Kate Waller

Music Scholar


My main learning objective for further study is to explore the tension between preserving historical tradition and finding one’s own interpretive voice in musical performance. Is there a correct way to play Bach? What influences these decisions when preparing a piece of music? How can I use performance to engage the Australian public in innovative, relevant and accessible ways? First, I need to understand the rich narrative behind Western Art Music. What better way to gain an insight into the cultural and historical context than to go to its origin and epicentre, Europe! 

My main source of work for the past 5 years has been through private music teaching and this is where I feel my skills have been stretched and grown the most. Week to week, I see students being impacted by the world of music, exploring new concepts and learning to persevere when progress is slow. I believe that music education is able have a profound impact on the well being of my community as it produces hard-working, perceptive and communicative individuals. If people are able to understand and enjoy music for themselves, they are more likely to become the next generation of performers, concert goers and project sponsors, thus keeping the arts alive in Australia. 

It intrigues me that music is an international language, yet it can also speak with such strong heritage. It is my joy and my responsibility to explore this further and bring home new skills to train and inspire the next generation of Australian talent. 

At the conclusion of this trip, I hope to have improved my musicianship and be better prepared for entrance auditions. I will have gained a clearer idea of the suitable options for further study so that I can commence the next stage of training. I believe this trip will enhance my ability to make wise professional decisions and provide the best chance of pursuing my dream to the full.  

My primary short-term goal is to improve my knowledge of the oboe. This includes technical proficiency and performance abilities, reed-making skills and general instrument maintenance. I would also like to broaden my understanding of musical styles, interpretive techniques and the role of the oboe in different performance contexts e.g. orchestral, chamber music etc. This can be achieved through having lessons with esteemed professionals. By becoming a more versatile and experienced player, I will be equipped for a wider range of possible career outcomes following the completion of my studies.  

By travelling abroad, I will be able to bring home unique and innovative ideas. The diverse experience I will have gained will make me stand out as a player and able to contribute something new to the Australian soundscape. Additionally, having Masters qualification will allow me to teach at a tertiary level, through which I can mentor and enrich the lives of others. With greater knowledge comes greater potential for impact on my local community through music education, something which I have experienced is life-changing.  

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