AIM's Faculty comprises a wealth of experience from across music, entertainment, performing arts, and education who are passionate and committed to the vision and mission of AIM. AIMs Faculty ensures that students receive the best possible education through high calibre teaching staff, professional ever developing facilities, and seamless administration.

Scott Saunders

Position

Academic Lecturer

Campus

Sydney

Staff profile AIM - Australian Institute of Music
AIM - Australian Institute of Music

Scott Saunders

  • Position

    Academic Lecturer

  • Campus

    Sydney

 

Scott Saunders has had a remarkable 40 year musical career as a composer, performer, musical director, producer and educator.

Best known as the founder of dig (aka Direction in Groove) a band that enjoyed success locally and internationally playing at major venues and festivals including, Montreux Jazz and The North Sea Jazz Festival .He received a Gold Record, a MO, two APRA awards and, several ARIA Nominations. dig remain highly respected for their unique contribution to Australian musical culture.

Scott has composed for screen and theatre, including, Dying to Leave (Logie best documentary) and Bondi Rescue, and has been Composer/Musical Director on Large-scale community musical works for the Queensland Music Festival and  Festival of Sydney.

In 2016 Scott arranged and produced backing tracks for Dave Mason’s “karaoke” show Dark for the VIVID festival in Sydney.

Scott is a Master of Philosophy (Music) with his thesis on “The Aesthetics of Groove”.

 

He is happiest behind a grand piano or on a vintage keyboard locking into the groove or a swinging jazz improvisation.

 

In his role as Program Leader for Specialisation Scott is very excited to be working with students on the passion that drives them and forms the core of their studies. Whether that means the desire to be a singer, musician, actor, composer, technician or manager, it is this motivation that brings students to AIM and will sustain them through their professional careers when they leave.

    Samantha Walton

    Position

    Academic Lecturer

    Campus

    Sydney

    Staff profile AIM - Australian Institute of Music
    AIM - Australian Institute of Music

    Samantha Walton

    • Position

      Academic Lecturer

    • Campus

      Sydney

    After completing her B-Mus in 2008, Sam Walton moved from Sydney to London and launched her music career. While there, she was mentored by one of the UK’s most highly regarded vocal coaches, Joshua Alamu (Little Mix, Fleur East, Joss Stone, The Voice UK, Pop Idol) and performed at numerous venues across the UK and Europe. 

    Sam performs as one half of duo ‘Sam & Andy’ alongside husband Andy Walton, and in 2010 they were invited by Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) to entertain military personnel in Cyprus, Oman, Dubai, Jordan, Belize, Germany and Afghanistan. They soon became a crowd favourite and travelled the globe boosting morale and providing outstanding, memorable shows – from performing in FOBs on the frontline in Afghanistan to entertaining thousands alongside first-class international comedians in large production shows in Camp Bastion, Kandahar and Kabul. 

    Sam soon became a ‘forces sweetheart’ as audiences fell in love with her captivating stage presence and vocal ability, while Andy quickly developed a rapport with the soldiers, who would invariably be on their feet, arms around each other, singing their hearts out at every show. 

    In 2014, Sam & Andy were both presented with Operational Service Medals by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces for their time spent entertaining the troops in Afghanistan. 

    Sam is a passionate and dedicated educator, committed to breaking down walls surrounding the mystery of the voice. Having delivered vocal seminars in London and Malta, her knowledge of voice technique and style and strong theoretical background provides versatility in her teaching approach. Always excited to work with new vocalists, her spirited approach to music is infectious and a constant source of inspiration to her students. Sam also plays piano and bass, performing regularly in bands alongside some of Sydney's most prominent session musicians.

      Margaret Spillane

      Position

      Employability and Placement Partner

      Campus

      Sydney

      Staff profile AIM - Australian Institute of Music
      AIM - Australian Institute of Music

      Margaret Spillane

      • Position

        Employability and Placement Partner

      • Campus

        Sydney

      Margaret has more than twenty years of experience working in tertiary and performing arts education including the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), The Actors College of Theatre & Television (ACTT), Bond University and for the past nine years at AIM.  Her background prior to education was in performing arts and major events administration including roles at the Marian Street Theatre, the Footbridge Theatre (for the Gordon Frost Organisation), large events including World Expo in Brisbane and the Sydney Festival. 

      Margaret set up AIM’s Internship Program for the Bachelor of Entertainment Management and Bachelor of Music (Arts Management) in 2010 and the Program has achieved outstanding success, both with the internships that students have available to them but also with the high rates of graduate employment, either as a direct or indirect result of the internships completed.

       

      Margaret is a passionate advocate of lifelong learning and her recent professional development has focussed on using social media tools to create effective communication channels in the delivery of mentoring and coaching resources to students.

       

      Margaret has a Masters degree in Communication Management, a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) and a Diploma of Educational Studies. 

       

        Nicholas Brown

        Position

        Academic Lecturer

        Campus

        Melbourne

        Staff profile AIM - Australian Institute of Music
        AIM - Australian Institute of Music

        Nicholas Brown

        • Position

          Academic Lecturer

        • Campus

          Melbourne

        Primarily a Guitarist, Nick is an experienced musician working in a range of settings through Rock/Pop/Jazz/Funk/Blues/Country/Theatre and more. Nick is a regular performer playing gigs and festivals such as Blues on Broadbeach, Eltham Jazz Festival, Melbourne Zoo Twilights, Brighter Days, The Melbourne Cup, St Kilda Festival, Pushover and Cairns Blues and Roots. Live he has worked with artists such as Dale Ryder, Mark Gable, Eurogliders, Opera Victoria, Dukesy and The Hazzards and Geoff Achison. Furthermore Nick has written and arranged for Theatre, Live Shows, Theatre and studio projects. 

