Saturday May 25, 4:00-5:15pm;  Free admission

This presentation is designed for any adult who would like to encourage the music making of children, whether teachers, parents or caregivers.

Making music as part of a normal, healthy and well-balanced life is increasingly rare in modern Western society. Many adults do not believe they are musical, particularly when it comes to the simple act of singing. Our own attitudes towards music making affect how we design programs and activities for children. Is there a better way?

The Music Outreach and Engagement Program has been designed and developed in Australia based on the life work of John Diamond, M.D. This presentation outlines the philosophy of the program and demonstrates how it can be applied by adults to help and support the children in their lives. The presentation will also address the best ways to help children learning instruments or studying music at elite levels. (Also suitable for older students).

Seating is limited.  Make a reservation today at (914) 533 7500 or email

Presenter: Susan West, Ph.D.

The Child as Musical Being

Susan West is an Honorary Professor at the Charles Sturt University, Australia. She was formerly Associate Professor at the Australian National University School of Music. A former Principal Flute of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, she has worked in music and education for over 40 years and has spent the last 20 years developing a unique approach to music drawing on the work of Dr John Diamond, a world leader in alternative approaches to health and well-being. Her program, The Music Outreach and Engagement Program, is now being developed internationally. In Australia, it has affected the lives of thousands of individual within and beyond the school system. The philosophy focuses on using social-altruistic music making as a means of overcoming the bars to music making, many of which are caused by our attitudes towards musical expertise and training. Its application is not specific to any age group, skill level, or expertise, and it can be applied across a range of disciplines including education and medicine. Dr West’s work has been documented in a range of academic papers and articles and is the subject of several doctoral thesis. Her lectures and compositions have also been disseminated via a range of documentary films. She is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently being named one of Australia’ 100 most influential woman by the Australian Financial Times. Dr West continues to disseminate and research her work world wide with a series of partners, as well as regularly working with children and adults of all ages.