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CLAIRE ANNE TAYLOR INTERVIEW: PORT FAIRY FOLK FESTIVAL 2018

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - March 14, 2018

Claire Anne Taylor grew up in Tasmania’s ancient Tarkine rainforest. Taylor’s music reflects the wild, rich and creative world she was immersed in as a child. With vivid storytelling, hypnotic melodies and raw, soul-tinged vocals, Taylor captures both the beautiful and dark elements of the human experience. Her stage presence…

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STELLA DONNELLY INTERVIEW AT PORT FAIRY FOLK FESTIVAL 2018

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - March 14, 2018

Perth-based singer songwriter Stella Donnelly’s career has been on a steady incline since the release of her debut single Mechanical Bull and the EP Thrush Metal which followed. She also made quite a mark on punters and the industry at her Big Sound showcases in Brisbane late last year and…

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SIX QUIX WITH OLLIE BOWN (TANGENTS)

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - March 12, 2018

Recorded by Richard Belkner at Sydney’s Free Energy Device Studios (Neil Finn, Sarah Blasko, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ngaiire) Tangents’ new EP ‘Stents And Arteries’ houses 3 sprawling, intricate improvised tracks and will act as a “first single”/announcement of sorts in the lead-up to the release of their impending fourth LP…

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MIA DYSON: THE ‘If I Said Only So Far I Take It Back’ INTERVIEW

Posted in Artist Profiles, Interviews    //    Post Date - March 7, 2018

Much like a home cooked meal composed of whatever ingredients were on hand, a mix of staples and some from unlabelled containers, Mia Dyson has uninhibitedly brewed a mighty rich, vibrant and soulful concoction of an album she’s titled If I Said Only So Far I Take It Back. With…

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DOM ITALIANO EXPLAINS HIS FACEBOOK LIVE SET UP

Posted in Artists, Special Features    //    Post Date - March 6, 2018

Since releasing his first indie CD ‘241 Dead End’ in 1999, Melbourne based singer songwriter Dom Italiano has continued to perform and release his unique brand of quality, quirky and engaging songs. Dom has just released a new, crowd-funded EP titled It’s Not About What You Think It’s About and…

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WE CHAT TO PORT FAIRY FOLK FESTIVAL’S CAROLINE MOORE (DIRECTOR)

Posted in Artists, Special Features    //    Post Date - March 2, 2018

Wikipedia tells us that Port Fairy is a coastal town in south-western Victoria, Australia. It lies on the Princes Highway in the Shire of Moyne, 28 kilometres (17 mi) west of Warrnambool and 290 kilometres (180 mi) west of Melbourne, at the point where the Moyne River enters the Southern Ocean. In…

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GABRIEL VARGAS – GUITAR

Posted in Artist Profiles, Artists    //    Post Date - March 1, 2018

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Gabriel Vargas has just released a new single, Like Wolves – a song that traverses the tenacity of old wounds and turning victimhood into empowerment. He has also released an accompanying video that captures the true, undeniable beauty in the way that humans are able to grow and…

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YAMAHA MUSIC GREAT START GRANT FOR SCHOOLS

Posted in Blog, Special Features    //    Post Date - February 28, 2018


Yamaha Music Australia
has announced it’s second annual Great Start Grant – a nationwide initiative that will see one school awarded a $50,000 music grant, plus an exclusive performance from Dami Im, Australia’s X-Factor winner and most successful Eurovision entrant.

With the potential to help foster creativity and build social connections, Yamaha is searching for Australian schools in need of a helping hand to get their Music Performance Program off the ground. All they have to do is explain why they deserve it the most! last year Apollo bay College was the recipient of concert band instruments, a prize which has made a significant difference to that school’s music program and the kids who play in it. This year, the prize has a broader prize base in regard to the type of instruments offered.

The $50,000 Great Start Grant includes:
• $45,000 worth of Yamaha instruments — equivalent to 42 brand new Yamaha instruments/equipment
• 1 day of training from Peter Wardrobe —Yamaha’s Education Specialist
• A launch concert at the winning school from Dami Im
• PLUS: Consolation prizes worth $2,000 in value shared between another two schools

We asked Australia’s leading band expert and Yamaha’s Education Outreach Clinician Dr Rob McWilliams a few key questions about the Great Start Grant

What could the $50,000 grant do for the music department of a school?
The grant will enable a school who has all the other necessary elements to make best use of this giveaway (fully supportive administration, committed teaching staff, student interest, appropriate physical plant (classroom space, etc.), and all that is missing is the available funding to get the equipment.  This is where Yamaha steps in and completes the picture with the grant!

