Merran McLaren has been involved in Music all her life. She now teaches in her home town of Glen Innes accepting students from the New England Area. She also coaches and provides extra tuition in both the country and the city for students preparing for performance or exams at all levels.
Merran is available as an accompanist in the country and in Sydney.
Merran McLaren commenced her music studies at St Joseph’s Convent in Glen Innes. She gave her first recital over the ABC Regional Network at the age of thirteen. Further studies were taken at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, and in Sydney notably with Igor Hmelnitsky and Florence Taylor. Later she attended courses at the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest and the Orff Institute Salzburg.
For 17 years Merran taught in State and Private Schools in NSW where she initiated four major school music programmes, the most significant being the K-12 Music Programme at Ascham School. This became one of the most comprehensive music programmes in Australia involving over 1000 students in performance and movement as well as the required State Music Syllabus. Her work in Music Education has taken her to the Former Soviet Union, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Japan and the USA.
During her life Merran has performed extensively as an Accompanist, Conductor and Singer. She has prepared Young People’s Choirs for Sir David Willcocks, the Sydney Philharmonia and for the Australian Opera. Merran has been Music Director for numerous Youth Theatre Performances noted for their innovative and contemporary productions. She herself sang with the Philharmonia Singers under Peter Seymour, and the Conservatorium Singers under Richard Gill. As an Accompanist she has been extremely fortunate to have had opportunities to perform with three of Australia’s most respected musicians ie. John Gould (Viola), Lauris Elms (Mezzo Soprano) and Geoffrey Collins (Flautist). In 1986,1987 and 1989 Merran was invited to perform on the Grand Organ at the World Shrine in Takeyama, Japan.
Since the 90’s Merran was one of the Official Accompanists for the City of Sydney Eisteddfod. During this time she created her own Studio operating in York Street, Sydney, as well as Burwood and Ryde .The Studio provided tuition in Alexander Technique, Dalcroze, Voice, Piano, Violin and Musicianship. A number of students travelled to Verona to sing Verdi’s Requiem with Conductor Loren Maazel and Tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Many of the students from this Studio now work in Theatre and other performance arenas. At least 26 of Merran’s past students perform, teach or lecture in Music.
Merran is constantly updating and expanding her knowledge of music and the skills involved in this great art. She attends when possible some of the legendary Piano Competitions and also many renowned Music Festivals in Europe. This allows her the opportunity of observing some of the most respected international teachers who give Masterclasses during these Events
Merran is strongly committed to the study of music for all ages, seeing it not only as a great discipline for the mind and the body, but also essential for the nurturing and growth of the human spirit as we are swept into the challenges of the twenty-first century.