Our Management Team


Charlotte Strong– Administration Officer

Shu Guo – Finance Manager

Our Tutors

Music Play/Music Craft

Emma Zen

Emma Zen joins Music for Canberra as our Music Play/Music Craft Teacher.
Emma is an Intergenerational Music Educator connecting all stages of community from Early Childhood through to Aged Care. She is a passionate advocate for the transformative power of live Music Play and the Performing Arts. She is dedicated to continuous professional development, a growth mindset and Excellence in Music Play.
Emma comes to MfC with a wealth of Music Education Experience in schools, early learning centres, community organisations, cultural institutions, theatre groups, aged care, business, studios, conferences and public speaking events.
Emma has a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Music and a Graduate Certificate in Orff Music Education. She holds a Kodaly Certificate of Early Childhood Music, Orff Teacher Certification, Level 4 and AMEB qualifications in Piano, Clarinet and Theory.
Emma was awarded the ACT Government of Excellence Award, 2020 and COTA Intergenerational Award, 2019.
Experience the joy of music through singing, storytelling, movement and percussion in our fun Early Years Music Play program! Monday and Wednesday with the renowned Emma Zen.

Mixed Abilities Program (MAP)

Katie Cole

Katie Cole is an accomplished singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, writer and music director who loves sharing her passion for music making with people of all ages and abilities: from beginner to advanced; from hobbyist to professional. She founded and directs a band, ‘The Ukeladies’, improvises on violin at many venues around Canberra, is conductor of ‘Andante Andante’ ABBA choir, and for many years was the director of the German Harmonie Choir in Narrabundah. Currently, Katie teaches ukulele at Music for Canberra and is a tutor in the Open School of Music at ANU.
Katie has performed in many venues around Canberra including the High Court, National Gallery of Australia, Fitter’s Workshop, Albert Hall, Llewellyn Hall and the National Film and Sound Archive as well as at many community events including school fetes, church fairs, and local festivals. She is a guest host of Classical Capers at Smiths Alternative and has performed a number of times with the vocal ensemble Clarion in the National Portrait Gallery.
In 2019 her musical The Auction was performed to great acclaim in Tocumwal park, O’Connor.

Shaw Herron

Shaw Herron is Registered Music Therapist with the Australian Music Therapy Association. He started his own music therapy business in February 2008 after completing a Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy at UTS. He has successfully run individual and group music therapy sessions for the elderly and people with dementia at community organisations and many aged care facilities in Sydney and Canberra. He has also run individual and group music therapy sessions for children with autism and other disabilities. More recently Shaw has run group music therapy sessions for children with hearing impairments to assist with their development while adapting to their hearing aids and cochlear implants. He run educational sessions with a speech pathologist for parents of children with hearing impairments on how to use music at home to assist with their child’s development. Shaw also worked as Disability Community Support Worker when many of his music therapy sessions were cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Shaw’s music sessions have been well received by clients, carers and family members. Shaw aims to bring enthusiasm and fun to all his music sessions while providing inclusivity for every client and a variety of musical activities that promote wellbeing.

Theodore Ong

Theodore Ong is studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Relations and Human Rights at the ANU. He began learning violin at the age of 5 and completed AMEB grade 8 at the age of 13 in 2013. With violin starting as a childhood hobby and evolving into a passion, Theodore was able to ascertain a music scholarship in violin at Geelong Grammar School (2013 – 2018). Using this platform, he was given opportunities in ensembles both within and outside the school environment. Such experiences including performing with the Geelong Symphony Orchestra for their “Russia with Love” Concert Series (2016), Melbourne Youth Chamber Strings (2013), leading Geelong Grammars first overseas music tour as concert master to France and Belgium (2017) and held the post of concert master of The Geelong Grammar Symphony Orchestra (2016-2018). Theo has also performed with the National Boys Choir of Australia as a soloist and has been teaching violin and music theory to students aged 5 to 15 for 3 years.

