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The Newsletter of the Australian Music Examinations Board in NSW

State Manager’s message

I am very pleased to inform teachers of the appointment of Dr Karl Kramer as the Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In his position as Dean, Dr Kramer is also the ex-officio Chair of AMEB (NSW) and, as such, will work closely with the NSW Board and represent NSW and ACT at the AMEB Federal level.

I would also like to congratulate the successful nominees for the AMEB (NSW) Board. Thank you to all of the teachers and examiners who nominated for these positions. Your willingness to offer your time is appreciated, and we encourage your nominations for the next election in 2013.

We are all thrilled with the outcome of the new results and report form process. The feedback from teachers has been overwhelmingly positive. So far, the AMEB (NSW) team has succeeded in processing all results and uploading reports to AMEB Connect well ahead of the anticipated time frame promised on page 3 of the Enrolment Handbook.

Please wait two weeks after your examination before phoning if you have not received your result/report or certificate. If you haven’t already registered for AMEB Connect or have lost your user name or password, please update your details as soon as possible to prevent delays you may experience during our peak period.

There are many new and exciting changes occurring at AMEB (NSW) in the next few years. From November this year teachers will be able to purchase and download individual syllabuses from the Federal AMEB Website.

Keep in touch with the latest developments and new initiatives at AMEB by reading our newsletters and emails and don’t forget to visit the NSW website regularly.

Maree Lucas
State Manager

Important notice to teachers

Examination series and postcode periods for 2013 are currently under review. Please check the AMEB (NSW) website next month for changes to your series and area for next year.

Due to construction and temporary relocation from Wednesday 27 June until Monday 13 August 2012, the AMEB (NSW) office will not be available to accept counter sales or face-to-face business.

We apologise for any inconvenience to our clients, but please rest assured that the AMEB (NSW) office will be functioning during this time frame and accepting enrolments and attending to product orders and enquiries that are posted or emailed to us.

AMEB (NSW) Board Election Results

The results of the election which closed on 16 December 2011 are:

Private Speech and Drama Teacher Representative
(one Board Representative)
Victoria Clancy
Private Music Teacher Representatives
(three Board Representatives)
William Clark, Rita Crews, Anne Harvey
Examiner Representatives
(two Board Representatives)
Lyn Morgan, Richard Morphew

Congratulations to all of the Board incumbents on their successful re-election.

Federal Examiner for 2012

Wendy Lorenz

AMEB (NSW) is pleased to announce that Wendy Lorenz will be the Federal Examiner for Diploma examinations in NSW and ACT this year. An acclaimed pianist, Wendy has performed extensively overseas and as soloist with many of Australia's leading orchestras. As an AMEB examiner for 14 years, Wendy has examined extensively in Queensland and for federal examinations Australia-wide.

An experienced presenter of workshops, masterclasses and piano-teaching seminars throughout Australia and overseas, Wendy has served as National Chair of the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference Committee and she is also currently Education Manager for the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

Winners of 2011 AMEB (NSW) Shields

Private Teacher Pianoforte Category
Preliminary to Sixth Grade
Neta Maughan AM
Private Teacher Pianoforte Category
Seventh Grade to Licentiate
Neta Maughan AM
Private Teacher Instrumental/Vocal Category
Preliminary to Sixth Grade
Jocelyn Fazzone
Private Teacher Instrumental/Vocal Category
Seventh Grade to Licentiate
Alex Todicescu
Private Teacher Written Category
First Grade to Licentiate
Elspeth Staas
Private Teacher Speech Category
Preliminary to Fifth Grade
Victoria Clancy
Private Teacher Speech Category
Sixth Grade to Licentiate
Victoria Clancy
Schools Category Sydney Grammar School

Staff News

Lauren Brandon

Lauren Brandon has been working casually for AMEB (NSW) since 2008, primarily timetabling practical exams for local studios, schools and weekday Clarence Street exams. After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2004, Lauren won placement in the prestigious Sydney Symphony Fellowship program. She then relocated to Sydney and played double bass professionally with the Sydney Symphony as a casual musician from 2004 to 2008. Lauren has also toured with the Sydney Symphony, the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Queensland Youth Orchestra. Her knowledge of AMEB (NSW) systems and processes, coupled with her in-depth musical knowledge, make her a valuable asset to AMEB (NSW), and we are thrilled that she is now officially a full-time member of our scheduling team.

News from AMEB Federal Office

2013 AMEB syllabuses available as a digital download

The following syllabuses are currently available as digital downloads from the Federal AMEB website:

  • 2012 Violin Syllabus (New syllabus)
  • Bowed String Syllabuses and Theory of Music package
  • 2012 Speech and Drama Manual (All speech syllabuses)

From 2013, teachers of only one or two instruments may be pleased to learn that this digital format will be adopted for all AMEB syllabuses.

