Deborah Smith

B Mus (Distinction), Grad Dip Teach, AMusA (Clar), ATCL (Pno)

Deborah Smith has forged a vital role in the advancement of the Kodály method in Secondary Schools throughout Victoria. In addition to her extensive experience as a leading music educator, lecturer and author, she has been a key contributor to the development of the Kodály Secondary Teacher Training Courses in Victoria, and continues to be a knowledgeable and dedicated lecturer for KMEIA Vic. As a member of KMEIA Vic., Deborah provides invaluable advice and guidance in Secondary music education. She has been editor of the Victorian Branch newsletter since 2008, sourcing and often contributing new and informative articles.

Deborah completed a Bachelor of Music Performance degree with distinction at Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where she studied clarinet with Barbara Lockwood and Floyd Williams, and piano with Charles Glenn. Upon discovering a passion for teaching others about music, she went on to study music education, in particular the Kodály method. Deborah studied with numerous Kodály experts including Judith Johnson, Anne Comiskey, Ed Bolkovac, Merrill Debski, Sayuri Kishi-Debski and Katalin Forrai. She has a Graduate Diploma of Teaching in Primary and Secondary Classroom Music and is a graduate of the Holy Names Summer Institute (California).

Deborah commenced her teaching career at the renowned Kodály School at Clayfield College in QLD, where she worked alongside inspirational teachers such as Judith Johnson, Gwen Burguez and James Cuskelly. In 1994, she was appointed Head of Junior School Music at Scotch College in Melbourne. In 1996, following her passion for teaching Secondary School aged students, Deborah joined Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School as Director of Music where she developed the existing Junior School Kodály program into a whole school program from Prep to Year 12. Following this, a position as Director of Music at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School enabled her to continue this work, implementing a highly successful, fully aural-based program for students across the whole school.

In 2001, Deborah launched her own company, Deborah Smith Music, with a view to helping as many music students and teachers as possible. After being asked by numerous Victorian music teachers to help them find suitable Kodály-based teaching resources, she wrote the Musicianship & Aural Training for the Secondary School textbooks for VCE music (Year 11 and 12). The success of these early books led to Deborah creating a full series of textbooks, CDs and online resources for musicianship and aural training in the Secondary School. Deborah also has the honour of publishing a series of analysis texts written by her colleague Jenny Gillan. Since its early days, DS Music has expanded and now boasts sales of 10,000 books every year.

Deborah is in constant demand as a lecturer and mentor, and is invited to give numerous conference presentations, lectures, workshops and aural training sessions to music students, teachers and student-teachers. This work enables Deborah to provide critical support for students and their teachers. Her informative, enthusiastic and entertaining style is always well received.

Through the DS Music website, Deborah offers dedicated support to teachers and students, as well as an extensive range of free resources and online courses. Students and teachers also benefit from her two Facebook pages: VCE Music Support and Classroom Music Teacher Support, and her music educator’s blog.

In 2014, Deborah was inducted into the inaugural Association of Music Educators (aMuse) Music Education Hall of Fame. This Hall of Fame was created to commemorate the influence made on the Victorian education landscape by music educators.

“Deb’s role in the life of KMEIA Victoria is unmatched and we are honoured to have her as a member”.

Susan Searle, KMEIA National Conference, 2016

Deborah considers receiving the Honorary Life Membership from KMEIA at the 2016 National Conference her greatest honour of all.

Honorary Life Members

Latest News

Kodály Australia

I am excited to announce beginning today The Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia Incorporated (KMEIA Inc.) will also be known as Kodály Australia. Over the coming months, you will see the gradual rebranding of our communications and documentation, including …
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Strategic Plan 2018-2022

I am pleased to inform you of the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022. You may remember in March 2017 we invited members and the broader community to participate in our Future Directions Survey. This feedback along …
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Seasons Greetings from KMEIA

This year has been filled with opportunities all around the country to share, learn and be inspired. There is much to be celebrated as KMEIA Branches and Chapters continued to provide high quality support, professional learning and resources for music …
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Congratulations Dr Judy Fromyhr

KMEIA is proud to congratulate member Dr Judy Fromyhr who recently completed Doctor of Philosophy studies at the School of Education, University of Queensland. Dr Fromyhr’s thesis, Lighting the fire, stories that musicians tell, investigates the ways positive early musical …
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Congratulations to Gail Godfrey – the 2019 recipient of the International Katalin Forrai Award

The International Katalin Forrai Award is presented biennially by the International Kodály Society (IKS) to someone who has demonstrated excellence in Early Childhood Music Education. Gail Godfrey is richly deserving of the 2019 award. She has not only contributed so …
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