Last year, we brought together renowned SongMakers mentors with JMC Academy's teaching team to trial an innovative one-day PD program to help teachers demystify music technology in the classroom:

"Best PD I've been to in years..." Teacher respondent

"Having the quality of industry professionals as presenters was inspiring. It really made the technology and songwriting seem reachable... The facilities at JMC and the JMC staff were also great." Teacher respondent

Join us for this year's program, run as a collaboration between JMC Academy and SongMakers (APRA AMCOS) in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

Led by Rai Thistlethwayte and Robert Conley, this hands-on, one-day workshop will fast-track your skills, boost your confidence and empower you to get creative with your students!

Places are strictly limited. Book early to avoid disappointment! Price - $150 per person.



Monday 21st May 
9:00am – 3:00pm
JMC Academy, South Melbourne Campus



Tuesday 22nd May
9:00am – 3:00pm
JMC Academy, South Brisbane Campus



Wednesday 23rd May 
9:00am – 3:00pm
JMC Academy, Ultimo Campus


At these specially curated workshops, you will:

  • Meet and learn from one of Australia’s most in-demand producers, Robert Conley, as he takes a song from a live, acoustic performance to a radio-worthy demo.
  • Before the demo comes the song: meet and learn from Rai Thistlethwayte (Thirsty Merc) as he runs through real world tips and techniques for starting -  and finishing – a great song.
  • Walk through the differences between the various software e.g. Logic, Protools and Ableton.
  • Learn about the must-have gear you need for your classroom.
  • Discover some of the pathways and shortcuts to careers in music and production to pass on to your students.
  • Workshop in small groups with JMC Academy’s Music, Songwriting and Audio Production lecturers to do your own demos.


Rai Thistlethwayte is one of Australia’s most respected musical talents: a highly accomplished pianist, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and arranger. As frontman of multi-platinum rock band Thirsty Merc, he has toured extensively and released a string of hits on to the Australian music charts. He divides his time between Australia and North America,where he is an in-demand co-writer.



US-born Robert Conley is now one of Australia’s most in-demand producers. Early in his career, while working as an assistant engineer in LA, Robert so impressed Grammy award-winning producer, Walter Afanasieff, that he was hired on the spot. That set him on a path to work with artists including Destiny’s Child, Christina Aguilera, Carlos Santana and more. 

Since his move to Australia Robert has worked with just about everyone, from Tina Arena to Thelma Plum. When he’s not producing, he is running his own publishing company and label and is behind some of Australia’s best new talent, including the recent success of Dean Lewis.