The AMEB Manual of Music Syllabuses will still be available to purchase as a hard-copy publication, but from 2013 teachers will now also have the option to purchase the syllabus for specific instrument categories as a digital download from the Federal AMEB website.

Online Written Examinations

Online written examinations can now be undertaken for Theory of Music, Musicianship and Music Craft examinations up to and including Third Grade. Keep checking the online examination website for the updated information about the release date for Fourth Grade and upward for Theory of Music, Musicianship and Music Craft.

2011 Presentation Ceremony

The Annual Diploma Presentation Ceremony was held on Sunday 11 March, with over 200 Associate diplomas and 55 Licentiate diplomas awarded to talented NSW and ACT music and speech students for their excellence in 2011 examinations.

All of our ceremony performers this year were chosen from the 22 musicians who received their Licentiate Diploma with Distinction in 2011.

Conductor Patrick Thomas MBE gave a compelling Presenter’s Address, mentioning that he too received AMEB diplomas earlier in his music training for both Piano and Organ. He noted that AMEB provides ‘a pathway where thousands of aspiring musicians have been able to add to their technique, musical insight and understanding.’

‘It is impossible to exaggerate the tremendous contribution made by the AMEB, and by the legion of highly qualified musicians and artists who have given generously of their expertise to the organisation since its formation 125 years ago.’

Patrick finished with an inspirational observation: ‘Music requires total dedication, but it will always reward you with satisfaction and joy of achievement directly in proportion to the degree of personal commitment you invest.’

The Music Teachers’ Association of NSW

Music Teachers Association logo

celebrates its centenary in 2012 with major public events

  • Centenary Luncheon at Parliament House on 13 July in the presence of distinguished guests with entertainment and the launch of the pictorial history: The Music Teachers’ Association of NSW 1912 to 2012
  • The Centenary Conference: New Horizons on 5 and 6 October

Members, past members, non-members, friends and colleagues are invited to help celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event!

For further details, visit or contact the Secretary on 9570 1436 [toll free 1800 021 436] or email:

A New Approach to Violin Technical Work

AMEB (NSW) Strings Advisor and Federal String Specialist Panel Member Denise Lawrence discusses the merits of this new resource.

The AMEB is pleased to introduce a new Technical Workbook for violin which will accompany Series 8 and 9 of the AMEB Violin Grade Books in the new Violin Syllabus.

Although the Technical Workbooks don't introduce any radical new ideas to the teaching of scales and exercises, the way they are to be practised and examined has been changed in line with modern pedagogical practice.

The committee has followed a streamlined approach for violin, consistent with the new AMEB Cello Technical Workbooks. The number of key centres has been reduced, but more is covered on each fundamental. The candidate will no longer choose either the starting note or the bowing pattern and will be given a key centre (usually only 2 or 3 in each grade) and this selection will be played in its entirety.

Due to time constraints, possibly only one key will be tested on the day but this will be at the examiner’s discretion. The examiner will not alternate between keys so the major, minor, chromatic and arpeggio sequence will be played straight through.

Teachers may at first be a little surprised at the order of arpeggios, with minor coming first as is the European tradition, but this should prove to be a sound approach and less intimidating for the student.

Philippa Paige has constructed a sound set of exercises which address different aspects of technical development in a wellplanned and logical manner. She is a highly respected pedagogue, and I feel confident that teachers, students and examiners will find this aspect of the examination process greatly improved.

A memorable examination

In a Northern Italian romance language, the word amarcord means ‘I remember’. In conjunction with Musica Viva, and to celebrate the impending arrival of the talented all-male a cappella group Amarcord to Australia, we invite AMEB examiners, teachers and candidates to submit their own account of a memorable examination.

It may be a recent recollection or an examination experience from long ago that offers a whimsical anecdote or perhaps marked a pivotal moment in your musical journey or that of one of your students.

Submissions of 60 words or less must reach AMEB (NSW) by post or email by Tuesday 10 July 2012. The top 5 entries will win a double-pass to see Amarcord at the Angel Place Recital Hall on 21 July 2012.


Takács Quartet

Takács Quartet

Sydney 23 June 2pm and 2 July 7pm

Newcastle 29 June 7.30pm

Arguably the best string quartet in the world. Performing compelling repertoire from Janácˇek, Britten, Ravel and Debussy



Sydney 21 July 2pm and 30 July 7pm

Newcastle 28 July 7.30pm

This all-male a cappella group will serenade you with Renaissance madrigals and Romantic songs

Kuss Quartet and Naoko Shimizu

Kuss Quartet and Naoko Shimizu. Tickets start from $30 for under 30's. Additional fees may apply

Sydney 17 September 7pm and 29 September 2pm

Newcastle 27 September 7.30pm

Principal Viola of the Berlin Philharmonic, joins with the Kuss Quartet in a showcase of string quintets

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