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Micaela Nathan


Examiner Number: 1115

Micaela has been a performance and teaching musician for thirty years, having graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with High Distinction in performance. Following regular performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Victorian State Opera, and many musical theatre productions in Australia and overseas, Micaela took up a full-time position with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra in 1989.

Following her orchestral career, Micaela gained accreditation as a registered music therapist, completing her MA and PhD in Music Therapy and music education at the University of Sydney. Her innovative research addressed the sociological foundations of performance anxiety in music students and career musicians. Micaela redefined the commonly known term Music Performance Anxiety to Music Performance Dysfunction.

Micaela's involvement with music education spans thirty years within the private school system and tertiary music faculties of the University of NSW and the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education. She incorporates her diverse expertise to her work in education, performance skills, and the management of performance anxiety. As a registered music therapist, Micaela often combines music therapy practice with music education.

She is sought for specialist instruction for HSC requirements and in preparation for Bachelor of Music degrees. As an AMEB examiner, Micaela has expert knowledge of the syllabus and grade level requirements, and progression through AMEB examinations to licentiate level. When examining, she witnesses a wide range of performance skills, including the mental challenge with memory and nerves. These are a particular interest from which Micaela, through the lens of music therapy, is able to facilitate positive support and change in real-time.

Micaela enjoys teaching all age groups – from beginner students, primary and secondary school students through to retirees in community band programs, to inspire them and foster a love of music from a young age.

Micaela’s fundamental philosophy in music education is that learning music should be an enjoyable addition to life. She holds a firm belief that playing a musical instrument helps students express themselves, grow in confidence and self-esteem, and realise personal goals. Playing a musical instrument is a way of sharing a love of music with others.

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