Building connections for a better world through music.
"Connecting the Dots in Music" describes a unique philosophy and vision that recognises the power of music and connection in building a better world. By bringing together ideas, people, artists, organisations and communities, I seek to grow the capacity to affect positive social impact through accessible, inclusive and creative music education programs of outstanding quality. Focussing on collaborative design, creative problem solving and meaningful engagement, I work to develop bespoke, world-class projects that make a significant difference to the lives of individuals and communities.
I believe that partnerships hold the key to the future of music education and community participation by offering new ways of working, understanding, teaching, designing and implementing ideas. Equipped with a common goal and a bank of shared resources from which to draw upon, partnerships enable us to successfully transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, and turn possibilities into realities. By committing to genuine engagement and collaboration, we can collectively navigate a pathway on which to achieve longterm and sustainable success.
In partnership, we are stronger.
Together, we can make a difference.
Music Education in Partnership
Music Education In Partnership
Building Creative Capacity: A highly experienced music educator, program designer and project manager, Emily brings a wealth of valuable knowledge & skills to the arts and education sector. For five years, she led the Learning & Community Engagement Program for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, where she designed, developed and delivered significant innovative music programs for young people and communities. Her student mentorship initiatives, community partnerships & creative projects have been widely celebrated, with The Petrushka Project, (directed by composer Paul Rissmann), being named as a finalist in the 2016 ArtsSA Ruby Awards Best Project category. At ASO, Emily commissioned and produced a number of very successful orchestral works for young people, each inspired by a selected children's picture book. The Bush Concert (2015), composed by Mark Simeon Ferguson, has now been enjoyed by tens of thousands of young people across Australia and China. Based on Helga Visser's beautiful Australian story, the work made its Sydney Opera House debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and was live-streamed around Australia on Music Count Us In celebration day in 2017.
Ideas that Make a Difference: Fulfilling a four-year dream to create a unique, immersive orchestral work for young people, Emily commissioned and produced the creation of a new production, What do you do with an idea? (2018), composed by Paul Rissmann for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Based on the New York Times bestseller by Kobi Yamada & Mae Besom, this extraordinary work was brought to life in collaboration with a team of world-class artists: Paul Rissmann (composer/creative director), Carlie Angel (dancer/choreographer) and Christie Anderson (choir director). Attended by author Kobi Yamada, the World Premiere was performed at the Adelaide Town Hall by ASO and Young Adelaide Voices, receiving critical acclaim. The work made its overseas debut with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican on June 1, 2019. Emily is now leading a collaboration with Kobi Yamada, Paul Rissmann, and Compendium, that will see further projects being established based upon What do you do with an Idea?
Highlight Projects: With a passion for growing meaningful connections, Emily is driving diverse initiatives involving arts/community/cultural partners:
The Lullaby Project Australia: Miitu Palti (sleeping song): Through a key International Partnership with Carnegie Hall, Emily collaboratively developed The Lullaby Project within specific disadvantaged communities in South Australia. This was the very first program of its kind for Australia and Emily was the first Australian to be invited to New York to the network convening of Lullaby Project partners at Carnegie Hall this year. Hear Emily talk on ABC Radio about the project here.
Sing a Song of Sixpence: Making Music Matter: Emily is currently partnering with Raising Literacy Australia to devise and deliver a professional learning program to support library and playgroup leaders to integrate quality music education into their weekly programs.
Music For All Project: Fancy Pants: In partnership with Kilparrin School, Marion Council and Australian Youth Orchestras, Emily produced a cutting edge creative music project for students with disabilities and vision impairments, involving acclaimed international artists Paul Rissmann and Belinda McFarlane, and culminated in a public performance on July 26 at Marion Cultural Centre.
