My personal mission

From an early age, following a monumentally disastrous musical performance at the grand age of 5, I developed an interest in the psychology behind performance of all types including music performance, sports performance, public speaking and acting. Over the years this interest grew into a genuine desire to understand why some gifted musicians, actors, business executives, and sports people who have acquired skills which rate them as some of the highest among their peers, struggle to give their best under certain conditions and in a lot of circumstances, give up their craft altogether. The question that people who have been personally involved in this frustrating concept asks is: How and why does this happen?


I have acquired, and continue to learn, strategies used by the world’s best advisors on performance anxiety. Rather than ignore the elephant in the room, I teach my students how to deal with the problem openly and take control of those negative feelings. This, in itself, is a skill worth learning.

This work has been very rewarding for me, and watching confidence steadily grow in people of all ages, so that they can go on to do what they love, is a passion that continues to grow with time.

- Donna


Notesmasters Music Studio commenced in 1984 in the Blue Mountains of NSW and transferred to Bayside Brisbane in 2001. Donna Magrath has 35 years music teaching, performing, composing, recording and mentoring experience for actors, soloists, bands and ensembles. Donna’s methodology is based on a purely positive reinforcement model and gentle guidance. Her priority is to provide a safe support system where any and all negativity is removed from the learning environment. This has helped to achieve fantastic results in the development of healthy self esteem, especially for students going through the pre-pubertal and pubertal stages of development.


Donna works with individuals, duos and bands to:


  • Optimise ATAR scores in preparation for the QCE;
  • Prepare for Bachelor’s degree recitals and assignments at University level;
  • Prepare for entry into the Conservatorium of Music, UQ, QUT, JMC and other preferred music tertiary institutions;
  • Prepare pieces for end of year school concerts and regular performance assessments throughout the year;
  • Gain the highest possible result for musical examinations in the three leading industry examinations bodies;
  • Develop confidence and self esteem through positive reinforcement, and goals based programmes;
  • Prepare for an eisteddfod or an audition;
  • Develop a repertoire for a gig, wedding or special event.


Donna has a Bachelor of Music with a secondary major in Psychology from Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium of Music, as well as a Cert IV in Training and Assessment. She is Redlands’ go to person for everything related to the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) and also enters students into examinations held by Trinity College of London and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). Donna is a member of the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing Ltd (ANATS).

Community Involvement

Donna is the Musical Director for Theatre Redlands, a theatre group directly affiliated with the Redland Museum, the first theatrical affiliation of its kind in Australia. She recently finished production with “Women of their Word” written and directed by Jan Nary, hosted by the museum. Donna was also currently the audio creative designer for “Cruel Injustice”, a film written and directed by Ray Noonan.


Donna is the founder and facilitator of “MusicTent”, a public performance practise space for students of hers and others’ studios at the Manly Creative Markets. She is a member of Savoyards Musical Comedy Society Inc and has been engaged as Musical Director and vocal coach for singer actors in various live theatre productions around SE Qld. Her students participate regularly in live theatre productions and community events including the Wynnum-Manly Chamber of Commerce foreshore concerts, Mt Cotton Christmas carols and other events in ensembles, duo’s and as soloists. Donna also undertakes regular performing and accompanying roles with a variety of choral groups and eisteddfod/examination students of all instruments.


Donna supports and welcomes individual diversity into the artistic development of Redlands and the Greater Brisbane region.


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