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Musicians Institute Australia

"Allie, Phianne and I didn't set out to become experts, " says John, "We have a strong common interest and passion in education and music - how children learn well and what are the best teaching methods.

He and Allie met at university in 1969. John was studying music and Allie was doing a degree in education. Soon they were talking about founding a school.

During the 70's Allie set up an independent primary school and in 1981 John began teaching violin. From 1986-90 they moved to Japan with their three children, John and Phianne completing a teacher's degree with world renowned Dr Suzuki, music education pedagogue while Allie researched Japanese education and schools.

After leaving Japan they spent a year in England, teaching in London and Cambridge before returning to Australia to re-establish their school.

In Australia music education was still at arelatively low level. "I was surprised and mystified to see how poor performances were applauded, " John explains. "It was if participation - 'having a go' - precluded the work of building superior skills. The culture of education in the west is preoccupied with concepts of self-esteem, behaviour management, motivation and curriculum. Rapid progress and real achievement are thought to be available only to the inexplicably gifted few. The work of educating children is given over to the school."

“Across the western world, why are we ending up with more children who are illiterate? We don’t understand the way children see the world, what drives them, how they see success. We impose education theories on them without really knowing how they learn. And as a society we are confusing children with junk ideas, junk food, junk TV and hobby education. We are ending up with ‘soft’ teenagers who don’t know how to learn for a successful life.”

It is clear that we require a new approach to education in Australia and get off the merry-go-round of reviews and changing curriculums. Despite the reforms and 'revolutions' of successive governments, a culture of mediocre education still dominates.

Musicians Institute Australia became a registered training organisation in 2001, accredited to award nationally recognised qualifications for musicians and teachers.

By the end of 2009 MIA was hitting a new sweet spot and achieving one of its cherished goals - producing successful results with every student and parent, not with just a few stars. Exceptional players are no longer the exception. Student intake now includes more 3 year olds and the rate of progress has accelerated. This came from the combined expertise and work of dedicated people within the institute.

Allie's role in educating parents became pivotal. She articulates the transformational philosophy that is at the core of MIA's success. "Our passion is to help parents and children develop a high level of creative skill to build the foundations for a life of success and distinction, " Allie says.

National Qualifications awarded:
Advanced Diploma of Music - Suzuki Instrumental Teacher CUS60109
Advanced Diploma of Music (Performance) CUS60109
Certificate IV in Music (Performance) CUS40109

Registered Training Organisation - National Register No. 50923

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