A Week In The Life Of… Tommy Rando, Singer/Songwriter And Head Of Music Production At Collarts Music School

Australian singer/guitarist Tommy Rando kick started his career at the age of 19 when he was awarded a scholarship grant to the National Guitar Summer Workshop held in Connecticut. There he studied with Jazz/Blues legends including John Scofield, Lenny Stern and Ernie Jackson, which led to a US tour for BMI and meeting industry greats Seymour Stein the president of Sire Records (Warner Music) Seymour Stein and John Reid (manager for Elton John & Queen) who took a young Rando under their wings.
Tommy works out of his own space rooftop recording studios in St Kilda where he has written songs for Australian artists, including Vanessa Amorosi, Anthony Callea, Taxi Ride and Lee Harding including the 6-week #1 ARIA chart hit ‘Wasabi’.  Adding to his list of achievements Tommy has also toured internationally and nationally with St Vincent, Paulo Nutini, Mark Ronson, Spearhead, Diesel, 1927, and Tommy Emmanuel just to name a few. Tommy continues to write music for artists and his songs can be heard regularly on film and television from Neighbours to adverts for Anaconda and Spotlight.

Job Description

I’m a program leader for the new Music Production degree at Collarts. My job entails the formulation and maintenance of curriculum and assessment within the internal and external policy frameworks. I’m responsible for developing content and practises and also for the communication to staff.

Daily Journal

Monday: review course content for the Music Production degree and conduct interviews for potential students.

Tuesday: prepare for the ‘Teacher and Learning’ meeting and further develop course content.

Wednesday: teach ‘Music Technology’ class for song writing. Interview more potential students and try not to forget to eat my lunch!

Thursday: teach a ‘Song Writing’ class and develop pre-production and creative processes for their works.

Friday: Study day – work on my thesis.

Challenges & Accomplishments

The greatest challenge is building a new course from scratch! From my experience in working at other institutions, there has always been important omissions from the course material. Everything needs to flow and be easy to digest – both with the hands-on practical learning and the theoretical learning. My accomplishment so far has been watching the course numbers rise! Happy!


Working with a team of incredibly talented, dedicated teachers who are passionate about the institution and its students – there’s a great energy to the place!


Working so intensely on the course can leave little free time to be creative. There is a balance, and I aim to find it!

Words Of Wisdom

Passion and experience is the key. I’ve come from both the music industry and education sector. Both have contributed in different ways to my knowledge in music, research of contemporary music performance and production in higher education. If you are passionate about something, work hard and never give up!


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