Karen Owens, Music Craft (MAP)

Karen Owens has been an educator for over 40 years. Her teaching career began in NSW Public Schools where she taught for 5 years across a variety of grades. During this time, Karen completed the AMEB exams in singing up to Grade 5 and Theory Grade 4. Whe Karen moved to the ACT, she began teaching ACT Government schools as a classroom teacher and a specialist Music Teacher for Pre-School to Year 6. Karen has studied music pedagogy and completed jer Kodaly certificate and 2 levels of Orff Pedagogy. Karen began working with Music for Canberra in 1999 when it was called Music for Everyone. She taught a variety of Music Craft classes for students from ages 4 to 12. These classes were offered to students with differing disabilities as well as mainstream children. Some of the students with disabilities have continued their lessons with Karen into early adulthood. Karen’s other  interests include a variety of crafts including patchwork and knitting, singing in a choir, reading and gardening. 

Adrienne Cullity, MAP

Adrienne is a piano teacher and a primary music specialist with almost 20 years teaching experience.  She holds a BMusEd in secondary and piano teaching from UWA, an AMusA and LMusA in piano, a BMus (Hons) in piano performance from The University of Adelaide as well as the Australian Kodály Certificate (primary classroom).  She is currently the Vice President of Kodály ACT.


Louis Sharpe, Canberra Youth Orchestra

Since Louis’ move to Canberra in 2018 he has been welcomed into the local arts organisations to develop and add to the wonderful cultural landscape of the city. With orchestral education a passion of his, Louis is thrilled to be the conductor of the Canberra Youth Orchestra. Louis also performs in the percussion section of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Louis has also assisted at the Australian World Orchestra whilst undertaking his Masters in Orchestral Conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Joseph Chan, James McCusker Orchestra

Shing Him (Joseph) Chan is an active Australian conductor, violist and educator currently based in Sydney. Joseph completed a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting under the tutelage of Dr Carolyn Watson at the University of Kansas (USA) and Bachelor of Music with First-class Honours under Patricia Pollett’s tutelage at the University of Queensland. Throughout his career in the United States and Australia, he has had extensive experience with a variety of professional, community and youth orchestras. Joseph regularly directed the The University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra, University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra and co-founded the Kansas University Orchestra. Additionally, Joseph has worked professionally with The Xi’an Symphony Orchestra (China), as well as The Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Joseph is excited to be back in Australia to join the music community in Canberra and is looking forward to working with the next generation of young musicians. 

Wei Tsai (Harry), String Ensemble + Violin

Wei Tsai (Harry) began playing the violin at the age of 4 and has experience as a member of Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra and Taiwan Soloist Chamber Orchestra. He graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Music with first class honour in the performance stream and holds a Master of Teaching from University of Melbourne and is fully equipped with the latest pedagogy to maximize students’ performance by providing individually tailored tuition for each unique student. Wei (Harry) has experience teaching students with disabilities and mainstream students. He was the String Coordinator at Mount Scopus Memorial College for 9 years and also worked at Wesley College Melbourne where he took his student orchestra to perform at Hamer Hall. Wei (Harry) moved to Canberra in May 2022 to work with Canberra Grammar.

Mandy Philipse, Camerata

Mandy has been Camerata’s conductor for the last seven years and absolutely loves working with kids. She has been involved with MFC (formerly CYO Society and Canberra Youth Music) since she was eight years old and playing the violin and viola.

Jenny Higgs, String Ensemble

Growing up in Lithgow, NSW, Jenny always knew that she would make music her career. After graduating from the Australian National University, Jenny pursued a path that combined music and education. Now a professional musician with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and a teacher at Orana Steiner School. Jenny challenges her young students to explore works from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras and contemporary works written for string ensembles. She allows provides players with the opportunity to consolidate and develop their technical skills.

Tobias Cole, Canberra Children’s Choir

Tobias Cole is an award-winning singer and conductor with a passion for quality ensemble performance and for creating pathways for children and adults to achieve this. He is a regular guest singer in one of Australia’s finest vocal groups, The Song Company and in 2014 established his own professional ensemble in Canberra, Clarion, to perform Evensong a monthly program in the National Portrait Gallery.In 2013 he founded Turner Trebles primary school choir and, in 2014, Vocal Fry for high school students in the ANU Music Development Program.  As a singer he has performed principal roles with all the major Australian opera companies, including Opera Australia and has performed as a soloist throughout Australia and overseas.

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