Our Management Team

Shane Dobbin – Chief Executive Officer 

Anup Shrestha – Finance Manager

Ariana Odermatt – Artistic Convenor, Community Programs

Hester Chen – Office Manager 

Millie Watson – Marketing, Events & Communications Coordinator


Our Tutors

Tahni Chan, Violin

Tahni moved to Canberra to study a Double degree in Music and Law at ANU. She was the concertmaster of Canberra Youth Orchestra and is currently employed as a violinist with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and plays regularly with the Australian Youth Orchestra. She looks forward to sharing her love of the  violin with her students.

Ragnel Jansdotter, Violin

Ragnel is an experienced performer and teacher. She regularly plays with ensembles such as the Canberra Sinfonia and the Canberra Youth Orchestra. Ragnel enjoys teaching students of all ages and skill levels. She makes a point of tailoring her pedagogical approach to the individual requirements and abilities of each student, avoiding rote learning and ensuring a comprehensive understanding of music and violin technique.

Matthew Witney, Violin

Matthew has over six years of teaching experience teaching both young children and adults. His teaching incorporates the Suzuki philosophy to maximise the playing potential of his students while imparting a sense of fun and important life skills. Matthew asked to learn to play violin from the age of four after he watched ‘Playschool Meets the Orchestra’. He learnt to play the violin in the Suzuki Philosophy before completing his AmusA (AMEB) diploma at the age of 13. He currently plays violin with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and other local ensembles.

Rita Woolhouse, Cello

Rita attended the NSW Conservatorium of Music High School then enrolled in tertiary study, graduating with a DSCM in performance. She has performed in numerous Australian ensembles and orchestras including the John Gould String Quartet and the Majorian Ensemble. She has taught cello and chamber music for many years and worked as a strings examiner for the AMEB. Rita currently performs and teaches in Canberra and Illawara.

Thomas Powles, Cello

Thomas is a fourth-year music student at the ANU.  He is an experienced performer and composer, receiving multiple awards in the arts, music, and cello performance.  Thomas cares deeply about the long-term success of his students, and chooses to focus on approach, understanding, and musicality early-on, rather than simply covering techniques.  His goal is to help his students find joy in what they are doing, no matter their age or skill level.

Tom Sherringham, Guitar

Tom has been playing the guitar since age 7. Growing up in a musical family, he had a lot of exposure to live music and jam sessions from a young age.  Some of his performances include National Folk Festival, Multicultural Festival, Tropfest, 3 Minute Thesis, Cobargo and Major’s Creek Folk Festival, Enlighten Festival, International Film Festivals at New Acton, Art not Apart and Day of the Dead.He also helps run the Mixed Abilities Program (MAP) in Music for Canberra since 2019 and is in his final year at ANU studying for a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance.

Dylan Slater, Guitar & Ukulele

Dylan first picked up the guitar aged 10 and was immediately hooked. After 17 years of playing, he is now in his final year of a Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University majoring in Jazz Performance and splits his time between studying, teaching, playing in local bands, community musicals and in wedding bands. Dylan can be seen around Canberra playing anything from jazz to indie rock, from to funk to bluegrass. Dylan has been teaching guitar for the last 10 years, and specialises in advanced improvisation, advanced picking techniques, and theory, as well as being accustomed to teaching beginners of all ages.

Abel Lawson, Guitar and Ukulele

Abel Lawson is a caring and patient teacher. Growing up in Tumut, NSW, Abel began playing the guitar when he was 13 years old. He started with electric guitar and after 3 years, he learnt classical guitar as well.

Abel likes seeing his students having fun while learning and playing the guitar. Abel impressed us with his musicianship, dedication, reliability and his thoughtful answers to our questions about how he approaches music education.

Quinn Weber, Woodwind

Quinn is a local musician who started learning saxophone at 10 years old. After learning how to play the saxophone for a couple of years, he also picked up flute and clarinet.

Quinn is currently in his third year of a Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University and hopes to use what he learns there to teach his students to be the best musicians they possibly can be. Quinn values both classical and jazz schools of playing and ensures his students are exposed to a wide variety of repertoire covering various genres.

David Brown, Woodwind

David is a highly experienced musician, as a performer, studio musician, ensemble director/conductor and instrumental tutor for  the flute, clarinet and saxophone family of instruments. David was a part time member of staff at ANU teaching aspiring jazz instrumentalists and creating a full size band from Prep Jazz Course students. Big Bands have played a big role in David’s professional career as has his performance degree. David enjoys teaching flute, clarinet and saxophone to beginners and players of all levels of ability. 

