"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, we 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, we work to develop bespoke, world-class projects that make a significant difference to the lives of individuals and communities.
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.
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 can support the physical, social and emotional development of young children from the earliest years of life
Everyone has musical potential that deserves 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
Power of Music
Emily Gann (Director)
Grad.Dip.Ed., B.Mus.Hons., Grad.Cert.Mu.St., Dip.ABRSM
A highly experienced music educator, creative producer and arts leader, Emily brings a wealth of valuable knowledge & skills to the arts and education sector. Through Connecting the Dots in Music, Emily strategically conceives and delivers high-impact music programs in partnership with diverse organisations, services and artists. With an emphasis on “building connections for a better world through music”, Emily applies systems-level thinking to embed inclusive music education programs of highest quality, for all to access.
Having established herself within an international network of arts education leaders, Emily has a deep understanding of best-practice music education and community engagement models. With an aim to proving the significant possibilities that deep-level collaborations hold, Emily has been delivering pioneering projects - each one addressing an identified need within the current music education ecosystem. The level of innovation and positive community impact of her most recent initiatives has received international attention by organisations including Carnegie Hall, London Symphony Orchestra, Jeunesses Musicales International and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Through developing Lullaby Project Australia, Emily formed an international partnership between Connecting the Dots in Music and Carnegie Hall.
Selected to the Global Leaders Program for 2020/2021, Emily is committed to achieving positive social impact through music and strengthening worldwide connections. As a recipient of a 2019 Arts SA Individual Development Grant, Emily spent time with numerous arts organisations, government bodies and music leaders in New York, London, Seattle and Portland. She explored different examples of education partnerships, collaborative structures and collective leadership approaches, with a view to tailoring a unique platform for South Australia. In 2014, she won a scholarship to travel overseas to learn about creative collaborations involving leading arts organisations and educational institutions, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Voces8, London Symphony Orchestra, Wigmore Hall, Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Aldeburgh Music.
From 2013-2018, Emily led the Learning & Community Engagement Program for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, where she overhauled and redesigned the organisation’s education program. Her unique student mentorship and workforce development initiatives, community partnerships, and cutting-edge creative projects have been widely acknowledged. The Petrushka Project – the first creative program of its kind by an Australian orchestra and a 2016 Ruby Awards finalist – saw 32 young musicians work with acclaimed artist Paul Rissmann to collectively reimagine one of Stravinsky’s ballet scores. Committed to generating new works for young people, Emily has conceived and produced a number of noteworthy commissions for families and schools. The Bush Concert, composed by Mark Simeon Ferguson for the ASO in 2015, has since been enjoyed by tens of thousands of young people across Australia and China, including performances by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Youth Orchestra.
Most significant of her commissions is the orchestral production What Do You Do With An Idea?, composed by Paul Rissmann. Based on the award-winning book by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom, the work was premiered by ASO and Young Adelaide Voices in 2018, and has since been performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in London. Emily is now heading an international collaboration with Kobi Yamada (author), Paul Rissmann (composer) and Compendium Inc (publisher) that will see the "Idea" transformed into a new community-focussed creative project that will empower young people to collaboratively compose and perform their own ideas alongside professional musicians.
Highly respected across the community for her passion and commitment to access and innovation in music, Emily sits on the Board of Young Adelaide Voices, and has previously served as a council member of the Australian Society for Music Education and Kodaly SA. Emily was instrumental in establishing the SA Music Education Roundtable in 2015 and was an Artistic Vibrancy Peer of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2019.
As a music educator, Emily works as a Director of Strings and Music Teacher. She has researched & developed a unique integrated approach to instrumental learning, involving a study trip to Helsinki in 2008, and the writing of a string teaching resource String Song.
What Do You Do With An Idea?
Immersive music composition project for schools inspired by Paul Rissmann's orchestral score of the book What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom
Music For All Project 2019
"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 always demonstrated herself to be a highly motivated , responsible and creative woman, with exceptional ability to lead a team of collaborators and to achieve the best possible outcome for the project, no matter what challenges are thrown at her.
Kobi Yamada, Author/CEO of Compendium (US)
"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)
"I admire the ways that Emily has developed strong and promising relationships across the network of arts leaders in other countries, studying their work, borrowing the best of it to build upon. She consistently seeks to break new ground artistically, while positively impacting the lives of all those involved"
Eric Booth, Author/Teaching Artistry Leader (US)
"I consider it my great fortune to have had the opportunity to work alongside Emily who has the rare and exceptional ability to combine visionary and strategic thinking with the focussed planning and attention to detail needed to deliver on her vision."
Gill McFadyen, Community Development Consultant (Australia)
"I don't think I'll ever stop being blown away at the passion, effort and hard work Emily possesses. I'm in awe of what she created and while the week was full of so many eye-opening and positive moments, her sheer determination has given me a whole new perspective of the possibilities of change I could also create in my own way which I hope would only add to the impact she's already having in communities and schools"
Loni Fitzpatrick, AYO Momentum Ensemble (Australia)