Our Staff

Music For Canberra's Dedicated Team of Office Staff, Tutors and Conductors

Office Staff

Dr. Stephanie Neeman

CEO & Artistic Director

Dr. Stephanie Neeman is an internationally acclaimed pianist and music educator. She has held positions as professor of piano professor at the University of Utah and Valdosta State University in the United States. She also teaches at ELMS Conservatory in Indonesia, where she is the Head of the Piano Department. She completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati, MM and BM from Manhattan School of Music.

Stephanie’s virtuosic pianistic skills have earned her top prizes in the Empire State International Piano Competition and the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition, among others. Together with her husband, as the Neeman Piano Duo, she has performed across the US, Asia and Australia, including as a soloist with the National Capital Orchestra and the Canberra Youth Orchestra. The Neeman Piano Duo are known for their impeccable musicianship and unique onstage chemistry. Their arrangements of popular Classical and Broadway tunes for piano four hands have been performed by duet ensembles worldwide.

Stephanie is passionate about music education and pedagogy. Her piano students have been prize-winners at major competitions and have been accepted to prestigious programs worldwide. She has given masterclasses and lectures at universities and conservatories around the world, and is a frequent presenter at music teachers’ conferences in Australia and the United States. She writes a regular column for the Indonesian music education magazine STACCATO.

Stephanie is excited to join Music for Canberra as its CEO/Artistic Director and looks forward to working with the members, staff and board to continue to provide music education and performances for all Canberrans.

Hayley Manning

Office Administrator/Marketing

Hayley Manning graduated from the Australian National University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Music and Science. Former Principal Double Bassist of the Canberra Youth Orchestra, Hayley now performs regularly with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra as of 2019. She has also toured regional New South Wales with the Macquarie Symphony Orchestra and often plays with Canberra Sinfonia and other chamber ensembles around Canberra.

Hayley has a strong interest in musical theatre, and has performed as a pit musician in several productions, including Beauty and the Beast, Heathers: The Musical, and The World Goes Round.

Hayley has only recently begun establishing her own teaching studio and works as a peripatetic music tutor at several schools around Canberra teaching double bass and electric bass.

She has been working in the Music for Canberra office since the start of Term 2, 2019.

Our Tutors


Barbara Jerjen

Flute, Recorder and Music Play Tutor

Acclaimed music teacher and performer Barbara Jerjen has been working with people of all ages and abilities for over 40 years. Her fields of expertise range from early childhood music education over individual tuition to leading ensembles and conducting orchestras. Over the past 20 years Barbara has been majorly involved in community music work and peripatetic music tuition at several schools in town. Barbara is one of the main tutors of Music For Canberra, where she teaches the classes of the Music Play program, the various recorder courses for children and adults as well as a large part of the flute curriculum. Barbara also conducts the CREMS recorder orchestra, she is a regular tutor at music workshops around Australia including the annual Orpheus summer courses in Armidale (NSW), and she runs several community ensembles.

Barbara studied flute and recorder at the conservatory of Basel, as well as musicology, pedagogy, languages and cultural anthropology at the university of Basel, Switzerland. Married with four children she moved to Canberra in 1995.

Marlene Radice

Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Saxophone, Kaleidoscope Woodwind Ensemble

Marlene is a classically trained clarinet and saxophonist. She studied composition at the ANU school of music and Monash University and she has since continued her studies participating in festivals in New York, Italy and the UK. As a performer she specialises in contemporary electro-acoustic compositions and has played in venues across Australia. She specialises in teaching Clarinet and Saxophones which she first began studying and performing in Sydney where she was a part of the NSW State Wind Band before moving to Canberra, where she chose to focus on smaller solo and chamber performance. Marlene began teaching at MFC in 2018. She is passionate about supporting new music in Australia and is also on the board of the Tilde New Music and Sound Art Festival held biannually in Melbourne, Australia.
As a teacher she encourages her students to play music they enjoy and to listen as widely as possible to all types of music from different genres, eras, and cultural heritages. She believes music is meant to be enjoyed by everyone and loves teaching people of all ages and abilities and encourages everyone to challenge themselves to try music they might not already be familiar with and to play and gig as much as they can!


