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A Room of Her Own Workshops

A Room of Her Own Workshops are a series of collaborative composition workshops that invite young people to create original music in a participatory, dialogic environment with teaching artists. The name was born from our pilot project centred around Kaurna Yerta (Adelaide) based composer Anne Cawrse's 2020 composition for string quartet of the same name, which in turn was inspired by Virginia Woolf's seminal text A Room of One's Own. Each A Room of Her Own workshop remains guided by the same principles of these 2 works, placing a focus on exploring the importance of developing mental and physical spaces for creativity for all.

Mission Statement

  • To explore with artists and young people what it means to develop safe, welcoming creative spaces for them as individuals and in their communities.

  • To invite young people to access and develop their own creativity through the collaborative composition environment.

  • To immerse young people in the breadth of ideas being explored in the contemporary composition landscape.

  • To dissolve the notion of 'master composer', reimagining composing as a creative process for all.

  • To amplify the creative voices of living, local, femme composers.


When We Speak
October 4-6th 2022

Lisa Cheney's piece 'When We Speak' was the catalyst for this project, inviting participants to explore the possibilities of composing with electroacoustics, their speaking voices as musical material as well as live instrumentals. In collaboration with a team of teaching artists, performer/composer Hilary Kleinig and composer Lisa Cheney the young musicians explored the following questions through their collaborative music making:


  • What does it mean to create something personal?

  • How can we use collected sound materials to express our responses to the above questions?

  • How can we enhance the impact of words with music?

  • Where am I in this work? What has this creative process looked like for me as an individual, and for us as a group?

Photos by Mariah Anzil

Echoes in the Ballroom
April 21st 2022

Echoes in the Ballroom saw 26 musicians aged 8-17 create new music in response to the Carclew ballroom space. Working with teaching artist and facilitator Thea Martin, participants explored site-specific composition, our personal relationships with sounds and the power of repetition to encounter ideas from a multitude of perspectives through the writings of Virginia Woolf, music of Anne Cawrse and the music of Canadian cellist Zoe Keating.

Photos by Ella Beard and Thea Martin

A Room of Her Own - A Creativity Workshop in Sound
October 4-5th 2021

Exploring the importance of developing mental and physical spaces for creativity is the foundation of this collaborative composition project. Together, 22 high school age musicians explored what it means to create with sound, connecting into a series of works in music and literature, with a primary focus on Adelaide composer, Anne Cawrse’s 2020 work for string quartet, A Room of Her Own and the inspiration for the composition, Virginia Woolf’s seminal essay A Room of One’s Own. Participants collaborated on their own compositions, working with creative tools and compositional ideas explored in Cawrse’s music and Woolf’s essay, with a particular focus on what it means to quote, share and borrow ideas when working in a dialogic artistic space. The student musicians and teaching artists navigated together what it means to be part of an entwined story; continuing, reimagining and developing a creative tradition, as well as the essential nature of providing accessible spaces for all, to support free connection with our own innate creativity.

Photos by Mattea Osenk. Video by Kirrily Snape.

Interested in developing an A Room of Her Own Workshop for your community?

Contact us here.

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