Private Tuition - Instrumental, Vocal and Performing Arts

To complement the Performing Arts Program at St Columba, the School has a very talented and dedicated group of instrumental, vocal and performing arts teachers offering private tuition for students of St Columba Anglican School. Tutors are available across a range of instruments, including woodwind, strings, brass, piano, keyboard and drums, as well as drama and performance tutors.

Parents can enrol their child in private tuition by contacting our Tutors directly via the contact information listed below.

Secondary students' tuition classes will be on a rotation timetable where possible. Private tutors have specific times they are able to book Primary students, i.e. Kindergarten to Year 4 from 12.00pm, Years 5 and 6  between 9.00am and 11.00am, or between 2.00pm and 3.20pm.

Please note that it is the responsibility of families and students to notify tutors in advance to reschedule lessons due to school subject assessments/exams, excursions, incursions, camps or other activities that may impact the lesson time. Please be mindful that the fees for Private Tuition on campus are an agreement between families and the independent Private Tutor. 

Security of Instruments

All instruments, whether on hire from the School or privately owned, should be marked clearly with the student’s full name and contact number both inside and outside the case. Students should secure their instruments inside the Secondary Music storeroom or classroom when not in use.

Antonia Amato - Piano/Keyboard

I began learning piano from the age of 4 and continue to fall in love with the art of music. I have been teaching piano both in-person and online for the past three years to students of all ages and stages. I am confident in enhancing the student's technical skills, theoretical knowledge and performance flair.

I completed my AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2018 with Honours and am in the process of achieving my AMusA (Associate in Music, Australia). I completed my HSC in 2020 and received a Band 6 in Music (performance, composition, aural skills, and theory). I was ranked 1st in my school for Music and other subjects. I am very passionate about empowering young people to achieve wonderful things through amazing opportunities and experiences. 

When I am not teaching piano, I study Medicine at UNSW's Rural Clinical School in Port Macquarie and am also working on a short film project which is very close to my heart.

Find out more on Antonia's website.


Sarah Butler - Trumpet 

Sarah Butler has a Bachelor of Music at Auckland University and spent 12 years in the UK where she gained a Masters with Distinctions in performance at Trinity College of Music in London. She then freelanced with the Royal Opera House Orchestra, English National Ballet, London Concert Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Opera, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Queens Hall Orchestra, before moving back to New Zealand in 2004 where she was appointed Associate Principal Trumpet with the Christchurch Symphony. She was then appointed Associate Principal Trumpet of the Auckland Philharmonia in mid-2009.

In late 2009, Sarah accepted the position of Principal Trumpet with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra – making history in the process as the first female Principal Trumpet of a Symphony Orchestra in Australasia. Sarah left the company in 2019 and travelled to Bangkok, Hobart and Melbourne to perform and give masterclasses in her role as a Bach Artist.  

Sarah is a passionate educator and was the Trumpet Lecturer and Head of Brass at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University.


Teresa Cox - Piano/Keyboard

Teaching and educating children is my passion. I have the following qualifications: Diploma of Teaching, (Australian Catholic University), Bachelor of Education (Australian Catholic University), Masters in Education (University of New England), Australian Music Education Board (AMEB) Trained and Qualified. As a teacher in schools, my experience has included K-6 Classroom teacher  (23 years), K-9 Music Classroom teacher (10 years), and Private Piano Tutor (23 years). 

As a piano tutor, I prefer to expose students to many musical styles as they learn.  However, I understand that music appreciation is purely individual and I always allow for student choice. Some of the styles taught include Jazz, Blues, Ragtime, Pop, Classical, Movie Theme, Musical Theatre, Rock, Electro Dance, and Calypso. I teach students who wish to learn purely for the pleasure of playing, for AMEB Grade examinations, for HSC Music, or for performance purposes.


George Forster - Guitar 

I am an experienced and passionate guitar tutor dedicated to helping students of all ages and skill levels unlock their musical potential. I have honed a teaching style that is engaging, effective, and tailored to each student's unique learning style.


Natasha Florence - Violin and Viola 

Natasha Florence began violin at the tender age of five and she always had her heart set on a career in music. Her passion for performing goes beyond boundaries and stereotypes, encompassing Baroque and Classical to Jazz and Celtic, and everything in between.

Natasha is constantly challenging herself to explore new ways of approaching performance, bending the rules and blurring the lines between the classical and contemporary musical worlds. Achieving her A.MusA Diploma on violin at a young age, followed by a Bachelor’s Degree at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and First Class Honours at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Natasha has built a career performing in orchestras and ensembles on stages ranging from the Melbourne Recital Centre and Hamer Hall to the Paris Cat Jazz Club, while featuring as a guest violinist at the Melba Spiegeltent, Max Watts, The Glasshouse and countless other stages across Europe and the UK on multiple international tours. Her violin playing has featured on internationally released studio albums and on an award-winning film soundtrack. In addition, Natasha is in demand as a violin and viola teacher, being recognised by the success of her students with her innovative and forward-thinking approach to playing and teaching. Natasha is thrilled to be able to share her musical expertise and passions with students at St Columba.


