Growing up, I was fortunate to be taught by some of Hobart’s most influential music makers

A friendly environment

Principal & Artistic Director

Ian Williams, B.Mus.

They showed me no single teacher has all the answers. In fact, young performers often learn best when being mentored by performers and musicians close to their own age. At ExitLeft we teach using a method heavily based on how I learned from Hobart piano teaching doyen, Eileen Johnson.

Eileen used a mentoring program where senior students worked as practice buddies, encouraging beginners and becoming better players themselves. Not only did I learn, but I made friends, worked in a team and was inspired by the older kids.

The majority of our students start with us in primary school and continue through to the end of their schooling, making long term friends and developing into confident, creative communicators, prepared for life.

Our team includes

Principal Ian Williams working with Toddlers
Ian Williams
Principal – Performance, Direction, Musical Direction & Production Management
Ian is the Principal and Artistic Director of ExitLeft. He has a Bachelor of Music specialising in voice and has worked extensively as a Director and Musical Director. He is known for producing and directing some of the biggest shows in Tasmania, as well as teaching music to all ages, from infants through to university level. Ian has been instrumental in bringing music into the lives of young, lower socioeconomic families and is passionate about raising educational standards for all Tasmanians through engagement in the performing arts.
Alice is fantastic with young students
Alice Skinner
Performance, Photography & Stage Management
After joining the staff in her gap year, Alice is now working full time at the studio as a key creative. She has a Diploma of Music and is currently studying a Bachelor of Musical Arts through the University of Tasmania. A part of the Academy for the last seven years, she has been involved in performing arts since she was little, both on stage and behind the scenes. Alice has also stage managed a variety of events including the 2016 Your Habitat City of Hobart Carols by Candlelight and last year’s Wrest Point Melbourne Cup Lunch.
Mikaela teaching singing
Mikaela Nichols
Mikaela is a professional contemporary and jazz singer, performing regularly in gigs around the state. She sings with the band, Nouveau and with guitarist Greg Souter. She has performed in a number of musicals and in the television special ‘Ellie’s really big Christmas show‘, as well as  achieving high results in the singing eisteddfods. Mikaela is currently studying Law at the University of Tasmania.
Lucy with the Toddler Music Program
Laura Nichols
Performance, Piano, Songwriting

Recently relocated to Hobart to join the senior team, Laura is an amazing Jazz singer and pianist who performs extensively with the Royal Australian Navy Band, as well as having been involved in many pop and jazz bands around Melbourne, appearing at some of Melbourne’s best large and small establishments. Laura has a Bachelor of Music Performance at the University of Melbourne (Victorian College of the Arts) and AMEB Grade 8 in piano. She has taught voice and piano privately, run vocal programs at Salesian College and was the musical director of the Young Australian Broadway Chorus.

Nate teaches singing and piano
Nate Taylor
Performance, Piano & Guitar
Nate recently relocated from Victoria, where he has worked in secondary schools as a music and drama teacher for the past four years. Nathaniel has a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Teaching and is completing his honours in composition at the University of Tasmania in 2018. He has been involved in music and theatre from a young age as both a performer and musical director and loves sharing his passion for music with his students.
Greg Souter teaching Guitar
Greg Souter
Greg is an active member of the Hobart music scene, performing regularly with bands Manhattan and The In Crowd. A contributor to contemporary music education, he has directed the well-known Rock Summer School and has been a music teacher for over 20 years. He is a graduate of UTAS and furthered his study at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. He also currently teaches at Claremont College.
Beginning students will love working with Jack
Jack Barnes
Piano & Performance
Jack Barnes began his piano studies at the age of 10 in Hobart, Tasmania. He has studied with pianists Arabella Teniswood-Harvey, Shan Deng and Michael Kieran Harvey. He received a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Tasmania in 2015, and a Bachelor of Music with Honours in 2017, graduating with First Class Honours. He was also a recipient of the Lady Cross Senior Award for the Open Concerto section at the Hobart Eisteddfod in 2015. Jack is a passionate advocate of contemporary classical music and regularly commissions and premieres new piano works by emerging composers.
Students are welcomed and looked after
Madison Page
Madison is currently on her gap year, working as our afternoon concierge. She has been a student at the Academy through school and featured in last year’s ExitLeft musical Go Go Beach. Her job is to welcome everyone, look after the students in between lessons, answer questions and ensure the smooth running of the studio every day. Parents can feel confident that if they need to drop children off Madison will be there to see them to their classes!
Suzen Parnell
Suzen Parnell
Creative Director
Suzen is highly sought after as a professional Graphic Designer, providing high-level marketing and design services for a variety of organisations, and has comprehensive experience in working with the theatrical community. Combined with a background in Project Management, Suzen has acted as the Executive Producer and Creative Director for ExitLeft since its inception.
Miranda Bennett, Jess Fitzgerald, Finn Bacon, Sarah Sargent, Mia Shinkfield, Sarah Wright, Eliza Marshall.
We have a fantastic young team of staff who assist in lessons and classes. Their role is to make sure new students are feeling comfortable, help the youngsters with reading words and finding their music, being a great role model and demonstrating skills and techniques in class. They are just like having a loveable big brother or sister for the students!