From Clare Newton
Senior Lecturer, Faculty or Architecture, Building & Planning
The University of Melbourne
It is with pleasure that I provide a reference for Martin Cox. Our family has been privileged to have known Martin professionally for seven years. Initially we met Martin in his role as a music teacher at Kew Primary where he taught both our girls the flute and developed the school band which our children enjoyed very much. He lifted the quality of the school performances using a balance of encouragement, expectation and fun. The children particularly liked Martin’s use of professional sound equipment and regular performances to parent, community and school audiences. I was impressed by Martin’s commitment to his teaching role working far beyond expectations in order to ensure high quality outcomes.
Martin agreed to continue teaching my girls both flute and piano after they left primary school. They are now seventeen and fifteen they have decided to focus on piano and continue to take classes from Martin each week. I particularly appreciate that Martin has introduced my girls to jazz techniques and improvisation as well as classical and modern pieces. His knowledge of music is exemplary from classical, to current and world music.
Martin is a delightful person. His enthusiasm is infectious and he has the ability to help young people relax and enjoy themselves without the normal inhibitions that young people may feel when singing or playing in front of an audience. He helps students appreciate their accomplishments through encouragement and support. I believe he has instilled in many young people a lifelong love of music and enthusiasm for learning.
Martin is a natural teacher who brings his skills as a professional musician to inspire young people to enjoy music and performance. I am confident in recommending Martin for your school music department.
From Leslie Eastman
Senior Lecturer, Painting Coordinator, Fine Art
Monash University Art design and Architecture
Two years ago when first informed that Martin was working at the school, I was told how lucky we were to have such a wonderful teacher at our school.
As an artist and an educator I was very impressed by the transformation in my children's playing and the work he put in to stage two concerts. These were technically challenging and creatively empowering for all involved. I believe Martin is a teacher of excellence and am more than happy to pay him directly as has been the case without hitch for two years.
Both my children adore Martin and love their lessons. I'm very satisfied at the progress they have made. In Junaid's case he calls working with Martin the highlight of the week and the main reason he enjoys school. In Beda's case she maintains that Martin is far and away the most superior music teacher she has had while at Northcote primary. This assessment is shared by my step-mother who has taught piano for twenty five years. Prior to Martin's tuition she had expressed concerns about Beda's standard and was relieved after he was appointed.
From Chris Thompson, writer, director, teacher - Random acts
My son Gully took up piano lessons with Martin about half way through last year and what an impact those classes have had on him! Gully was hesitant about the idea of getting involved with piano lessons and it took quite a bit of cajoling to get him to at least agree to try one class. That’s all it took. He immediately warmed to Martin’s teaching style and exceptional knowledge and dry sense of humour (always a winner with Gully) and from that first class there was no question about whether he would continue or not. Martin’s classes and the way he encourages Gully to reach beyond what he feels immediately safe with have been outstanding.
We struck the same situation when Martin encouraged Gully to join the band. He was adamant that it wasn’t for him, especially the idea that he might perform in front of an audience. Again we struck a deal... that he only had to go once to try it and that he didn’t have to perform. Again, one lesson was all it took and he came straight home to practice The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Since then he has not only learned by heart every piece he’s been given (and insisted on downloading most of the pieces from iTunes) but he has started to compose his own music. The triumph out of all this is that he’s not only performing with the group on Wednesday, but he’s going to play one of his own compositions. Quite a transformation in only a year.
This is not just because of Martin’s skill and experience as both a musician and teacher, but because he is so willing to go above and beyond what you might expect from an extra-curricular teacher. The additional work that goes into tailoring the music to the students, providing charts for them to rehearse with and his knack for choosing just the right piece to capture the enthusiasm of the student is what keeps Gully engaged and excited by these classes.
From Matthew Broadbent (Children's performer and Anne Siciliano - Preston, Victoria
Lucia has had singing lessons with Martin as well as band, Mica currently has piano lessons and band, and Bianca currently has recorder lessons. All girls are doing really well in classes, and we find Martin energetic and passionate, and are fully supportive of his work. We also really enjoyed the concert he put on last year which must have involved a lot of preparation and effort. We particularly appreciate the band part of the program, it's the coming together of students and playing in a band situation which really stimulates and inspires I believe.
From Dr Joanna Tully - Paediatrician Royal Children's Hospital, Melboune
Martin has been teaching my children privately now for 4 years. Beginning with Maya on the piano we loved the way Martin mixed the classical approach with more popular styles and jazz and encouraged her to play a variety of music, especially her beloved Taylor Swift! Teaching her to read chord charts and improvisation was great and I also joined in the classes, having given up many years ago after studying classical piano for many years. I found this difficult but rewarding, although watching my daughter take to it like a duck to water was a little frustrating!
Then he began teaching my son Manu the guitar and soon we had a family band going which was great as practice became a lot of fun. He continues to teach both my children a mixture of piano and guitar from which they gain a lot of enjoyment, self-confidence and creative expression.
Louise Brown - mother, Northcote Primary school
I would like to firstly say how much I enjoyed and was blown away by the professional performance, which Martin coordinated, at the end of 2013. I am still in awe of Leah's confident and hilariously delightful performance which I believe is a direct result of Martin's enthusiasm, dedication and effort in creating a quality independent music program.
I would like to formally acknowledge my support for Martin's teaching and the well planned and creative musical activities; including Recorder Group and Band of which Leah participates in.