International Connections: Emily's passion for learning and exploring new understandings is evident in all her work. She has carried out extensive research to investigate models of partnerships between professional arts companies, communities and schools, and this year will visit New York, London, Seattle and beyond, to connect with world-leading organisations to explore innovative community-based models of arts initiatives. She is honoured to be a recipient of a 2019 Arts South Australia Individual Development Grant that has supported her in further researching and innovating best-practice music education initiatives in Australia, including collaborative and creative programs that successfully empower and strengthen communities. In 2014, she was awarded an NGS Scholarship to study collaborations between leading arts organisations and educational institutions, including the Berlin Philharmonic.
Connecting the Dots in Music is honoured to be an official International Partner of Carnegie Hall (New York), through Emily's leadership in bringing The Lullaby Project to Australia through the establishment of The Lullaby Project Australia: Miitu Palti (sleeping song).
Commitment to Educating: As a music educator, Emily holds the position of Director of Strings and Music Teacher at Immanuel College, Adelaide. Emily enjoys leading thought-provoking workshops that explore the notion of Music Education in Partnership as the key to unlocking the door to accessible and quality music education for all. She is a longstanding Council member of the Australian Society for Music Education (SA) and has recently been appointed as a member of the Board of the acclaimed choir school, Young Adelaide Voices. Emily was instrumental in establishing the Music Education Roundtable in South Australia and was invited to be a reviewer for the ASO, as part of their Artistic Vibrancy Peer network. As a cellist and conductor, Emily is passionate about building creative capacity in students and developing unique and inspiring performance opportunities. She has an interest in Kodaly-based music education practices and has researched & developed an integrated approach to musicianship development in instrumental learning, involving a study trip to Helsinki (2009) and the writing of a beginner string book StringSong.
Grad.Dip.Ed., B.Mus.Hons., Grad.Cert.Mu.St., Dip.ABRSM
Key premises and beliefs:
Participation in music has the power to improve lives and strengthen communities
Our world needs deep community now, more than ever before
Music belongs in and for communities, not as an elitist activity for the lucky few
Music education is vital to a child’s development from the earliest years of life
Everyone has musical potential that needs to be nurtured
Music partnerships between schools, arts organisations, and community/council services, hold the key to exceptional and accessible music education for all people
The improvement of access to quality music education cannot be left only to the responsibility of individual schools – a collected effort and energy is required
Through innovative teaching and learning in music, all key 21st Century life skills can be developed
Careers in the arts will flourish into the future
Embedding community engagement practices into music learning opens up enriched opportunities for students and the community at large
Emily Gann conducting the Immanuel College Chamber Orchestra at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre
with guest artists Ross Irwin, Emma Pasks, James Clark and Branden James
"Emily is a highly-skilled music educationalist and artistic administrator with great creative vision and outstanding organisational skills. She is a self-starter, rigorous in her planning and able to troubleshoot problems in a positive and professional manner. Most admirable is the fearlessness with which Emily embraces challenge. Indeed, Emily is one of the most dedicated, imaginative and meticulous arts educationalists I have ever met."
Paul Rissmann, Composer (UK)
"Emily has passion and an immense drive which has helped her programs soar to new heights. She is open to new ideas and skilled in incorporating them into her programs. Emily has a great track record of building up partnerships with community and cultural organisations. She nurtures, encourages and provides support for emerging musicians. Most of all I am impressed by Emily’s vision and ability to develop and deliver that vision into an extremely successful program."
Julian Ferraretto, Jazz Violinist (Australia)
"Emily has always impressed me in her pursuit of the highest educational ideals, and in her ability to influence the educational culture of a large organisation. Her work has been outstanding, infusing programs with educational principles designed to transform rather than simply entertain, with in-service activities that offer school teachers a model for serious long-term music education."
David Banney, Conductor (Australia)
"Emily has been key in developing a range of experiences to engage students from a wide range of backgrounds. She was instrumental in developing a holiday program for students from our Salisbury member schools that saw the students engage with the ASO, History SA and the Migration Museum. Emily has always been keen to find new ways to engage students and actively seeks out partnerships that will benefit the students’ learning."
Sally Owen, Children's University Australia