Micheál graduated from University College Cork, Ireland with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) and Higher Diploma in Education. He pursued his postgraduate studies at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music, Liszt Academy, in Hungary, where he studied under world renowned conductor and pedagogue, Péter Erdei. He graduated in 1988 with the Advanced Diploma of the Kodály Institute, the Institute’s highest award, with a particular specialisation in Solfége (Aural Training/Music Theory), and Choral Conducting.
In 1990 he moved to Australia to take up a position at the Australian National University – his role was as Lecturer in Aural Training and Pedagogy at the Canberra School of Music. He was a specialist teacher in the school’s unique Primary Music Programme, a programme designed in part to pursue standards of excellence being achieved in the ‘singing’ primary schools in Hungary. In 1991 he took up a position in the school’s tertiary programme lecturing in the areas of Aural Training, Music Theory, Pedagogy, and Choral Conducting. He also conducted the Canberra School of Music Children’s Choir – this choir gave a number of very successful performances at the 20th World I.S.M.E Conference in Seoul, Korea in 1992.
In 1994 he took up a position as Academic Sub-Dean and Head of Core Studies at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, University of Tasmania. He was founding Director of ‘Community Music Access’, a programme offering Musicianship and Instrumental training to children aged 2-14. From 1994-1998 he was director of the Chamber Vocal Ensemble ‘VocE ’96’, and he was also founding Musical Director of ‘Sisongke Community Choir’, a choir that focuses on the multi-cultural nature of Australian society.
In 1998 Micheál moved to Perth to establish Cottage School of Music, a school specializing in Musicianship Training for children aged 2-18 years of age. He also took up a position as lecturer in music at WAAPA (the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University). He is currently Senior Lecturer in Music at WAAPA, specialising in the areas of Aural Training, Music Theory, and Choral Training. He is founding director of Eneksis Vocal Ensemble, a choir that, since its establishment in 2002, has been widely considered to be one of the finest choirs in Australia.
Micheál was director of the Cottage Children’s Choir for some 18 years, and was also director for 5 years of the much-loved male voice choir, the Spooky Men of the West. Micheál’s choirs have featured on ABC Classic FM and have won awards at Australian festivals. He has also been choral director for theatrical projects such as children’s television, theatre, and film. Micheál conducts regular workshops for teachers, students, community groups and other organisations in Australia and overseas; many of his workshops have featured at national and international conferences and festivals. He was also recently invited to be part of a team from the Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity and Lifelong Learning, working with senior music and art teachers within the Singapore Ministry of Education on creativity in education.
Micheál has spent the past 25 years developing materials and methods relating to the teaching of Aural Training to students of all ages from pre-primary age through to university level. In recent years, he received national recognition by being awarded a Citation for Excellence in Teaching as part of the Australian Learning &Teaching Council’s ‘Australian Awards for University Teaching’.
Micheál is currently involved as the on-screen classroom music and choir mentor for a documentary TV series that will show the transformative effect that music can have on children in schools.
Micheál McCarthy has taken part in the following PCI events:
Summer School – Jan 2018
An 8 day residential course for singers aged 15 to 25.Sunday Jan 14th - Sunday Jan 21stResidence: St George's College, UWA
Summer School – Jan 2017
The inaugural PCI Summer School saw 30 of Perth's best and brightest perform 4 times in 8 days. Click for more information.Sunday Jan 15th - Sunday Jan 22ndResidence: Swan Valley Adventure Centre