Music Biography

Ruth Bonetti M.Mus (Qld), A.R.C.M. (Lond.), A.Mus. A..

Ruth has performed and presented Conference, Professional Development and student seminars extensively in Europe (speaking German, French and Swedish) and the major universities and schools in most Australian cities. She was on the faculty of Lutheran Summer Music Program, Minneapolis USA , in 2000 and 2001, where the Executive Director wrote of her:

“Ruth Bonetti was a faculty asset far beyond our expectations. She has a rare, perhaps unique expertise in performance preparation and conduct. Students responded so positively to her coaching and vibrant personality that we had to expand her workload and schedule additional sessions.  I cannot say enough positive about Mrs Bonetti’s work as a performance coach.” – Dr Victor Gebauer

After adjunct teaching in Sweden, France, Germany and England Ruth taught clarinet and pedagogy at Griffith University, Brisbane Conservatorium of Music for 15 years; she now travels extensively giving keynote and seminar presentations, clinics and coaching around the world. Ruth was principal clarinettist with Umea Regionmusiken in Sweden and has performed in Germany , Sweden , Britain , Austria , France , Australia and the USA .

Ruth Bonetti has authored ten books in the music and presentation fields, including Practice is a Dirty Word; How to clean up your act; Enjoy Playing the Clarinet (Oxford University Press) and the performance guides Taking Centre-Stage which is now updated as Confident Music Performance. To help public speakers with similar issues she has written Don’t Freak Out, Speak Out; Public Speaking with Confidence.

Ruth was consulting editor of the Australian Music Examinations Board’s Clarinet Syllabus Series 2 for grades 1-4 and is an AMEB examiner. She has published numerous articles in journals including Classical Music, Music Teacher (UK ), Australian Music Teacher, Clarinet and Saxophone (UK), the International Clarinet Society Journal and ASME Journal as well as newspapers including The Australian, the Brisbane Courier Mail and Sunday Mail.

As a professional speaker, Ruth is a member of the National Speakers Association of Australia and of the World Federation of Professional Speakers.

Whether performing in front of one, or one thousand; from student to soloist, Ruth’s practical, do-able and empowering techniques enable musicians to shine on the platform.


Ruth was expert at including everyone in attendance and making it fun and helpful. Both faculty and students were caught up in her charming and sincere manner of presentation. It was a wonderful experience. I am happy to recommend Ruth Bonetti’s work, both in print and her workshops/coaching sessions. She is making a much-needed contribution to our profession.

Mary Natvig, Ph.D. Associate Professor,

Bowling Green State University , Ohio , USA

As a performer who has struggled with stage fright for years, I read everything I can find which deals with issues affecting performance. I find your books more useful to me on a daily basis than most I have read. I can also attest to the value of your performance preparation lectures. I appreciate your encouragement to those performers can who suffer from ?greeblies? to face their fears so that the artist within emerge.

David Oyen, D.M.A. Assistant Professor,

Morehead State University , Kentucky , USA

Ruth delighted the participants with her infectious good humour and vibrant personality. Her presentations were a highlight due to Ruth’s charisma, and her ability to involve everyone was simply amazing; she created tremendous debate and enthusiasm.

Malcolm F. Potter, President, Music Teachers’ Association , South Australia

Professional Experience

  • Adjunct lecturer in clarinet and Studio Teaching Methods at Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University for 15 years
  • Clarinet teacher at St Peters Lutheran College, Brisbane Queensland for 16 years
  • Peripatetic clarinet teacher 7 years in England, Sweden, France, Germany
  • Faculty member of Lutheran Summer Music Program, Minneapolis USA in 2000 and 2001 (teaching clarinet, chamber music, performance practice and musicianship)
  • Author of method Enjoy Playing the Clarinet (Oxford University Press) listed on Australian Music Examinations Board syllabus grades 1-4
  • Editorial Consultant for the AMEB Clarinet Grade Books, Series 2
  • Author of four books to develop skills in music practice and performance
  • Examiner with Australian Music Examinations Board since 1988
  • Master classes and tutorials at GRIPPS (Gap Region Instrumental Primary Performers School) annually 1996 to the present.
  • Extensive presentation of seminars throughout Australia and in Europe and America to motivate students to perform to their optimum ability.


1989 M.Mus (University of Queensland) major in Clarinet Performance

1973 B.Mus (University of Queensland) major in Clarinet Performance

1976 ARCM (Associate of the Royal School of Music, London)

1972 A.MusA

Conference presentations include ANZAAS Congress (1984), National Clarinet Congress, Sydney (1986), The Art of Clarinet Seminar, Sydney (1992), ASME Music Teachers Association Conference (1997), Music Teachers Association of South Australia Summer School (2003), Music Teachers Associations in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns; Flute Society of Queensland (2004); various Clarinet conferences and seminars including Australasian Clarinet Conference; Dalcroze Summer School, 2003 -2004.

International presentations

  • Faculty member of Lutheran Summer Music Program, Minneapolis USA in 2000 and 2001, where her seminars were repeated by popular demand.
  • “Enjoy Teaching the Clarinet” weekend workshop for German teachers in the Baden-Württembergs province, under the auspices of Landesverband der Musikschulen in Weinheim-Heidelberg
  • Workshop: NykØbing F.Kommune Musikskolen, Denmark
  • Workshop: Kommunal Musikskolan, Åland, Finland


German, Swedish, French

“What is striking is Ruth Bonetti’s deep, caring, yet realistic sympathy for her students. She is quite intuitive in understanding their emotional, physical and technical needs in preparing for performance. I know of no one else with her specific credentials.”

