Teacher Spotlight – Arlene Fletcher

Arlene Fletcher started her classical Double Bass training as a scholarship student of NECOM back in 2004. This passion for the instrument extended into her undertaking the Bachelor of Improvisation Music degree at the Victorian College of the Arts and her Masters of Secondary Music Teaching at the Melbourne Graduate School of Teaching.

In her graduate year of teaching, she became Director of Music at Albert Park College and implemented a flourishing Instrumental Music program that was inclusive of contemporary and classical repertoire. In 2016 Arlene continued work with senior curriculum implementation at Albert Park College and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. in 2015, Arlene released her debut album ‘Timing’ under her original jazz project Arlene Fletcher Trio. As a performer, she is known for her work with Tim Rogers, The Twoks, Sidney Creswick, Luke Howard, Xani Kolac, Andrew Kimber Quartet and Tara Minton. She is excited to be teaching back in her hometown of Armidale and passing on her contemporary and classical experience into musically engaged classrooms and instrumental performances.

Tell us about your musical background in Armidale:

I have the pleasure of living in a community that supports and celebrate music. This year I am involved in Armidale Symphony Orchestra, Fiori Chamber Choir and New England Sinfonia. I have also been a part of the improvised music scene here performing with the Ash Hall Trio, Out West- an exploration of cool west jazz tunes and a variation of monthly residencies.

I am looking forward to expanding projects and my playing next year.

How did you become a music teacher?

Throughout my Bachelor of Music at Victorian College of the Arts I worked as an instrumental teacher then decided to undertake my Masters of Secondary Music Education through MTEACH. It wasn’t until I started my first placement that I realised I loved the varied dynamics of classroom and sharing creativity with young people exploring music. In my graduate year, I became head of music at Albert Park College with another colleague where we had the opportunity to build a program that embraces classical, contemporary and a strong instrumental program. Moving back to Armidale has given me the opportunity to explore a wide variety of teaching contexts and has helped solidify my teaching philosophy.

What do you enjoy most about teaching music?

I love how every class can be different, creative and it depends on the individuals and the class. I enjoy showing students a variety of music and exploring these genres  through a range of performance, composition and theoretical activities. There is so much to explore music so creating resources and songs for students that contributes to a dynamic, engaged and active classroom is exciting.

What’s the best part about teaching at NECOM?

Working with a range of teachers and staff that share a passion for music education where we can contribute and discuss each other’s resources, ideas and create a collegial approach to teaching ensembles, classes and individuals.

What would be your best piece of advice you could give your students?

  • Quality VS quantity of practise. I would prefer students do a little bit each day with refined practise strategies rather than cram before the lesson.
  • Listen and explore a range of musicians, styles, composers and instruments. It’s food for your ears.