Elisha Adams


Elisha completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance) at ANU in 2016. A highlight of the time was participating in a university exchange to University College Dublin and touring Sweden with UCD Symphony Orchestra. Since then Elisha has been actively involved in Canberra Musical community. Elisha enjoys playing in pit orchestras for musicals and performing various gigs around Canberra. In 2017 she conducted the Bruch Violin Concerto with Maruki Community Orchestra and soloist John Gould. Elisha currently plays with Forrest National Chamber Orchestra.

Elisha has been teaching violin since 2015. She has training in Colourstrings and Kodály methodology, as well as experience with Suzuki methodology and AMEB Examinations. Elisha has experience teaching ages 4 to adult; at all levels of development. As an active member of the Australian String Teacher’s Association Elisha is constantly refining her skills and methods of tuition. Central to Elisha’s teaching philosophy is that the joy and love of music is the key to every student’s development.

Kyle Ramsay-Daniel

Guitar, Bass Guitar
Sinfonietta Conductor

Kyle Ramsay-Daniel is a professional double bassist, guitarist and bass guitarist based in Canberra. He completed a Bachelor of Music with 1st class honours in 2011 and since then he has gained a wide range of experience in music performance and pedagogy, and is equally comfortable performing in solo, duo, band, and full orchestral contexts.

He has maintained a busy teaching schedule since 2007, teaching at Radford College, Canberra Grammar, and both tertiary and pre-tertiary students at the ANU School of Music. He is currently a conductor in MFC’s String Stream, bass guitarist with local prog rock band Second Sun, regularly performs as Principal Double Bass with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and also performs in the jazz duo Just Enough Jazz.

Kyle’s influences as a guitarist cover many genres, and include players such as Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Pass, Joe Satriani, and more modern guitarists such as Plini, Tosin Abasi and Yvette Young.

Mary Firkins

Guitar, Violin, & MAP Tutor

Mary is an accomplished guitar player, who has been in many established bands throughout Canberra over many years. Mary has tutored at Music For Canberra for a number of years. She has tutored privately, and in groups, and has also been part of the Mixed Abilities team at Music For Canberra.

Dylan Slater

Acoustic and Electric Guitar

Dylan first picked up the guitar aged 10 and was immediately hooked. After 17 years playing he is now in his second year of a Bachelor of Music at the ANU majoring in Jazz Performance. Dylan can be seen around Canberra playing anything from jazz to indie rock to bluegrass. He has played in many musical productions including Canberra Philharmonic Society’s stagings of Rock of Ages and Jesus Christ Superstar and has performed at the Merimbula Jazz Festival, the Moruya Jazz Festival and the National Folk Festival. Dylan has been teaching guitar for the last 6 years.


Zach Raffan

Brass Tutor

Zach is a musician, actor, and composer. He has tutored all brass instruments privately and in ACT schools since he was 18. He began playing trumpet at 8 in Tasmania, where he grew up, then moved to Canberra in 1998 where he began studying with Daniel Mendelow. Since 2016, Zach has performed with his band The Zackerbilks, an eight -piece Dixie band that plays jazz from the 20s-50s, which continues to go strong today. Currently he focuses more on Jazz in his own playing, but predominately teaches classical to his students as he believes its an essential part of learning any brass instrument. His philosophy is to teach students how to teach themselves, in order to speed up the process of achieving independence as a musician


Toby King

Drum Kit and Hand Drumming

Hello, I’m Toby King. I’m a Canberra based drummer, teaching locally for 10 years. I specialize in ergonomic drumming and musical creativity, on the drum kit and hand percussion.