        As a songwriter/composer Nick has had releases in the Australian Top 10 Blues and Roots charts, #1 singles on the AMRAP Air It Charts and Top 25  on the esteemed USA Roots Music Report Album Charts. He is a motivated educator involved in Secondary and Tertiary capacities as well as contributing to various Australian Music and Industry publications. Further adding to Nick's experience as a musician/performer both live and in the studio are qualifications including a Bachelor of Information/Technology (Multimedia) from Monash University and a Masters of Music from The Australian Institute of Music.

          Nic Cecire

          Position

          Academic Lecturer

          Campus

          Sydney

          Staff profile AIM - Australian Institute of Music
          AIM - Australian Institute of Music

          Nic Cecire

          • Position

            Academic Lecturer

          • Campus

            Sydney

          Nic Cecire is an in-demand drummer and educator based in Sydney.

          He graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Studies course, has completed a Graduate Certificate in Music (AIM) and has studied with some of Australia’s finest drummers including David Jones and Andrew Gander. Nic has been a lecturer in the contemporary music department for 12 years at the Australian Institute of Music.

          His long list of diverse performing and recording credits includes:

          Pop icons: Wendy Mathews, The Whitlams, Jenny Morris, Boy George/Culture Club, Glenn Shorrock, Grace Knight, Rhonda Birchmore and Christine Anu.

          Jazz singers: Tina Harrod, Lily Dior, Trish Delaney Brown, Kristen Berardi, Virna Sanzone, Nicky Crayson, Jade MacRae and Daryl Aberhart.

          Jazz, World music and big bands: Phillip Johnston and The Coolerators, the catholics, Tim Rollinson, Steve Hunter trio, Mike Nock, Greg Coffin trio, Darren Heinrich Trio, Jeremy Sawkins, Adam Miller, Dave MacRae, Ray Aldridge, Urban Gypsy’s and Monsieur Camembert. The Sonic Mayhem Orchestra, The Dan Barnett Big Band, Sydney Jazz Orchestra, The Greasy Chicken Orchestra and the Dave Panichi Big Band.

          Nic has performed on a number of movie and TV soundtracks including the more recent: 

          ‘Ellipsis’ by David Wenham, with music by Megan Washington. Chocolate Oyster’ Score by Angela Little. ‘The Great Mint Swindle’ Score by Jim Mogine (Midnight Oil) The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ composed by Phillip Johnston. Bell Shakespeare Company and various jingles.

          Nic tours and records with the award winning and ARIA nominated children’s music group Lah Lah’s Big Live Band. Their first TV series is currently airing on ABC2 and has aired internationally.

          In 2012 Nic was invited by French pianist Dominique Fillon to record his album ‘Americas’ in Chicago. It also featured long-time Pat Metheny bassist, Steve Rodby and was engineered by Grammy winning engineer Helik Hadar (Herbie Hancock). The trio toured the album throughout Asia and Australia.

          In 2013 he performed in the premier of the audio/visual ‘Wordless’ at the Sydney Opera House, presented by Art Spiegelman with music composed by Phillip Johnston.

          Nic has toured internationally with the multimedia improvisational group ‘the Wires Project’, performing concerts and conducting workshops on behalf of AIM in Malaysia, South Korea, Cambodia and Singapore.

          He regularly performs at various Jazz festivals in Australia and overseas including: Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival, Chilpo (South Korea), UrbanScapes (Maylasia) and Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

            Chris Fields

            Position

            Academic Lecturer

            Campus

            Sydney

            Staff profile AIM - Australian Institute of Music
            AIM - Australian Institute of Music

            Chris Fields

            • Position

              Academic Lecturer

            • Campus

              Sydney

            Sydney based drummer/percussionist Chris Fields hails originally from the USA where he grew up in the busy music scene of Atlanta, Georgia.  A 3rd generation drummer, he was introduced to music at a young age and began playing professionally at the age of 16.  Chris performed extensively in the USA, Mexico and Caribbean playing Jazz, Funk, Ska and Afro-Cuban music before moving to Australia in 2001.

            Since moving to Sydney, Chris has become an in demand drummer/percussionist and a leading collaborator with musicians from all over the world.  He has performed with countless artists including: Olivia Newton John, Barry Gibb, Shirley Jones, Pt. Hariharan, Pt. Kumar Bose, Pt. Yogesh Samsi, Rakesh Chaurasia, Debojyoti Bose, Sangeet Mishra, Sandy Evans, Bobby Singh and many more.  Chris is constantly involved with original works and has recorded on many albums as well as releasing his own album with his band Atma Blu in 2016.

            Aside from his training on Drum Kit, Latin Percussion and Classical Percussion, Chris has also studied North Indian Tabla intensively under his guru, Pt. Ram Chandra Suman, as well as under legendary tabla masters Pt. Shankar Ghosh and Pt. Yogesh Samsi.    He holds an M.A. from Macquarie University (where he focused on cross cultural improvisation) and holds a B.F.A. from Georgia State University.

            Chris is an active clinician and educator. He teaches Latin Percussion, World Percussion, Indian Rhythms, Drum Kit and Improvisation at The Australian Institute of Music.  He has given countless lectures, demonstrations and workshops in Australia, USA and India and is the author of Speaking Drums: Rhythm, Language & Creativity.