Michael Griffin


Michael Griffin


Professional development and educational presentations that can be adapted for a wide range of audiences and situations ranging from small workshops through to whole-of-school keynote presentations, for teachers, students and parents.

Education staff and faculties

View Michael’s client schools and conference presentations  here.

Breaking Shackles – Liberating the Mind for Learning

Intrinsic motivation, teacher and student mindsets, metacognition, language and encouragement.

Metacognition, the hallmark of the free mind, is one of the “untarnishable joys of life”. A Growth Mindset provides the autonomous courage to begin and persist with the learning journey. Intrinsic motivation is the fuel of human behaviour; it underpins choices, decisions and action. With reference to the work of Hattie, Dweck, Deci & Ryan, Ericsson, Csikszentmihalyi, the Harvard Project Zero team, and other notable educational psychologists, Michael Griffin synthesises the pedagogical factors that most impact learning into a model that challenges capped-potential self-conception.

Suitable for all teaching staff, primary and secondary. Bespoke presentations from a 45-minute keynote to a full day or more.

Unlocking Musical Potential

Skill development, teaching and encouraging practice, the neuroscience of music learning, talent and learning mindsets, quitting and persisting with music, fostering intrinsic motivation.

Knowing how to practise is the most important skill for musicians. Those who are unable to motivate themselves to apply deliberate practice strategies will lack real progress, and without progress, they usually quit. The best predictor of musical progress is the quality and quantity of practice time. Types of repetition, chunking, and slow practice are core. How is this taught, and how can we be certain that students really understand practice? Musical ability is more often considered a genetic disposition than any other ability or human faculty. To what end? Mindsets powerfully impact learning behaviour. Learners with a growth mindset work harder, embrace challenge, persist for longer and learn from criticism. Mindset is the most important precept in music education today. It is so important that every music teacher understands the impact their beliefs, words and actions have on cultivating the learning disposition of students.

Suitable for all music teachers, primary and secondary, classroom and studio. Bespoke presentations from a 45-minute keynote to a full day or more.

   Coming Events 2020

Unlocking Musical Potential 2020 (Jun 23, Aug 25, Nov 25, Sydney)

Breaking Shackles: Liberating the Mind for Learning 2020 (Jun 24, Aug 26, Nov 26, 2019 Sydney)


Coming soon: Online teacher professional development courses, student courses. Enquiries welcome.


Full list of client schools and conference presentations.

Unlocking Musical Potential – Auckland, NZ April 2018. Review.

Great Southern Grammar, Albany, Australia. June 2018. Presentations to all staff and parents. Newsletter.

Developing Musical Skill – EDSC, VIC, August 2018. ANCA Review.

Parent Lecture – Children and Learning, Colo HS, NSW August 2019 Parent feedback

Students and parents

Seeking Excellence

Evidence-based factors that lead to exceptional performance, cultivating a growth (learning) mindset, intrinsic motivation: if it is to be, it’s up to me, goals, optimal challenge and ‘flow’, transforming your brain: be your own neurological engineer, the quality of effort: repetition, chunking, slow learning, the quantity of effort: expertise, losing time: phones, social media, computer games & TV, Sleep, to prepare the brain for learning, and to further consolidate learning (if you don’t snooze, you lose!)

How do some students achieve so much more than others? Michael Griffin’s compelling and inspirational presentation synthesises the factors that most impact successful learning and achievement. Presented in an engaging student-friendly manner, Seeking Excellence will reinforce your school’s aim to provide students with a clear direction for intrinsically motivated, confident, enjoyable, and ultimately more successful, learning. The core message is one of self-determination; that students must and can take ultimate responsibility for learning, which begins with a can-do growth mindset. Indeed, schools that cultivate a growth-mindset culture best nurture the character traits of commitment and persistence.

Suitable for senior students and differentiated in a lighter format for younger students from Year 5. Recommended duration 60-minutes.

Developing Musical Skill

Skill development and how to practise, the neuroscience of practice, talent and learning mindsets, repetition (blocked, variable and spaced, brain myelination) chunking (the brain looks to recognise patterns, why theory matters, short-term memory considerations) slow practice (the brain’s learning preference) the quantity of expertise.

It’s a simple connection but a powerful one. The internal drive required to pursue an activity relies heavily on the greatest of all motivators – making progress. For musical progress, nothing is as important as the quality and the quantity of practice time. This inspiring interactive, differentiated presentation will equip students, teachers, adult learners, and parents with the methods and mindset required to maximise the prospect of learning music enjoyably and successfully. An international hit, Michael Griffin’s Developing Musical Skill has enthralled and empowered audiences in 30 countries.

Differentiated presentations for seniors, prep, parents, and music teachers – primary and secondary, classroom and studio. Recommended duration 60-90-minutes.

For parents and school communities

The above topics can be presented to parent and community groups. Other subjects include the impact of technology on learning – including smart phones and computer games, and the importance of sleep.

Corporate Professional Development

The Smart Culture: Igniting Potential

Why is it that some employees achieve so much more than others? Is it a talent hardwired into their DNA? Dismissing this age-old notion in favour of another known factor: effort, Michael Griffin demonstrates how the quality and quantity of effort is the greatest predictor of expert performance. This inspiring, accessible talk will equip business leaders with the methods and mindset to increase staff capacity.

Bespoke presentation,  tailored for audience,  recommended keynote duration 45 -60 minutes.


M. Ed Studies, B.Ed.

A. Mus. A

Adelaide, South Australia



+61 (0) 420 481 844

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