– Dr Victor E. Gebauer, Executive Director – 2001, Lutheran Music Program, Minneapolis, USA

Publications; Books

  • Enjoy Playing the Clarinet (Oxford Univ Press, 1985; 2nd edition 1991)
  • Enjoy Playing the Clarinet; Piano Accompaniments (Oxford Univ Press, 1997)
  • Taking Centre Stage (Albatross Books, 1997, now republished as Confident Music Performance)
  • Don’t Freak Out – Speak Out; Public Speaking with confidence (Words and Music, 2001, 2002)
  • Practice is a Dirty Word; How to clean up your act (Words and Music, 2002)
  • Confident Music Performance: Fix the fear of facing an audience (Words and Music, 2003)

Publications; Articles

Numerous articles have been published in Britain, America and Australia, including Music Teacher, UK; Classical Music Magazine, UK; Australian Music Teacher; Australian Clarinet and Saxophone; Australian Society for Music Education Journal; The Studio (magazine of NSW Music Teachers Association); The Music Stand (magazine of South Australian Music Teachers Association); The International Clarinet Society journal; Clarinet and Saxophone UK; Stringendo. Also The Australian; The Courier Mail; The Sunday Mail; Women’s Network Magazine.

Teaching Experience (clarinet unless otherwise specified)

1982-1996 Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University (also Studio Teaching Methods Pedagogy)

1985-2001 Clarinet teacher, St Peters Lutheran College

1975-1976 St Swithun’s School Winchester, England

Inner London Education Authority (including class teaching)

1976-1978 Umeå Kommunala Musikskolan, Sweden

1979 Ecolé de Musique, Eckbolsheim-Strasbourg, France

1979-1981 Heidelberg Sing-und-Musikschule; Neckargemünd and Wiesloch Musikschule, Germany1971-1972 Brisbane Girls High School, Somerville House

1973-1974 Trinity Grammar School and Loreto Convent, Sydney

Awards and Performance Experience include:

  • Winner of ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition (Qld)
  • Member, Australian Youth Orchestra (19710
  • Member of Queensland Youth Orchestra (1967- 1972) Principal clarinettist for 5 years and soloist on International tout to International Festival of Youth Orchestras, Lausanne Switzerland (1972)
  • Freelance orchestral playing with (then) Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Elizabethan Theatre Trust, Sydney, J. C. Williamson Theatres.
  • Principal clarinettist with Norrlands Opera and Regionmusiken, Umeå, Sweden (1977-78)
  • Extensive chamber music performance with Quartetto Bonetti and Divertimento Bonetti
  • Soloist in Germany (with Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester, Mannheim; Edinger Ensemble) Sweden (with Musiksällskapets Orchester, Umeå) Australia (Brisbane Sinfonia and Sydney Baroque Orchestra) and the USA. Soloist on St Peters Orchestra tours across Australia and to Britain, France and Germany.

I enthusiastically support the work of Ruth Bonetti. She fills a ned in the world of musicians with her teaching expertise, patience, understanding, creativity and charisma. Her energy, good humor and engaging personality put us all at ease and kept us involved throughout the session. Most significally, I saw the positive results of her work in the students? performances.

Beth A. Ray, Assistant Professor: Voice, Ithaca College New York , USA

I can certainly attest to the effectiveness of your methods of helping people with stage-fright. I think your humorous approach to the whole subject of nerves would be helpful for our entire music department.

Professor Florence M. Jowers, Lenoir-Rhyne College , North Carolina , USA

What is striking about Ruth Bonetti is her deep, caring, yet realistic sympathy for her students. She is quite intuitive in understanding their emotional, physical and technical needs in preparing for performance. I know of no one else with her specific credentials.

Dr Victor E. Gebauer
Executive Director – 2001, Lutheran Music Program, Minneapolis , USA


Your help and encouragement gave me the confidence to change everything I was doing with my music. I graduated from High School and am now studying Music Education at Valparaiso University . The confidence you gave me shows now I might not be the best sax player in the world but I am proud of what I do. Thank you!

Robert Chambers , Indiana USA


“John Allegar here from Lutheran Summer Music , USA … (remember, the anti-nerves guy…wiggle your toes when your hands are shaking). Just wanted to let you know that my district contest was yesterday, I had an ENORMOUS amount of poise and confidence, and they were the best performances ever!  Both my solo and trio got the highest ratings possible of “I+”.  This wouldn’t have been possible had I not been able to control those nerves.  Thank you so much for your help this summer.

Thanks for all your help. I keep your book handy and refer to it whenever I start to feel jittery! I’m really starting to loosen up and enjoy myself during concerts. And now I can really concentrate on making music instead of scaring myself to death with the “what if’s” of performing.

Leslie Godfrey, Oboist, New Jersey , USA

During my month at Lutheran Summer Music, I found my peers transformed by both Ruth Bonetti’s workshops, and by her books. They took on a whole new persona while on-stage – one of professionalism, confidence and incredible ease.

Kurt R. Schmidt, Ministry of Music, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church ,

Florida USA

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