue Bennetts Lane Jazz Club. That’s experiencing music at its utmost.”
Ultimately, Kevin said teaching gave him an opportunity to put back into the system, which he enjoyed so much at music school. “Teaching has enabled me to recreate what I had myself – what I enjoyed so much at the time,” he said. “It’s so important for the boys to experience that collegiality and to feel at home in the Music Department, to perform in musicals and be part of tours.
“Music encompasses a high emotional content, which means we have to understand the boys emotionally, as well as cognitively. This creates a very warm and welcoming environment and many of the boys spend a lot of time here. For many, it’s the first place they come in the morning and the last place they leave at the end of the day.”