Brass & Percussion

Kapil Bhuta, Drum Kit & Hand Drumming

Kapil Bhuta is a student in ANU and has been drumming for 10 years in Sydney, Singapore and Canberra. He enjoys performing and has been doing so consistently since young. His most accomplished performance is being on the drums with The Killers at the Formula One race in Singapore last year, in front of a 60,000 strong crowd.

In addition to drums, Kapil also plays the guitar, bass, piano, mandolin and the ukelele. He has been involved in a vast array of ensembles ranging from rock, soul, pop, acoustic, orchestral and jazz. Kapil loves to share his passion of music with all whom he interacts with.

Matthew Ricketts, Brass

Matthew is a passionate player of all things Brass. Specialising in trombone and trumpet, Matt plays with the Australian Wind Symphony and his styles range from classical to contemporary. Matt also teaches tuba, french horn and euphonium and has been involved with the Canberra musis scene for the past ten years. Matt is an experienced and patient tutor, and enjoys seeing his students have fun while learning an instrument. He believes that doing so will keep them motivated and practicing regularly.


Susan Reid, Piano

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. Her qualifications are LTCL (piano teaching), and B Mus (Honours in Ethnomusicology) from the University of Adelaide. She leads a church choir in Canberra, and has taught piano with Music for Canberra since 2019.

Vivenne Tran, Piano

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 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.

Linus Hanul Lee, Piano

Linus is an active pianist/organist. Linus graduated from the Australian National University with a classical piano performance major in 2018. In 2017, he became a Wesley music scholar, where he resumed his organ tuition. He attained the LMusA with distinction for the organ in 2019. Linus looks forward to working with many future musicians to share the joy of music making.

Mixed Abilities Program (MAP)

Tom Sherringham, MAP

Tom has been playing the guitar since age 7. Growing up in a musical family, he had a lot of exposure to live music and jam sessions from a young age.  Some of his performances include National Folk Festival, Multicultural Festival, Tropfest, 3 Minute Thesis, Cobargo and Major’s Creek Folk Festival, Enlighten Festival, International Film Festivals at New Acton, Art not Apart and Day of the Dead.He also helps run the Mixed Abilities Program (MAP) in Music for Canberra since 2019 and is in his final year at ANU studying for a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance.

Evan Buckley, MAP

Evan Buckley is a recording and performing artist, twice nominated as live voice of the year in the ACT (NLMAs 2018, 2019) who has toured internationally and recorded three studio albums with his band, The Burley Griffin.

Evan has worked in the disability sector since 2006 and in the MAP program at MFC since 2017.

Karim Camprovin Sanchez, MAP

Originally from Venezuela, Karim has been studying music since she was eight years old. Karim is a singer and music educator and is passionate about music therapy. She has a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Music and she studied a postgraduate specialisation in Music Therapy where she discovered a passion for working with people with a disability to improve their wellbeing through music.


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.

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.

Ash Crowe, Sinfonietta

Ash Crowe graduated from Griffith University with a major in Viola Performance.  He is a passionate and experienced violist, violinist and composer with years of experience in small ensemble and orchestral playing.  Ash regularly composes music for solo viola and other string instruments, while incorporating music technology elements and effects. 

With a strong belief in community building and working with others to achieve common goals, Ash aims to facilitate an inclusive, encouraging and uplifting environment for all Music for Canberra musicians.

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.

John Ma, James McCusker Orchestra

John Ma is a Violinist/Violist and Viola d’amore player specialising in Early Music. He has
performed with groups around the world including Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (NL), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (UK), Academia Montis Regalis (IT), Bach Collegium Japan (JP), Musica Poetica (NL), Apollo Ensemble (NL), Fantasticus (NL), New Collegium (NL), Collegium 1704 (CZ), Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (FIN), B’Rock (BG), Trondheim Baroque Orchestra (NOR). In Australia, John has appeared with Pinchgut Opera, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Haydn Ensemble, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Salut!, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, and Sinfonia Australis. As a teacher and ensemble leader, he is keen to have his students seek a balance between technique and exploration. A robust technique by itself is meaningless if it does not form the basis for a playful exploration and communication with colleagues and the audience. He currently plays on a Duke violin from 1770.

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.