Margaret BrandmanMargaret is a versatile and experienced teacher of:

* piano or keyboard
* the craft of music including musicianship, theory and ear-training
* AMEB 'Music Craft' syllabus ***
* arranging skills and composition
* classical, popular and jazz styles

Her accelerated learning techniques foster easy learning for both children and adults. In particular Margaret has many years of experience teaching adult beginners to play in the shortest possible time using her 'playing made easy' techniques. ***Margaret is the major contributing writer of the written component of AMEB's Music Craft student workbooks - Preliminary to Fourth Grade. (The aural questions for this course were devised by Robert Keane)

Lessons and master classes with Margaret Brandman can be arranged by private consultation. Margaret also conducts professional development courses for teachers.

Studio Address: 46 Gerrale St, Cronulla, NSW 2230 The studio is close to public transport and there is free parking nearby.

Landline 02 95276661
Mobile 0414 185 193

Past Professional Development course for teachers

By popular demand after the 2014 presentation in Canberra, again Margaret presented a two-day intensive Professional Development course for teachers in the suburb of Fraser in Canberra on the 14th and 15th of February 2015.

Click here to view the flyer for details [PDF 77KB].

Margaret Brandman presenting Professional Development Course in Canberra 14 & 15 February 2015

Comments on this course.

"Thank you for a wonderful weekend of workshopping!"

- Juanita Cucinotta (first on the left in the picture)

Margaret Brandman's 'Scales in an instant'. Part of the training session for Music Teachers, held in Canberra, February 2015.
Here Margaret explains easy ways to learn and remember scales using her Pictorial Pattern approach.

Margaret Brandman demonstrates how the Major Scales in the Cycle of 5ths can be played in 34 seconds.

Two-minute noodle scales. The joy of musical patterns.

On Friday October 10 2014, teachers enjoyed a morning of music and innovation with Margaret at Better Music in Canberra.

Contact: WES at BETTER MUSIC for future workshops or to purchase Margaret's music.
Phone: 6282 3199 or

Better Music Professional Development Course

Comments on this course.

Christine Thompson wrote: "Thank you very much Margaret! Your work is extensive and comprehensive,and l will certainly be using resources! l am delighted to have met you after so many years!!"


Five Senses Education invites you and your team to a Secondary Music Professional Development Workshop.

Topic: How to fit a jam packed syllabus into a short amount of time.

Date: Wednesday 30 October 2013
Time: 9.30 am to 12.30 pm

Accent on music Margaret Brandman & Lynn Lollback FIVE SENSES PUBLICATION Accent on music is an energetic and stimulating textbook for junior secondary students, Australia-wide.

Accent on music, written by two of Australia's most experienced music educators and authors, is a wonderful resource to help teachers fit a jam packed syllabus into a short amount of time.
The writers of this book, Margaret Brandman and Lynn Lollback, will give information on how the Accent on music book and CD kit can be used to enhance classroom performance in the four key areas of the syllabus:

- Unit 1 accent on duration
- Unit 2 accent on pitch
- Unit 3 accent on harmony
- Unit 4 accent on Australian music


* For Registration details download the Accent on music flyer here. (PDF, 546KB)

I would like to thank you for the recent Professional Development Course for Piano Teachers. You make everything seem so uncomplicated and easy to follow. I came away with so many new ideas!
 Kathryn Fallas, Sydney Teacher -Dec 2010  

In 2012 Dr Margaret Brandman will be conducting a six-week PD course for music teachers on Tuesday mornings from 10am to Midday. First session on Tuesday the 6th of March 2012 Venue: Margaret Brandman's Professional Piano Studio 46 Gerrale St, Cronulla. NSW 2230 Fee: $60 per two-hour session. Book by the 16th of February 2012. To book please contact Margaret on 02 9527 6661 Mobile 0414 185 193, or


