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Instrumental Music Program

Instrumental Music Program:

The Star of the Sea Instrumental Program offers your child the opportunity to explore a world of musical experiences. Our professional and talented tutors share their expertise to develop your child’s talents and nurture them on a path to have to fully engage in the excitement of learning new musical skills. Students participating in music, stimulating both sides of their brain, promoting so many valuable individual and life skills. They learn through teamwork and group skills, students develop organisational skills, commitment, routine, perseverance, hard work, creativity, joy, pride not to mention, they can set goals and achieve them by developing through their instrumental journey.

Students blossom when they perform and share their talents in the SOTS’ school community. This can range from playing instruments at assembly or mass to performing at the Catholic Performing Arts Festival.

Currently SOTS offers the following:

  • Year 2 to 6 String Ensemble
  • Year 4 to 6 Concert Band
  • Year 5 Rock Band
  • Year 6 Rock Band
  • Year 4 to 6 Recorder Ensemble
  • Year 4 to 6 Chorale
  • Year 4 to 6 Guitar Ensemble
  • Year 2 to 6 Ukulele Ensemble

The SOTS instrumental program commences in Year Two and lessons are conducted within school hours on Thursday and Fridays. Group lessons are offered with an opportunity for individual tuition on request. The cost is $18 per student for group lessons and $35 for one-to-one tuition. Tuition is available for:


  • Violin
  • Cello
  • Guitar
  • Ukulele


  • Drums
  • Keyboard


  • Fife (small, plastic version of a flute)
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone


  • Trumpet
  • Trombone


  • Vocal lessons

I work closely with this dedicated team who offers a number of different musical experiences for the students of Star of the Sea. We are constantly reminded of the benefits of music education and look forward to seeing your child thrive with the gift of music!

 Research shows that at-least some musical education has a positive impact on social and cognitive development of children. And these effects are long lasting – better hearing, better motor skills, improved memory, better verbal and literacy skills.

 – Alan Harvey, Musician and Neuroscientist (Source: TedxTalks – Your Brain on Music | Alan Harvey)

Meet the Star of the Sea music tutors:

Ukulele, Guitar (Acoustic, Electric and Bass) and Drums

Tutor: Hannah Smillie

About me:

Hannah Smillie is a Musician, Artist, Teacher, and Youth Mentor with a passion for working with children, neurodivergent advocacy, mental health and the importance of self-expression towards an individual’s wellbeing. Hannah has been heavily involved in the WA  music industry for over 10 years, with a multitude of musical legacies and contributions to projects across many different areas of the industry.

Hannah is also the Lead Mentor for WA’s Girls Rock! Program- an initiative that runs across the USA, Australia and New Zealand engaging young people in weeklong camps exploring music, mental health and identity. She has been assisting facilitation of the camps for the last 4 years in Perth Metro, and recently taking the initiative regionally with a camp in Kalgoorlie in 2022 and Geraldton in 2023.

Hannah is also heavily involved in the WA live and original music industry, as a multi-instrumentalist member of musical projects such as The Psychotic Reactions, SWEAT and The Sleep Police. Hannah is passionate about supporting local live music and contributing to the music community, and this hard work is identifiable in the 10,000+ of streams on her musical projects across Spotify, WAM Song of the Year nomination, and overall affirmations from all local musicians who have worked with or alongside Hannah in creative projects.

About my teaching:

Hannah works with children to develop their musical abilities but is passionate about a therapeutic approach to engaging with children. Her framework of practice is based heavily on empowering her students to lead each session with what they want to work on that day, working hard to create a safe, supportive, and nurturing space for young people to explore their passions.

Ukulele, Guitar (Acoustic, Electric and Bass) and Cello

Tutor: Asante Peters 

About me:

Hello, my name is Asante, and I am a third-year student at UWA studying a Bachelor of Arts. I play a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, cello and piano which supports my minor studies in Electronic Music Production. I am passionate about music composition across different genres and encouraging young people to pursue music creatively. In addition, my work as the Music Teacher at St. John’s School which nurtures my goals as an instrumental tutor, to better cultivate musical appreciation within the primary education system.

About my teaching:

Lessons are designed to feel safe and creatively liberating whilst promoting diligent instrumental practice. Students learn the importance of technique such as finger mobility, strumming and picking as well as responsibility for their progress which includes consistent practice and organisation. My lessons aim to foster a love of string instruments and appreciation for the work required to master them. This is achieved by dividing the lesson into theory and play. Firstly, we look at scales, note names and chord progressions followed by learning a piece the student has selected. The talent at Star of the Sea never fails to amaze me and I cannot wait to see how brightly the students shine this year!


