About Woody

Woody's Music Education and the Woody's Piano Circle series of books are the brainchild of Bev Woodford - hence Mrs Woody and Woody's Piano Circle.

A Word From Bev Woodford

Hi, my name is Bev Woodford. I studied at Melbourne University Conservatorium of Music where I gained my Bachelor of Music. I have taught in many, many schools and taught as a head teacher at The Yamaha Music Foundation specialising in 4-8 year olds.

Together with my husband we ran a very successful music school in Frankston for 23 years where I wrote my own Pre-Instrument course for 4-8 year olds. This was extremely successful and a fun way of introducing young children to formal music training, after which they were able to choose any instrument to pursue with a sound knowledge of music fundamentals.

I am a teacher, musical director and conductor and have mentored many fellow musicians. I have been involved over the years in the research of teaching younger children and have found 2 things:

  1. there are a number of introductory courses for young children but very few use keyboards and only teach more generalised skills, and
  2. I feel there is a need for a comprehensive, educational and fun opportunity based on piano / keyboard for 5-7 year olds.

As a culmination of all my teaching experiences I have written this very unique 2 year course which is an introduction aimed at, and moving in, a logical, fun and educational progression for this age group.

For more information about my qualifications and experience, please see my bio below.

Bev Woodford's Bio

Bev has taught all age ranges of students for over 44 years but has a particular interest in teaching younger students - learning and experiencing the correct musical fundamentals in a fun and happy environment.

Bev has been playing piano since she was 8 years old. She completed practical and theory examinations with the Australian Music Examinations Board and attained her Bachelor of Music from Melbourne University Conservatorium of Music. Her chief study was piano but has also studied clarinet, flute, voice, theory, composition and conducting.

Bev has taught at many schools including Firbank CEGGS, St Leonards College, Cornish College, Karingal PS, Kingsley Park PS, Balcombe Grammar, Mt Eliza Secondary College, Monash University, Woodleigh School (both Woodleigh and Minimbah), Yamaha Music Foundation (Caulfield, Camberwell, and head teacher at Mt Waverley) and ran her own very successful music school in Frankston. Bev taught piano, recorder, guitar, violin, instrumental ensembles and vocal ensembles and MD'd school shows and concerts.

Bev originally wrote her own Pre-Instrument course for groups of 4-8 year olds teaching up to 120 students a week at this level. It used piano as the tool to learn, encompassing rhythmic, melodic and harmonic activities. She also trained many other teachers to teach the course.

This proved to be a very successful method of introducing young children to formal and educational music training in a fun way after which they were able to choose any instrument to pursue with a sound basic knowledge of music fundamentals. Woody's is an evolution from this with original songs, piano pieces and music puzzles.

Bev has been involved in Music Theatre in over 70 shows and has been Musical Director of 55+ of them receiving many nominations from the MTGV (Music Theatre Guild of Victoria). She has conducted shows for PLOS Musical Productions, CLOC Musical Theatre, Panorama Theatre Company, the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria End of Year awards for excellence nights (preparing, orchestrating and conducting an orchestra of 35+ instrumentalists and vocalists), fund raising concerts and many schools. Shows include Me and My Girl, Sweet Charity, My Fair Lady, Jesus Christ Superstar and West Side Story, Follies, Les Miserables, Annie, Joseph, A Chorus Line, La Cage aux Folles, Cats, The Wizard of Oz, 42nd Street, Shout, Hot Shoe Shuffle, High Society and Dusty.

She has been on stage and worked behind the scenes as rehearsal pianist, playing keyboards/piano in the pit, back stage, costumes and sets. Bev has orchestrated countless theatre pieces.

Bev is a life member of PLOS Musical Productions and the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria. Bev was awarded Musical Director of the year in 2014 by MTGV for 42nd Street with CLOC, the Sue Dyer Memorial Award in 2014 for her work with PLOS on the production of Addams Family and the Edith Harrhy award in 2009 for outstanding contribution to musical theatre.

Bev also:

  • ran a large music school at Barry Woodfords Musical World in Frankston with a peak of 650 students and 40 teachers – organising timetables, teacher training, concert band, exam preparation, recruiting students and teachers, liaison with parents and new enrolments, visits and talks to parent bodies,
  • conducted music workshops for classroom teachers and music specialists,
  • studied other music methods, e.g. Orff and Kodaly,
  • attended Sibelius computer workshops and MTEC technology seminars and conferences,
  • attended private lessons and summer schools in conducting,
  • helped organise and run music camps on the Mornington Peninsula
  • accompanied AMEB and VCE instrumental and vocal exams,
  • organised and played for fun vocal sessions,
  • organised and played for countless Christmas Carol concerts,
  • organised her own end of year concerts for all her students and the students from the music school,
  • served on the PLOS and ABODA (Australian Band and Orchestra Director's Association) committees,
  • judged junior productions for MTGV, and
  • raised 3 gorgeous, ethical, supportive, loving human beings of whom she is so very proud.