Week One: (06/03/2012)
How to teach both young and adult students efficient reading and learning skills, including transposition using the interval approach, combined with shape and pattern learning. How to achieve the skills for two-part playing in a fraction of the usual time taken! Have your students functioning successfully (hands together) in a matter of weeks!
Week Two: (13/03/2012)
Find out about quicker and more efficient way to teach scales, a large variety of chords and arpeggios using visual and tactile understanding of keyboard topography. Make scale learning easy using the gestalt approach to fingering. Application of this approach to simplifying the learning of new pieces and sight-reading.
Week Three: (22/03/2012)
Practical aural and theory training for the well-rounded musician. Techniques for teaching intervals, chords, scales and modes, chord progressions, rhythm transcription and much more.
Week Four: (29/03/2012)
Making four-part harmony easier to understand and teach using innovative approaches including colour-coding. Compare the British and American systems and get the best of both worlds. Use these skills to teach any syllabus including Music Craft with confidence.
Week Five: (03/04/2012)
Easy ways to include improvisation and arranging in your teaching programme. Covering techniques and strategies for working out modulation and chord analysis for pieces in a wide variety of styles. Help for a wide variety of modern syllabus pieces.
Week Six: (11/04/2012)
More techniques and strategies for the efficient teaching of a range of pieces. Bring along pieces you would like assistance with using speed-learning teaching techniques. After the six-week course is complete, there will an option to continue into an Advanced course which will cover the following advanced techniques.
Advanced Course
The topics to be dealt with include:
- Music speed reading and learning advancing techniques.
- Improvisation
- Four-part harmony skills
- Keyboard Harmony from basic to jazz
- Modulation to distant keys
- Contemporary Writing Techniques
- Modal pieces and improvisation using modes
- Blues and jazz techniques including chord substitution

Dr Margaret Brandman is a professional pianist, accompanist with over 35 years experience. Margaret is also a composer, arranger, experienced teacher and author of the Contemporary series of teaching materials. She has been invited to present a paper for the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Serbia this year. Margaret is the major contributing writer to the Music Craft student workbooks, Preparatory through to Grade Four. Many of her compositions are set as examination list pieces in the AMEB and ANZCA syllabi. Her most recent compositions include the large scale work - Firestorm Symphony and Spirit Visions for two pianos. Reviews of her Contemporary series of teaching materials and Spirit Visions appeared in the Studio magazine in 2010.

Comments on the recent 2010 PD course.


Dear Margaret

         I would like to thank you for the recent Professional Development Course for Piano Teachers. You make everything seem so uncomplicated and easy to follow. I came away with so many new ideas.
         I have been testing the transcription system you have developed in the Contemporary Aural Course with my HSC students with their own compositions. It has helped tremendously. They walk away from a lesson with big smiles on their faces and not feeling frustrated at the major task ahead.
         Your book "Pictorial Patterns" for scales and chords has revolutionised the way I teach scales. It has helped with recognising key signatures and also with correct fingering in such an easy-to-follow way of learning.
          Your Contemporary Piano Method helps teaching and improving music reading skills. When tested on myself, I was amazed that I could sight read immediately with the alto clef for the right hand and the bass clef for the left hand instead of the traditional treble clef and bass clef.
         Usually by the end of the year I feel ready for a break, but after your course I felt revitalised and eager to pass on my new learnings.

       I look forward to a follow up next year.
Best Wishes,
Kathryn Fallas
Miranda NSW




Workshops and Presentations 2008

The official Canberra Launch of Harmony Comes Together
was hosted by Better Music in August 2008.

Margaret Brandman has recently released her new harmony text - Harmony Comes Together. A series of workshops and presentations took place to inform teachers and students about this 'seriously good fun' approach to the study of harmony.

Margaret's role in the team that worked on the AMEB's new Music Craft course was to devise the written questions for the student workbooks for all grades.

As writer of the workbook questions she is able provide many insights into how to successfully teach the topics of the course and show how her new harmony book and existing theory books and chord workbooks will be of assistance to students of both old and new courses.

Harmony Comes Together includes a comparison of terminology and musical practice of the previous AMEB courses and various syllabi in the English tradition, to the terminology and musical practice used in Music Craft which has its origin in European and American theory texts.

Margaret will also demonstrate her aural transcription short-hand techniques and various other concepts to aid students in successfully completing the aural questions of the course and building aural skills in general.

She will also show how the understanding of the harmonic structure extending beyond the traditional requirements, can be of benefit to the study of selected contemporary and jazz pieces in the Piano for Leisure syllabus.

A downloadable chart of Music Craft topics and their correlation to pages in the existing Brandman educational materials that may be used for extra practice and preparation is available on the this website.

All workshops include breaks for refreshments


In 2008 Margaret visited these venues and conducted successful workshops:

Saturday 17th May 2008 -2pm
Gold Coast Pianos and Music - Robina Super Centre.

Allans Music -Kew, Victoria
Educational evening - Wednesday 11th of June

Thursday the 12th of June (AM)
Hans Music Spot -Croydon, Victoria
Thursday the 12th of June(PM)
Music World Enterprises
Venue: 440 Waverley Rd, East Malvern 3145

Saturday 14th of June - 3.30pm
Official Sydney Champagne Launch of 'Harmony Comes Together'
at Music on the Move, Hurstville NSW
with special guests: Dr Rita Crews, Dr Judy Fisher and
Anthony Clarke, conductor of the Sydney Sinfonietta.