Karen Gill - Piano/Keyboard

I have been teaching Piano, Keyboard and Theory in the area for the past 26 years. My objective is to support students in developing their musical skills.  Preparing them for AMEB Exams, Theory Exams, Eisteddfods and for HSC Exams.

Each class consists of Skill Development, Technical Exploration and Performance Skills. 


Anne Geoghegan - Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba, Euphonium

Anne began playing Suzuki Violin age 6 and the then also French Horn age 8. She was a member of the Burwood Police Citizens Boys Club Band from 1979-1990 under the baton of Dennis Williams the Conductor of the NSW Police Band. Anne was a member of the NSW Youth Band in 1986 under the baton of Captain Frank Rugers of the 2nd Military District Army Band. Anne held the position of Early Childhood Music Educator for the Conservatorium Mid North Coast, producing, and facilitating the program at The Glasshouse 2011-2014. She was Conductor and tutor for St Joseph’s Primary School Taree concert band 2012-2014. Anne was employed by Blue Gum 2 Music Teaching resources as a tutor for their Primary School band program within most of the schools in Port Macquarie 2008-2012. Anne is a graduate of The Jerry Nowak Conducting School in both 2009 and 2010. She is the Musical Director of the Adult Instrumental Learning Program; Blue Notes ensemble; Understanding Written Music; and is currently the head Musical Director with Port Macquarie Hastings Municipal Band at the Mac Adams music centre. 

Anne has been a player with Port Macquarie Hastings Municipal band since 2006 and is currently playing 1st F Horn. She holds a BoN (2017), Ad. Dip in Jazz (2009), Cert IV TAE (2011), Conducting School graduate certificates 2009 & 2010.


Carol Irving - Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute

Mandy Lee - Viola and Cello

I have a background as an Occupational Therapist, and began learning cello 19 years ago, as an adult. Along-side learning cello, I discovered the joy of playing viola as well, and I play both instruments in local ensembles in the region. I have a great passion for starting, encouraging and developing young orchestral string players, especially in regional areas where there are often not as many teachers and services. I encourage students to experience a broad range of musical styles, prepare students for AMEB exams, as well as help them gain confidence as an ensemble player.

I co-founded several ensembles in the area: Macleay Music Ensemble, an adult orchestral ensemble in Kempsey; Coastal Strings, a community ensemble for young Orchestral Strings players in Port Macquarie; and the Mid North Coast Youth Orchestra, a symphonic orchestra for high school players of orchestral instruments.

I have also initiated and run many music workshops in the area over the last 20 years, all part of helping a young player’s progress to excellence.


Shelalagh McGovern - Circus Aerial Skills

Shelalagh (Sha) McGovern is passionate about aerial and circus arts. She founded Aerialize - Sydney Aerial Theatre in 1998 and was the Director until 2008. She is an aerial instructor and ex-performer with over 15 years of experience and a background in gymnastics. She trained in aerial & circus skills with Circus Oz, Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Legs on the Wall and Circus Space, London. Some of her aerial highlights include performing with Les Comediens on the Sydney Opera House forecourt, the Flying Lotahs in Singapore 2002 and in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

Sha has directed aerial segments for the Schools Spectacular and Sydney Youth Olympics Opening Ceremony, as well as many Aerialize productions. In 2008, Sha produced  ‘Walking on Air’, an aerial-rock performance for the Studio, Sydney Opera House and from 1998-2012, she taught aerials for Aerialize, Australian Theatre for Young People, the Wiggles, Hi-5 and many schools and TAFEs. She currently teaches Circus & Aerial skills at St Columba Anglican School to children in Port Macquarie, NSW. Shelalagh has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of NSW, a graduate certificate in Arts Administration from UTS.

AERIAL CLASSES in Lyra, Silks and Trapeze
MONDAY: 4:15-5:15pm
THURSDAY: 5.00pm to 6.00pm

 Aerial classes require strength, focus and commitment. Parents of students who are interested, please email Sha for further details.


Joy McKenzie - Bagpipes NEW

Hello future Bagpipers! My name is Joy McKenzie, and I started playing the Bagpipes at age 11. I have been performing and competing for over 38 years as both a solo player and in bands. I am hugely passionate about the Bagpipes and am very keen to teach this unique instrument to people of all ages. I am the Pipe Major of our local Pipe Band and tutor all our members and new players. I have taught students from age 6 to 70.