Tutor: Cindy Margaretha

About me:

I have been teaching piano for the past 10 years and have played for over 30 years. I am classically trained, with big interest in contemporary piano. I completed a Licentiate Diploma in Piano Performance through the Australian Music Examination Board and have performed for various events in Perth and overseas. Aside from my family life, I teach piano in a few schools as well as my own piano studio. Teaching piano is my passion, I love being creative in my teaching, I also love composing and arranging music for my students. I love seeing the progress my students make.

About my teaching:

My lessons are fun, inspiring, and enjoyable. I believe that when students are inspired and enjoy the music, they will practice it. From the very first lesson my students will play music right away, finding inspiration in their play. In time, they will learn theory and technique. My lessons consist of various genre of music, classical, pop, and blues. I strife to find music that match student’s passion and their ability. My teaching goes by these quotes:

‘There is music in every child, it is my job to find it and nurture it’.  

‘A student is almost always motivated to practice if they leave their lesson feeling capable.’


Tutor: Tony Cel

About me:

Tony Celiberti is an accomplished musician and businessperson, a highly successful career Genuinely reflects his talent, drive and positive personality Tony originated from a musical family and was first introduced to music at the age of six, where he Began learning piano and trumpet whilst undertaking AMEB practical and theory examinations, Including eisteddfod performances. His professional career began at the age of sixteen where he taught piano and played in many live Musical acts from Solo/duo work, and ensembles, and later went on to secure the role as pianist in WAJO – West Australian Jazz Youth Orchestra.

Wrote, Co-wrote, many jingles for TV & radio in Perth W. Aust. including country areas. Backed many eastern states acts that toured the west coast of Australia, Including artists such as: The Seekers, Lonnie Lee, Colleen Hewett, Eddie Youngblood, And many others (1979 – 1983). His musical talent earned him an Oscar Peterson scholarship education at the renowned Berklee School of Music in Boston USA (1984). Tony managed to secure residencies playing piano in both Rome and London (1988). Tony’s song writing skills led to a worldwide 5-year publishing Contract with Warner Chappell. Tour with Nick Giannopoulos “Wogs Out Of Work” including (Regal Theatre Perth) Also worked with: Boom Crash Opera, Air Supply and Racey. Recorded demos with Legendary Dave Stewart from “The Eurhythmics” (Planet studios – Perth) (1990). Continued teaching by passing on his musical experience including the many facets of music Ranging from: Piano, performance skills, theory, ear training, arranging, composition, Midi & sequencing skills, and continued to perform. On several occasions booked and secured contracts for performances from Perth to Darwin for a Period of eight months at one time. (1991 – 1993). Moved to Sydney where he spent the next eight years performing and teaching.

About my teaching:

I teach students who work at their individual pace to develop keyboard skills.


Tutor: Abigail McPhee

About me:

Hello! I am a recent graduate of the UWA Conservatorium of music, where I studied Classical Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Sara McLiver and Andrew Foote. I have been in a number of choral ensembles such as the UWA Symphonic Chorus and Con Cantorum, and I am currently a member of the St George’s Cathedral Consort. I have a huge passion for encouraging and fostering a love of music in children and providing them with strong singing technique.

About my teaching:

My main aim for my lessons is for the children to feel comfortable, safe, and free to explore and enjoy music. I place a strong emphasis on simple but very essential technical elements in singing such as breathing, posture and vowels. I aim to provide music for the children that not only interests them but will challenge them in their ability and may be a bit outside their comfort zone. I will always begin my lessons with a vocal warm up, often followed by a technical exercise from my favourite ‘Sing Legato’ book, then we move in to working on the children’s pieces. I will usually focus on different elements when they sing their pieces, such as where to breathe, using correct support or even simply learning the notes. I feel so privileged to be a part of Star of the Sea music team and I cannot wait to see the children continue to grow in their abilities and their love of music!


Tutor: Pascal Bartolone

About me:

Pascal was born and raised in Fremantle, WA. Fell in love with Rock, Pop, and Blues music at a very early age from radio, TV and family members. Started playing drums age 9 with local teacher Phil Brenzi. Played in various rock bands throughout his teens. Studied at WAAPA in 1999 attaining an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Music. Pascal teaches drums in schools, has private students at home and plays in bands on weekends. Grew up playing in original bands gaining song writing and recording experience. New Sirens, Hey No Yeah, Summer Suns, DM3, Acapulco Brothers, Kisstake, Domnicks. Currently play with Pale Blonde Mexicans and with two Jimi Hendrix Tribute bands.