Further Music Comes Together workshop venues
to be advised..

International Engagements

In July 2008 Margaret was invited to present a lecture on Music and the Brain using powerpoint slides, in the Neo-Brain Science strand of the ICISTS-KAIST conference held in Daejon, Korea.

Theme of the lecture: Why is music so popular? In a similar manner to painting, music stimulates parts of our brain, generating emotional and thought-provoking responses.
Consequently, music is quintessential in our lives.

Professional Development Classes
for studio teachers and school music teachers

In 2006 a Professional Development seminar was held for the
Tasmanian Music Teachers Association
Annual Conference at Launceston Grammar School

"Thanks so much for your very informative sessions for TMTA. I have lots of follow up work to do with chords and aural, and you have certainly set me on the right path. Just need more time..... I've had a quick sightread of Dreamweaving pieces and love them! "

Thanks again and best wishes, Jenny Wilkinson., Secretary TMTA 19/03/06


Download this Flyer to find out about the topics for the Professional Development courses.
"It's Easy To Improvise" Music Flyer

Review of "It's Easy to Improvise" seminar
conducted by Margaret Brandman

"It's Easy to Improvise" was the title of the workshop run by Margaret Brandman at by the Music Teachers Association of Queensland Sunday April 3rd 2005 , but how much more she covered!

Those in attendance learnt how to approach the difficulties in teaching pupils their scales by seeing the patterns in fingering and key signatures; we discovered the exciting sounds to be made by using modern chords, and how they have been used in music of past eras; we had an insight Margaret's pieces that are included in new syllabi; Margaret's CDs used in conjunction with texts are a really fun way of teaching the aural component of music education, and we all participated in some of these examples. Margaret gave generously of her time, and demonstrated her own skills by playing a great deal of her own compositional output.

Thank you Margaret for a very valuable session,
and an opportunity to examine closely many of your method and music books.

Lynn Haug - Councillor MTAQ

Professional Development
It's Easy to Improvise

Topics included

Speed Music Reading and learning techniques

The Sound Pleasures and Patterns of Scales, Modes and Harmony

Modulation Made Easy

Discovering the connecting threads between the Classics and Jazz

Tools for Improvisation

The pleasures and patterns of Rhythm

Longer courses - contact Margaret to book a series of lectures for a college or university.


Working from both written and aural perspectives, this course presents new and exciting ways of teaching including the discovery of many of the common threads linking the classical, popular and jazz repertoire. There will be time for hands-on experience for both individual and group situations and this course has an option to continue.

Areas included in the course are:
* Piano and keyboard skills; speed learning techniques for beginners to advanced students
* New and easy ways to achieve two-handed fluency for early beginners.
* Learning theories including pattern learning, left-right brain function , Gestalt etc
* The connection between music, mathematics and music for healing
* Fast ways to learn keyboard scale topography
* Practical ways to approach transposition and improvisation
* Modern chord terminology; extension chords up to 13ths and how to apply this to all styles of music
* Advanced ear-training skills
* Applied harmonic analysis for music speed-reading and memorisation
* Application of the skills learnt to both classical and modern works
* Syllabus requirements and chosen works for perusal and analysis suggested by participants.


Margaret Brandman has pioneered an holistic approach to music education in Australia and overseas.Her high school text book Accent on Music is widely used in Australia, whilst the Brandman Contemporary series method books and Playing Made Easy for Recorder series are in demand in the USA, England, Europe and Australia. Her studio teaching materials for individual students are extremely practical and innovative and she is well known for her arrangements of popular pieces including the recent Hot Hits for Easy Piano series.

The Professional Development classes she presents Australia -wide are both educational and entertaining, achieving enthusiastic response from participants. Margaret has worked professionally in the jazz and popular music fields and as a result, was invited to serve as a member of the advisory board for the AMEB's Contemporary Popular Music Syllabus and Anzca Syllabus. Margaret has in depth knowledge of the requirements of new courses, as well as extensive knowledge in the teaching of the classics. She brings a fresh approach to teaching and learning for teachers of all student levels. Detailed information on all her teaching methodology and publications is available on this web site.


Covering skills required to teach the modern syllabi of both AMEB and ANZCA :

1) Transposition

2) Applied Keyboard harmony using both Figuring and Modern Chord symbols

3) Efficient sight reading and learning of pieces

4) Aural development

5) Efficient methods to teach Scales, Modes and the Cycle of Fifths

6) Knowledge of keyboard topography for both improvisation and easy learning of classical repertoire.

7) Piano styles and/or how to accompany many genres including Popular, Latin American, and Jazz

8) Contemporary Popular Music syllabus skills.