When learning the Bagpipes, you start your journey on a Practice Chanter, which is much quieter and easier than the Bagpipes themselves. After achieving a level of playing, you will then move to the Bagpipes – on average, this is around six months into your journey. So please don’t think you are going to disturb your family and neighbours too much when you’re learning!!

My goal is for my students to play at a level that will allow them to join our local Pipe Band and maybe play in a competition or two.

The Port Macquarie local Pipe Band plays the first Monday of the month (during daylight savings) at 6.00pm, near the big fig tree on Town Green. Anyone is welcome to come and have a look/listen at the Bagpipes in action and have a chat with Joy or any other member of the band.


Lesley Priest - Violin and Viola

My profession is that of instrumental teacher; primarily violin, as well as viola. I attained accreditation as a violin teacher having studied at the Suzuki Talent Education Institute in Japan. More recently, I completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Music degree. I participate in Teacher Training and Professional Development programs annually to maintain my abilities as both a teacher and a violinist, as well as to gain insight into various methodologies and broader musical concepts.

I have been a peripatetic string tutor at SCAS since the School commenced. As well as teaching students privately during school hours, I have been engaged as a tutor in the weekly Year 3 String classes, as well as director of the Primary String Ensemble. My approach to each student entails teaching correct posture, developing listening skills (pitch, tone, rhythm), reading of notation, and fostering students' curiosity and interest. Engaging in the learning of a musical instrument stimulates the mind as well as stirring emotions. The discipline of regularly playing the instrument is enhanced through selecting a repertoire that establishes good technique and is methodical. I have come to recognise that each student proceeds at their own pace, assisted by encouragement from the teacher, family and peers and personal effort.


Julie Rowling - Piano/Keyboard

I have been teaching piano for 26 years, following a music teaching tradition in my family where my father and grandfather both taught piano, accordion and drums. Originally from Wollongong, in 1995 I completed an A.T.C.L. Diploma (piano teaching) followed by an L.T.C.L Diploma (piano teaching) in 1998. I enjoy teaching all ages and genres, from classical and jazz to modern-day pop songs. My aim is to develop a solid foundation whilst promoting engaging and enjoyable music education. When not teaching, I can be found at the netball courts, or in the maternity ward at the Base Hospital where I work as a casual midwife.


Chris Vieira - Guitar, Bass, Drums

G’day students, parents and teachers, my name is Chris from “V-Rock” and I am a “Guitar Tutor” at SCAS. In brief, I have been teaching guitar for about 21 years and playing in rock bands for about 26 years in numerous countries around the world and as much as I love playing and writing music, where I thrive and I enjoy most is helping my students achieve goals and targets in music they are trying to or never thought they could achieve and have as much fun as possible along the way.

I offer Guitar, Bass Guitar & Drum lessons and also offer a Rock Band programme at my studio here in Port Macquarie where I get students from different schools together and start, run, grow, and mentoring Rock Band sessions covering everything from playing as a band, writing songs, performing and playing gigs. Whether you’re a boy or girl,  if you would like to learn Guitar, Bass or Drums OR if you used to play and would like to start playing again and pick up where you left off please get in contact with me today and let’s get you playing as soon as possible. On a side note, I am also an Approved “Creative Kids Provider”, if you would like more info on this let me know. Hope to see you soon. Cheers.


Lydia Wills - Piano/Keyboard

Lydia Wills has won numerous awards for her musical skills, including the Peter Rorke Award for the best undergraduate musician in 2001 (USQ). She has also been awarded a Master of Music, a Bachelor of Music (Honours), a Licentiate Diploma of Music Australia, and an Associate Diploma of Music Australia.

In addition to innumerable solo recitals and concerti performances, Lydia has assisted choirs and theatre performance groups as both repetiteur, conductor, and musical director. Currently in high demand as a private music teacher through both schools and her studio, Dots and Stems, her wide-ranging skills include vocal and instrumental accompaniment, composition, and conducting. Lydia has been instrumental in developing and implementing the Catholic Schools' Primary School bands program for several schools in St Agnes Parish since 2020 and is the conductor for the Mid North Coast Youth Orchestra in 2023. 


Michaeli Witney - Cello, Double Bass, Piano/Keyboard and Percussion 

Michaeli is a passionate and experienced music teacher with a history of leading students to a place of excellence in their musical journeys. She is an active musician with experience in live performances and studio recordings and has a unique set of skills to offer both the classical and contemporary musician.

Michaeli holds a Bachelor of Music Education equipping her with awareness of the need for varied teaching approaches to complement the needs of individual learners.

Michaeli offers Private Tuition at SCAS for Cello, Piano, Electric Bass, Double Bass and Percussion.


Sarah Wynne - Vocals

Sarah Wynne has 24 years of professional experience in the music industry, performing nationally and internationally, and holds a Bachelor of Music Performance.