Janis Laurs

I have known Micheál McCarthy (and his impressive and necessary work in the fields of music education, choral and conductor training) for a number of decades now. The work Micheál does is fundamentally important in musical training and should be available and accessible to all from a young age in kindergartens and schools. Aural development is important for us all, whether our interest is in music as a profession or more vocational . What Micheál has developed has clearly been a success, and the evidence is there for all to see in the musicians that have studied with him. If there was a Micheál McCarthy in every school, what an exciting and wonderfully enriched place Australia would be!

A fundamental experience of musical elements fully integrated is there from the beginning: Rhythm, movement, singing and harmonic understanding; musical structure, brain development, and interactive multi-tasking – all presented in an enjoyable, energising context and setting. Expressing, communicating and interacting – this is what music & music making is for, what it is all about!

Micheál is a specialist in the Kodály concept, a system that has been acknowledged as one of the most effective and important music education approaches. This approach has been adopted by leading European countries such as Finland – countries that are educationally and culturally enlightened, while also being world leaders in education & training .

Education, and especially music education, is one of the best gifts a parent can give to their children . If Micheál McCarthy was living and working in my city I would have gladly sent my children to him, and then encourage them to continue on at tertiary level, irrespective of their chosen area of study.

Micheál is an outstanding teacher, conductor and musical facilitator, who not only works with choirs, but also instrumentalists in chamber music settings. The training that he provides produce a well-equipped, intelligent, thinking, musician’s musician. Hopefully the students that have had the privilege of studying with him will continue to take up this valuable work, as it is an area that is clearly lacking in our communities and society . I cannot stress enough the value and importance of what Micheál’s work.

Janis Laurs, Senior Lecturer, Elder Conservatorium of Music; Former Principal Cellist, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; Foundation cellist, Australian String Quartet; Former Director, Australian Youth Orchestra's 'National Music Camp'; Former Artistic Director, Adelaide Youth Orchestra; Teacher, Australian National Academy of Music.

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