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Sounds Across Oceans – a revolutionary approach to music teaching and making

Sounds Across Oceans – a revolutionary approach to music teaching and making

Dr Anthony Garcia’s unique music-making program returns to Brisbane in April 2017.

The Sounds Across Oceans Autumn Music School offers young musicians from diverse cultural and stylistic backgrounds a special opportunity to collaborate with some of Brisbane’s finest teaching artists in a music making program that revolutionises traditional music teaching practices.  Through improvisation, experimentation and innovative cross-cultural play participants will create new music and develop important life skills along the way.  In partnership with BEMAC, this four-day immersive learning experience will take place in the first week of the school holidays Tuesday 4 April – Friday 7 April 2017 at the Queensland Multicultural Centre, Kangaroo Point.

Established in 2014, Sounds Across Oceans grew out of a growing recognition that music had traditionally played a fundamental role in fostering creative thinking and expression across a range of fields, and that new modes of practice which integrated a more diverse range of styles and approaches to music-making were essential for this to continue.

Founder and artistic director, Dr Anthony Garcia said the name Sounds Across Oceans symbolised the organisation’s desire to develop a global creative vision while exploring the multidimensional capacity of music to create and share new ideas, uplift, heal, shift energies and ignite new perspectives.

“We have to offer young musicians more diverse, spontaneous and playful musical experiences to stretch their imaginations and draw out the skills and capabilities I passionately believe they are born with.  As teaching artists our role is to not only to facilitate this exploration but to join in the fun, collaborate, share, learn, laugh and create together.  I’m hoping our workshops encourage all participants to step into new territory and help break down the barriers that separate genres and cultures so we can develop new fusions, sounds and pathways.”

Facilitating the Autumn Music School are a wonderful team of highly experienced teaching artists who have performed and collaborated throughout the world.

Dheeraj Shrestha (tabla/percussion)

Dheeraj Shrstha

Dheeraj Shrestha is a tabla legend and virtuoso fusion artist who has worked with the best of the best! His understanding of persuasion runs as deep as his appreciation for the importance of intercultural fusion, experimentation and improvisation.





Rebecca Karlen (strings/vocals)

Rebecca Karlen

Rebecca Karlen, a new edition to the SAO team, is a highly accomplished classical violinist, improviser, singer and teacher. Her creative gifts are driven by a passion for learning and sharing these gifts in a compassionate and caring way. We are so excited to have her working with us this year.





Rafael Karlen (winds/brass/composition/improvisation)

Rafael Karlen

Rafael Karlen is a renowned saxophonist, composer, improviser, a Churchill Fellow and director of the Queensland Youth Orchestra Big Band. Rafael brings rare skills to the SAO team through his diverse artistic background and experience.





Anthony Garcia (guitar/composition/improvisation)

Anthony Garcia

Anthony Garcia is a renowned guitarist, composer and educator who has performed and collaborated with creative practitioners across styles and cultures throughout Australian, Thailand, Japan, China, Europe, Mexico and the United States. His compositional output traverses ethnic, classical and jazz sound-worlds and includes acclaimed recordings with didgeridoo master William Barton and Latin harpist Sandra Real. Anthony’s love for teaching, sharing ideas and collaborating has led to the development of innovative education programs that foster inclusivity, intercultural experimentation, improvisation and composition.






Together they will guide participants through a range of traditional musicianship practices, group singing and rhythm studies, improvisation and composition sessions and introduce students to a world of musical styles and approaches. Multi-instrumental music labs will be set up to help students channel original ideas and develop new music that will be presented in a final group performance sensitively supported by the teaching artists—a great chance for parents to experience the learning journey.


This workshop will also be unique in that teachers of participating students are invited to join in the fun through the inaugural teachers morning on Thursday, April 6.  This will be an ideal opportunity for educators to absorb new sounds and perspectives and interact with the teaching artists, ask questions and witness the Sounds Across Oceans approach in action.