Nicole  Canham Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Nicole Canham

Classical Lecturer & Program Coordinator, Wind, Convenor, Context Studies Stream
Monash University

Dr Nicole Canham is a musician, educator, and professionally accredited career development practitioner. Her future-focused research explores sustainable career development under complex and complicated career-making conditions. Previous work has explored the beliefs, values, work, and learning of independent classical artists, pre-service music teacher identity development, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on musicians’ work and aspirations.


Churchill Fellow, Nicole Canham (clarinet and tarogato), is an award-winning and versatile musician who is committed to creating transformative arts experiences, building new audiences for art music, and supporting sustainable career development in the arts. Her expansive and unique artistic practice reflects her diverse creative interests which include championing Australian new music, chamber music performance and collaboration with diverse artists from outside the world of music including theatre, film, photography, visual art and dance. Nicole has performed at festivals around Australia including the Castlemaine State Festival, Four Winds, Canberra International Music Festival, and overseas in France (Concerts a la Fontaine, Paris, Université Européenne de Saxophone, Gap, Rencontres de Saxophone, Strasbourg), Germany, the UK, USA, Mexico (Visiones Sonoras, the Morelia International Film Festival ) and Belgium (Jeunesses Musicales). Her discography includes recordings for Move Records, ABC Classics, The Anthology of Australian Music and Tall Poppies.  
In 2020, Nicole joined the faculty of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University, as Wind Program Coordinator.  In this role, she focuses on performance, teaching, and scholarship, drawing upon her industry experience and research to help young musicians develop unique and distinctive artistic voices, and to facilitate their transition from study to sustainable and meaningful work.  Nicole’s research has explored the career pathways of independent, classically trained musicians, pre-service music teacher identity development and the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on musicians’ work and aspirations. She has presented her research at leading conferences around the world and was Visiting Research Fellow at La Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’homme from 2011 - 2013.  Nicole is a qualified career development practitioner and professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia.  


    Graduate Diploma, Careers Education and Development, RMIT
    PhD, University of Queensland
    Prix de Perfectionnement, CNR de Versailles
    Bachelor of Music, Australian National University

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Nicole's areas of research expertise include career development and navigating precarious work, musician identity, collaboration and various forms of creativity, employability, and the role of the independent artist in contributing to wider social and art form challenges.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Preparing Musicians ISME_Canham - 1st Edition book cover


Arts and Humanities in Higher Education

Making mavericks: Preparing musicians for independent artistic culture

Published: Dec 07, 2016 by Arts and Humanities in Higher Education
Authors: Nicole Canham
Subjects: Music, Work & Organizational Psychology

This essay explores the role that maverick qualities – ‘independent or unorthodox behaviour’ – play in developing and sustaining musician employability. Whilst career education for musicians often highlights new career models, there is limited evidence of how these concepts work in practice. Findings from my recent study of the beliefs, values, work and learning of eight independent professional musicians highlight the links between independent beliefs and values and subsequent pathways.

Giving voice to democracy in music education

Facilitating dissonance: implications for social justice in music teacher education

Published: Nov 23, 2015 by Giving voice to democracy in music education
Authors: Ballantyne, Canham and Barrett
Subjects: Education, Music

Student populations in Australian classrooms tend to exhibit more diversity (social, ethnic, economic) than the profiles of their teaching population, which mostly comes from middle-class, Anglo-Saxon backgrounds. This imbalance is an acknowledged challenge in developing awareness of social justice issues in the teaching population. We explore how immersion or ‘real-life’ experiences of diversity or social justice issues, enables pre-service teachers to confront their own pre-dispositions.