Recorded Drums and Percussion with original band DM3; 3 full length albums and several EP’s and Singles in the 1990’s, the first of which was produced by legendary REM producer Mitch Easter. Also recorded on Dom Mariani’s solo albums, Summer Suns and Acapulco Brothers albums.  Tours with DM3 of Europe, USA, and Australia throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s.

About my teaching:

My lessons begin with the basics of the drumkit, reading drum music notation and playing rhythms. Learning to play basic drum beats and then learning lots of songs. Progressing to the Drum Rudiments, Modern Techniques, all styles of music, soloing, etc.


Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone

Tutor: Verity Hagan

About me:

Hello! I am a third-year student at the UWA Conservatorium of Music, where I specialise in flute performance. I have played in ensembles such as the UWA Symphony Orchestra, and the WAYO Flute Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra. I am a 2022 Wesley Uniting Church Music Scholar.

I’m very passionate about teaching and bringing music to the community. I currently co-direct a start-up community ensemble, Concord Philharmonic, and I have two years of experience tutoring flute and piano. I really value creating engaging, welcoming, and fun learning environments, and am so excited to teach at Star of the Sea!

About my teaching:

In my teaching style, I prioritise creating a welcoming environment where students have the space to learn, have fun, make mistakes, and grow. I have a holistic approach that integrates components such as posture, sound production, breathing, aural skills, and music reading. Lessons include technical warm-ups, working from method books, playing school band music and students’ favourite songs. My goal is to encourage a love of music and the instrument, and I always aim to create interesting and engaging lessons that the students enjoy!

Trumpet and Trombone

Tutor: Michael Baker

About me:

Picking up the piano over a decade ago and the trombone not long after that, Michael has become addicted to the beauty that is music. Michael has been teaching piano and assorted brass instruments (trumpet, trombone, tuba, euphonium, French horn etc) for the last 5 years and loves every minute of it. Michael personally specialises in Ragtime piano but has dabbled in many other fields such as: Video Game music, jazz, Pop and Classical. When Michael isn’t teaching, he can be found playing with various bands and groups across the Perth Metro region! A recent highlight is playing tuba with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) in the Rusty Orchestra program. He has also been very successful in the theatre world as wellbeing primary Tuba in Chicago at MPAC and Primary Piano in: Into the Woods (Stirling 2021), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (MPAC 2021), Jekyll and Hyde (Winner of 5 Finlay awards at Don Russel 2020) and School of Rock (Koorliney 2022). Michael has also produced and played original music for Fringe world shows in 2018, 2019 and 2021 all with sold-out seasons. He is also very involved in creating and sharing music within the community as: President of the Mandurah Concert Band and Brass/Percussion player, vocal director for a school choir in Rockingham and avid church pianist for his local church. Michael encourages all students to share their music and passion with the world as he has done and endeavours to provide them opportunity to showcase their instrument of choice in whatever form they wish. Creating and sharing a passion with music within students is the ultimate goal of Michael’s teaching, with learning the instrument being a tool to achieve this.

About my teaching:

As every student is different every lesson is a new journey to grow students into budding musicians. Typical structures of scales, exercises and set pieces and be mixed with real-world music analysis, relevant music theory or simply learning how to show off the growing talent students are developing! At the end of each lesson, students will come away with new knowledge and experience that will not only help them play their instrument but also grow into great musicians….and also have fun!

Violin and Cello

Tutor: Emily Beard

About me:

I live in Kwinana with my husband and two young children. I am currently pursuing a Master of Teaching (Primary) with the aim of becoming a classroom music teacher at the conclusion of my studies. Classically trained, I have been playing the violin for over 30 years and currently perform with local folk band the Jenny Gaunt Trio. I also play piano, guitar, drums and cello, and I have written and recorded many of my own compositions. I just really love sharing the joy of music and guiding the next generation of local musicians towards their own musical goals.

About my teaching:

I approach my lessons with a growth mindset and strive to be like my favourite teachers I had as a child; high expectations, patient, no nonsense, encouraging, and with a good sense of humour. Every child is an individual and there are countless philosophies about the best way to learn an instrument, however, the most tried and tested ingredient that all of us must use in order to master anything we wish to learn, is dedicated, consistent practice. I aim to help my students understand the importance of practising technical exercises and scales alongside learning repertoire and underpin each lesson in musical theory. I enjoy getting to know my students and finding the best way for each child to develop their musical ability. Seeing a child’s face light up when they make a little bit of progress in a lesson is very rewarding, and one of the reasons I love teaching. Music has been a life-long passion of mine and I look forward to sharing the joy of learning music with your child.