Meet the Director

Hilary Keegan

Distinguished for her expertise in Music Education and Choral instruction, Hilary pursued her studies at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Hungary and earned the highest honours in her Master of Music degree from Holy Names University in California. With this diverse educational background, Hilary brings a global perspective and a deep understanding of music education methodologies to her teaching and professional endeavours.

In 2021, Hilary embraced motherhood and founded School of Musical Heartbeats, offering group music classes, private parent & baby group music sessions, school incursions, musical excursions, and workshops for teachers & parents both nationally and internationally.

Hilary has over 15 years experience in teaching early years right through to senior school students in both Ireland and Australia. She is invited by schools for choral masterclasses and workshops, adjudicates music festivals, eisteddfods, and hosts group music sessions at local cafes and playgroups.

Hilary is regularly invited to present at KMEIA, ASME and SSTUWA events, covering early years, primary, and lower secondary pedagogy, as well as musicianship, choral activities, and folk dancing.

At Edith Cowan University, Hilary lectures part-time in music education at a tertiary level, imparting extensive knowledge to aspiring educators. Hilary’s also an accredited lecturer for the Australian Kodály Certificate and the current Vice-president for Kodály WA.

Hilary currently directs Irish Choir Perth, the AKC Perth choir, and multiple choirs at St. Mary’s Anglican Girls School. Through her guidance, she inspires students, colleagues, and the broader community to actively participate in and share a love of music. Moreover, she fosters connections and cultivates a sense of belonging among participants.

Hilary enjoys performing at traditional Irish music events in Perth, playing the piano accordion and enjoys playing piano in her spare time. Her multifaceted contributions exemplify excellence in teaching and musical proficiency, enriching the Australian community through Kodály-inspired music education.

Hilary is passionately committed to fostering inclusive and active music participation, encouraging learners to advance in their musical abilities through performance, listening, and composition. She firmly holds the belief that music plays a pivotal role in the holistic development of intelligence, personality, and character. Hilary endeavours to create enjoyable and captivating learning environments, dedicating herself to inspiring and nurturing students in all aspects of their lives through music education.

What & How will my Child Learn Music at SoMH?

Classes consist of a range of musical activities that are inclusive, engaging and active.

Children will actively experience musical elements such as beat, rhythm, melody, harmony, tempo, dynamics, instrumentation, tonality, texture, timbre and form.

Children will learn to read, write and perform music through active participation in games, singing, sight-reading, dances, movement and vocal exploration & development, improvisation, composition activities, and perform using their singing voice, and play on tuned and untuned percussion instruments.

They will constantly improve their musicianship skills and their musical thinking so that if, and when they choose to take up another instrument, they will attain a level of musical intelligence and deeper understanding of music, so the technique of learning an instrument can be added easily when the time comes.

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Nadine & Baby Finnlay McKenna (Musical Babies: Newborn – 1-year-old Class)

We absolutely loved our first class. So engaging and we learnt lots of new songs. Hilary is great at adapting the movements for different ages and stages of development within the group. Thank you 🙂

Claire Condipodero (Music Teachers PD – August 2022)

Thank you for your generosity of knowledge Hilary. I always gain so much invaluable and practical knowledge and activities/songs from you. Would love a middle primary years PD and also an upper primary and lower secondary PD! ????

Michele (Musical Children: 5 to 7-Year-Old Class)

My kids loved the instruments, and learning new songs, which they would hum the whole way home. I believe it has helped Amaiah’s confidence – singing in a group & individually, and it has helped Anna steady herself and Concentrate on a task. They both enjoyed it immensely, Thank you

Megan & Baby Caoilte (Musical Babies: 0 – Crwaling Class)

Hey Hilary! Just a little message to let you know what an amazing teacher you are. Myself and Caoilte absolutely loved the classes and I am constantly singing & tapping beats with him now! Thank you.

Jess & Baby Florence (Musical Babies: Newborn – 1-year-old Class at Mosman Park)

Hilary, your class is just so wonderful. Florence & I both love attending. You are an amazing teacher. I find myself singing & humming to Florence all the time now. It’s so uplifting. We have already enrolled for Term 4 & look forward to it.

Sonia Melina (Music Teachers PD – Adelaide 2022)

Hi Hilary, I attended the music PD you ran in Adelaide in June and the recent session I participated online. I just wanted to say I have felt super inspired and my confidence in teaching music has improved so significantly!! I wanted to say a huge thank you! I also really enjoy you putting up the musical moments. Keep them coming!!

Sarah & Mia (Musical Children: 3 & 4-Year-Old Saturday Class at Balcatta, Stirling)

Hilary, I am so glad I found you! As a fellow musician/teacher, I can see how thought out your classes are. Your captivating energy and authentic nature with the children is just beautiful. Mia loves your classes and I often catch her singing songs on repeat after class while she’s painting/playing in the garden in her creative zone I also enjoy your classes and am learning a lot too! I can not recommend you enough. Thank you.

Amy, Troy & Rory (Musical Children: 3 & 4-Year-Old Class)

We are really enjoying the Lessons (Dad as well!) I think you have a great grasp on how long to persevere with an activity & nice fast transitions between things, so that everyone stays engaged. It’s a wonderful set up, extremely well organised, warm & inviting. We talk about the songs & rhymes outside the lesson & he has spontaneously done things like “high & Low” with his toys in the air, and remembers songs while we are out and about. It’s lovely!. I also think it is good for little ones (especially boys) to start to focus & sit for little blocks while listening to the teacher, to get ready for kindy. Also, things like waiting for your turn & watching others is great preparation. See the kids come out of their shell, get more confident & involved in the lesson has been great.

Danielle Joynt; One of Australia’s leading early childhood music teachers, Director of Cottage School of Music Junior

So, this is Hilary’s wonderful new early childhood music school – School Of Musical Heartbeats – with classes beginning this term. I can’t recommend Hilary highly enough – gifted teacher, outstanding musician, beautiful soul. The Child is always at the centre of all she does – beautiful, meaningful, profound teaching for all children. xx

Althea Dryer (Into the Mask; Theatre Education Director)

Highly recommend Hilary as an all round beautiful caring human being! There aren’t many and if you find yourself or your children wrapped up in her musical world- you will not regret one ounce of your time with her !!

Emily Van Eindhoven (Drama, Music & Classroom Educator)

Hilary, you are so amazing. Highly recommend Hilary for any learning/teaching of music – she is engaging, exciting, creative and extremely skilled with a very kind nature! Your kids (and you!) will love her!

Ellen Costello (Music Generation Midlands Arts Director; Ireland)

Congratulations on your new business venture, I have no doubt it will be a great musical success.

I would highly recommend Hilary for all things musical including CPD (Irish Professional Development for Teachers) , we had a great training session with her at Music Generation Roscommon in Ireland

Click here to begin your Musical Heartbeats Journey with us