I have been playing drums for 20 years. Touring and recording with local acts, such as Dahahoo, JAB, Anemic, Pacer, Second Sun, Massive Sherlock, East Row Rabble, Betty Alto, Rebecca Moore band, Mikelangelo Canberra All-Stars and The Wannabes,

I strive to create a relaxed atmosphere for all ability levels and encourage creativity and musical freedom through technical development, theory and musical games.

Kapil Bhuta

Drum Kit and Hand Drumming

My name is Kapil Bhuta and I am a first year university student at ANU. I have lived in Sydney, Capetown, Singapore and now Canberra and have been playing the drums for 10 years. As well as drums, I play a vast range of percussion instruments, guitar, bass, piano, mandolin and the ukulele. I have been performing all of my life, my most accomplished performance being in front of 60,000 people on the drums at the Formula One race in Singapore in 2018 with The Killers. I have been in a vast array of ensembles ranging from rock, soul, pop, acoustic, orchestral and jazz.

I have also completed Higher Level Music Theory and Performance in the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme as well as doing my Extended Essay in Music. I have experience teaching children with learning difficulties and love to share my passion of music with everyone I interact with!


Susan Reid


Originally from South Africa, Susan Reid has been a piano teacher for over 40 years, teaching children of all ages and adults. She is always pleased when her pupils enjoy their music, and when those who take exams, do well. Her qualifications are LTCL (piano teaching), and B Mus (Honours in Ethnomusicology) from the University of Adelaide. As well as teaching private pupils, Susan taught choirs at South Africa’s Drakensberg Boys Choir School, and later class music with the Yamaha Music Foundation in Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra. She leads an adult church choir in Canberra, sometimes plays percussion with the National Capital Orchestra, and has taught piano with Music for Canberra since April 2019.

Vivienne Tran


Vivienne Tran began studying piano at the age of six under the tutelage of Laura Wong, before starting with Marie Cull in 2010. She gained her Associate Diploma of Performance in October 2018, and is currently studying for her Licentiate Diploma. Vivienne has competed in many regional Eisteddfods: Goulburn, Cowra, Nowra, Wollongong, Wagga Wagga and Orange, achieving consistent 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. In addition, she has also gained various scholarships, such as the Junior Piano Scholarship at the Orange Eisteddfod in 2014 and the Rose Fraser Memorial Award in 2013 and 2014. She also competes in the annual ACTKA piano competitions, where in 2016 she gained 2nd place, 3rd place in 2017 and 2nd place in 2018. As well as competing in Eisteddfods, Vivienne enjoys participating in masterclasses organised by the ANU School of Music, where she has learnt with Dr. Edward Neeman, Dr. Mike Lee, Shan Deng and Anna Sleptsova. As of 2019, Vivienne has been studying under the tutelage of Dr. Edward Neeman at the ANU School of Music.

Vivienne has performed at the National Library of Australia and Parliament House for the centenary program ‘The Musical Offering’ and has performed in various ensembles and orchestras in Llewelyn Hall at the ANU School of Music and the High Court of Australia.

Vivienne has been teaching students Preliminary and under for three years, and her main focus is to share her passion of music and performance with young children, as well as help them develop their technical ability and sense of musicality.



Sarahlouise Owens


Sarahlouise Owens is a professional singer with over 20 years performing experience.

Sarahlouise spent several years overseas, where she sang in many of Europe’s illustrious theatres as well as having had success in a number of major national and international singing competitions.

Since her return to Australia she has been teaching vocal technique and repertoire to students from a broad range of backgrounds; from absolute beginner adults and children, to more experienced tertiary music students and performers.

In addition to teaching singing, she also gives voice coaching enabling the student to build confidence in order to speak publicly whether it be to deliver a seminar to a room full of colleagues or a speech to a hall full of people.

The philosophy behind her teaching methods is to establish a sound technical basis, from which the student may apply any genre or style, such as classical, opera, musical theatre or jazz.

Our Conductors