Term 1

Arts Centre Melbourne: Contemporary Improvisation Workshop

3 April 2024
The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne
Cost: FREE

Join Speak Percussion’s Duré Dara and Kaylie Melville for a workshop in spontaneous composition and discovering the unique voice of any object or musical instrument. In this hands-on arts learning experience, students will:

  • Work with Arts Centre Melbourne Creative Learning facilitators to explore what an identity as an artist and creative looks like, how it encompasses or enhances certain elements of personality, creativity and community.
  • Explore Arts Centre Melbourne’s Collections of costumes, memorabilia, set designs and photographs – the Australian Music Vault and APAC Reveal, a new state of the art facility where participants can interact with the processes of maintaining and displaying the Collection. Students are encouraged to reflect on the Collection’s role in celebrating artist identities.
  • Hear from Duré about her fascinating career as an improvising percussionist and trailblazing restauranter, including opening the first restaurant at Arts Centre Melbourne – EQ Cafe Bar. Duré and Speak’s Co-Artistic Director, Kaylie Melville will lead the group through a number of guided improvisations, providing opportunities for students to play and explore their creativity together in a supportive environment.
Academy at Arts Centre Melbourne is a school holiday program for high-ability students in years 4-12, supported by the Department of Education and Training, Victorian Government, through the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series. Participants must be a student in a Victorian Government School to attend. This program is targeted to students whose school reports show high-ability in The Arts, showing advanced skills in creative expression.
This workshop is open to both percussionists and players of any other instrument. As music will be improvised, no sheet music will be distributed in advance. Participants should be a confident instrumentalist. Please bring your instrument with you on the day.
Please ensure you are booking for the correct age group:
10:00am – 2:15pm for 9-13 year olds
10:30am – 2:45pm for 14-18 year olds
Further Information
For further information and to register, please visit Arts Centre Melbourne.

Improvisation Workshop (Darren Gill)

Improvisation Workshop: Duré Dara 

4 April 2024, 2-4pm
Darebin Arts Centre, 401 Bell Street, Preston, VIC
Cost: FREE

Victorian secondary students of any instrument are invited to take part in an improvisation workshop inspired by the work of Speak Percussion’s Creative Director Duré Dara. This workshop will be run by Duré & Speak Percussion’s Co-Artistic Director and Sounds Unheard Co-ordinator, Kaylie Melville.

For more than 50 years, Duré Dara has been making spontaneous music and performance. She is well known for her work with the late David Tolley, in the Brian Brown Quintet and as an improvisational musician, collaborating on countless music projects with some of the most admired Australian musicians.

Duré has achieved great success as a business woman, in philanthropy and through her work with the Victorian Women’s Trust. She has consistently championed social inclusion and received an Order of Australia Medal for her services to women’s groups. She remains committed to working towards gender equality.

In this improvisation workshop, secondary students will hear from Duré about her fascinating career, her ‘Percussion, Degustation, Conversation’ project with Speak Percussion, and her advice for young artists. Dure and Kaylie will lead the group through a number of guided improvisations, providing opportunities for students to play and explore their creativity together in a supportive environment.


Students will need to bring along an instrument for the improvisation exercises. All other materials will be provided.

Registration & Further Information

For further information, please download the Improvisation Workshop Flyer.
To apply please fill out the online form here.

Applications for the Improvisation Workshop must be received by 5pm, Monday 1 April 2024. For assistance with your application or to request further information, please contact Speak’s Special Projects Producer Biddy Connor (biddy@speakpercussion.com).


  Duré Dara (Darren Gill)

Term 2

Monash 2024 Day of Percussion: Improvisation Workshop

27 April 2024, 2-3pm
Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance, Monash University
Cost: FREE

Join Speak Percussion’s Duré Dara and Kaylie Melville for a Sounds Unheard Workshop, exploring creative ways to make music together.

The Day of Percussion runs from 12:30-5pm and includes three venues full of workshops, clinics, masterclasses and a concert. This is a free event, suitable for school and university students, emerging professionals, and percussion enthusiasts of all ages. You are warmly invited to participate and perform in the events throughout the day.

Further Information

For further information and to register, please visit the Day of Percussion website.

Improvisation Workshop (Darren Gill)

Throughout 2024

Studio Talks

Access international artists, professional experts and a wealth of musical knowledge from your home, school or practice room. These online sessions are presented by some of the world’s most exciting musicians, on topics including performance preparation, approaches to composition, extended techniques and more.

Our Studio Talk presenters for 2024 will include:

  • Contemporary guzheng performer and composer Mindy Meng Wang
  • Drummer, composer and instrument designer Alon Ilsar
  • Gestural performer and composer Winnie Huang
  • Electro-acoustic and theatrical music composer Steven Takasugi

Specialist Schools Program

Amplify Specialist Schools Program

Amplify is a term-long suite of musical activities designed for Victorian specialist schools, focusing on student engagement and learning through participatory events embedded in the school environment.

Responding to strong demand from the specialist school community for new and innovative learning activities, Amplify creates opportunities to build trust, tailor activities to the needs of individual students and supporting students to express their own creative ideas. The program also features opportunities for students to publicly share their creations, fostering stronger social inclusion and opportunities to celebrate their achievements.

The 2024 pilot program at Nepean School will be developed in consultation with teachers, occupational therapists and artist/disability advocate Dr Melinda Smith, providing direct insight into students’ needs and lived experience perspectives. The 2024 project will feature the Federation Handbells, a set of instruments unique to Victoria, and will be delivered by Speak Artists including Biddy Connor, Kaylie Melville, Alon Ilsar and Zela Papageorgiou.

Specialist schools interested in bringing the Amplify program to their school in 2025 and beyond are encouraged to contact Speak’s Special Projects Producer Biddy Connor (biddy@speakpercussion.com) for further information.

©2024 Speak Percussion

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