Instrumental music program

Instrumental music program



Music is science.
Music is mathematics.
Music is a foreign language.

Music is physical education.

Music develops insight and demands research.

Music is all these things, but most of all music is art.

That is why we teach music:
Not because we expect you to major in music.
Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life…


But so you will be human.
So you will recognise beauty.

So you will be closer to an infinity beyond this world.


So you will have something to cling to.
So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good –
In short, more LIFE.


Author unknown






Music is highly valued and celebrated by our community. Music education forms a rich and important part of children’s experience at Briar Hill Primary. All children are involved in music and have many wonderful learning and performance opportunities. Music unfolds at Briar Hill in the following way:


Prep – Daily singing in morning circle with classroom teacher until end of class 6. Children perform twice yearly with their class in school assembly and learn to love sharing their learning in this way.


Class 1Recorder begins, continues until end class 6 for all children with their class teacher. Recorders need to be individually purchased, but there is no charge for classroom lessons.


Class 3 – Our strings programme (Violin, Viola and Cello) begins and continues until end of class 6. Lessons are in small groups or individual sessions during in class time and paid for by parents. Classroom orchestra classes are run free of charge by Marie-Louise Wright. Advanced orchestras are run during lunchtimes, free of charge by Marie-Louise Wright.


Class 5Trumpet, Woodwind or Piano lessons may be added to your child’s repertoire, or children may wish to change instruments. Only one instrument can be learnt in class time, a second instrument must be learnt during lunchtime or before or after school. Lessons are for individual students during in class time and paid for by parents.


Choir – we have a wonderful volunteer parent running a free afterschool choir for any interested children.


Performances – children learning an instrument have the opportunity to perform individually each term at a soiree or as part of an orchestra at various events including Spring Fair and our end of year concert.

Inquiries about our music programme may be directed to our music liason teacher.  Enrolment forms may be obtained from our school office, or instrumental teachers may be contacted directly below.


To read individual music teacher’s biographies read on...

  • Strings (Violin, Viola):  Mary Wright
  • Strings (Cello): Grace Wescott-Dawson and Rubini Ball

Violins and Violas can be hired from the school at a cost of $100.00 per annum.  Cellos need to be purchased by parents, or hired from a reputable music store.

  • Woodwind (Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Saxophone): Jacqueline Pace
  • Trumpet:  Tai Jordan
  • Piano




Marie-Louise Wright


Mary studied Violin with Tim Wachtel, Zefferino Mendes and Warwick Stengards and conducting with Robert Rosen, Peter Clinch, Marvin Rabin, Jerry Nowak, Robert Culver as well as attending Symphony Australia workshops in Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmania. Currently conducts Surrey Hills Orchestra, Eltham Orchestra and its two string ensembles and teaches strings at Briar Hill Primary School. Past conductor of Henry Touzeau Strings for Melbourne Youth Music, Preston Junior Strings and Victorian Concert Orchestra. Mary has conducted many operettas including Mikado, Gondoliers, Merry Widow, Merrie England, Pirates of Penzance and Iolanthe.  She has also conducted musical theatre productions of Oklahoma, Calamity Jane, Brigadoon, Fiddler on the Roof, Kismet, Carousel, Kiss Me Kate, Pajama Game as well as Hello Dolly. Mary has also been privileged to conduct 8 out of the 9 Beethoven Symphonies. 


In order for the children to gain the maximum amount of musical education I provide them with Class Orchestra and the Trillers Orchestra. The Triller Orchestras allow children who are further advanced to play and perform in an advanced orchestra. At year’s end this culminates in a performance at Montmorecy Secondary College of all classes taking part in the String programme from Grades 3 – 6. I also organise soiree performances each term.  This provides the children with an outlet to perform either solo or in small groups to an indulgent audience.  The mid-year soiree is a fundraiser, and a part of this one family has the chance to one term’s free lessons (violins and violas only) as part of the raffle.  The money raised from these fundraisers go directly either into the purchase of music or more equipment for the instruments




Grace Westcott-Dawson 


Grace completed a Bachelor of Music Performance with Distinction from Monash University in 2013. During her time at University, she participated in masterclasses with cellists Eliah Sakakushev, Alban Gerhardt and Pieter Wispelway. She was an active member of the Monash Academy Orchestra, Monash Sinfonia and multiple piano trios and string quartets. Grace was also selected to study an intensive chamber music unit in Prato, Italy. She achieved her Associate in Music (AMusA) through the Australian Music Examinations Board in 2015.


Grace brings a great love of music of all styles to the school. She believes everyone should have the opportunity to learn music and hopes that all of her students come away with a lifelong love of music. Grace is patient and kind to all of her students and makes music fun and enjoyable. She tailors her teaching and interaction style to the needs of the individual student.




Tai Jordan


Hi I’m Tai, I have been teaching trumpet for 9 years and playing since year 7. I went through Eltham High school music program studying classical music and then went on to study Jazz and Improvisation at Victorian College of the Arts. After that my musical world embraced travelling, lots of gigs, world music, jazz, gypsy, folk and dub bands and festivals.


Now I compose music for TV, advertisements, documentaries and film. My most recent film score won me best music score for a feature film at a well known European Film festival called Black Nights in 2015. I have also written the music for 7 series of Places We Go travel show currently on network 10. I spend a lot of time in studios writing music and recording musicians.


My aim is to teach the trumpet in an engaging, exciting and a fun way. I love nurturing students’ musical upbringing so that they have a broad appreciation for all styles of music. Music is an international language, which is a beautiful gift to be able to share with you. 


Come and join me and we can make and create great music together.




Jacqueline Pace


Jacqueline has studied with Lisa-Maree Amos and performed in the masterclasses of international artists such as Wissam Boustany, Paul Edmund-Davies and Leone Buyse. She is a former member of the University of Melbourne Orchestra and Melbourne Youth Orchestra. Jacqueline holds a Master of Music Studies (Performance/Teaching) from the University of Melbourne and was awarded 1st Place at the 2nd Queensland Woodwind and Brass Competition. In 2012-2013, Jacqueline went on a study trip to the U.K. During this time she took lessons with Clare Southworth and Patricia Morris and attended classes at London-based music colleges. Since returning to Australia, Jacqueline has appeared as a guest artist with the Monash University Flute Ensemble at the Australian Flute Festival and has been added to the casual list at Orchestra Victoria. She also volunteers as a content manager at Flute Tutor Australia, which promotes flute playing and flute-related events.


Jacqueline Pace has been teaching woodwind instruments for 14 years. Woodwind lessons at Briar Hill Primary School are all individual lessons and are tailored to the needs and interests of each student. Some of her students choose to prepare for exams, competitions and auditions, while others learn purely for their own enjoyment. All woodwind students are Briar Hill Primary School are encouraged to participate in woodwind ensemble, solo performances and composition activities.