What comments are you hearing from students, parents and teachers at Apollo Bay P-12 College, which has already benefitted from this program?
The Yamaha Giveaway that Apollo Bay P-12 received was slightly different in that it was a grant of concert band instruments (this year’s grant is geared to a more “commercial” music type of program).  However, the impact is very similar in that it has given many students in the Apollo Bay area a special opportunity to learn an instrument and participate in a school concert band.  The whole school and broader community has been excited and grateful for what this grant has brought to them.

Apollo Bay P-12 trumpets

What are the benefits of being involved in a large school band?
The benefits of involvement in learning musical instruments are wide-ranging and significant.  More and more research points to the unique benefits of instrument learning as they relate to brain development.  It turns out the brain is uniquely active in many different places when we undertake this activity.  Playing an instrument also engages our emotional selves in a significant way – music is often considered the “language of emotions” and this is such an important part of growing up and understanding the human condition.  Furthermore, involvement teaches and develops many very important “life skills” such as empathy with others, teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, and so on.

Also many studies on academic achievement show that students who have been involved in music achieve, on average, at a higher level.  A primary school in England that was considered a “failing” school in 2010 on just about every objective measure (achievement, attendance, academic standards, etc.) responded by adding music into their overall curriculum wherever they could, as well as giving every child music lessons, etc.  The result was a complete turnaround such that that school now *exceeds* national averages on all of the objective measures!

What advice would you give to someone who would like to play music but is not sure about what instrument they should choose?
I would advise speaking to an “expert” in the field of music instrument teaching & learning (e.g. a music teacher) as well as doing some actual exploration or “trying out” on some possibilities.  Students can be more or less suited to particular instruments based on their personalities, musical aptitudes, physical attributes, etc.  What we do know is that there is a suitable instrument for everybody!

What advice would you give to a child who has started to learn an instrument but is struggling and believe they’re not making progress in their music playing journey?
Hang in there!  It is part of the learning process to experience learning “plateaus” at various times when you just don’t seem to be making progress, etc..  These are usually followed by more rapid improvement “spurts” so you just have to keep at it.  The benefits are well worth it!

How important is it to begin learning with a quality instrument?
This is really important as a poor quality instrument will hamper progress and also tend to suffer breakdown, lack of durability, etc.  If you invest in a good quality instrument at the start and take appropriate care of it, it is not unusual to get close to the price you paid if you do need to sell, upgrade, etc.  This means it’s a “no brainer” to make a wise choice of an appropriate, decent quality instrument throughout your instrument learning journey.  Once again, seek expert advice and be *very* wary of instruments sold online (unless you can verify that they are appropriate quality/condition) or in stores where their main business is non-music items – e.g. groceries, etc.

There are many reasons why someone would join a school music program … the social aspect, learning for fun, learning with a career in music as the goal … What realistic goals should students set themselves to begin with?
Just set out to do your best, enjoy yourself, and learn at your optimum pace.  The most important key to practice is *regularity* – a little bit often is always better than larger chunks too spread out.  Most people who learn instruments will not make a living as performing musicians, but they can have a lifelong participation and enjoyment of it and get all the same benefits as anyone else.

What’s the main criteria for the school which will be chosen for the major prize? What factors do you take into consideration?
Applications that demonstrate that the other key components (supportive administration, excellent teaching staff, physical plant, student interest, etc.) will be considered more favourably.  Submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of experts, including outside of Yamaha, to choose the winning school.  There are also two “consolation” prizes for the next closest candidates.

Victorian schools wishing to apply must complete the online application by March 16th. For full details please visit http://greatstart.yamahabackstage.com.au/giveaway

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NAMM 2018: JIM PETERIK (SURVIVOR, IDES OF MARCH)

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - February 26, 2018

Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips sat down with American musician and songwriter Jim Peterik at the 2018 NAMM Show to chat about his career. Peterik is best known as the founder of the band Survivor, as vocalist and songwriter of “Vehicle” by the Ides of March, and as co-writer of…

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LA. FAITHFULL – VOCALS

Posted in Artist Profiles, Artists    //    Post Date - February 23, 2018

Colourful and unique, LA. Faithfull released a new single recently, Heart Back, a gut-wrenching pop smash with a clear, vulnerable message, available now. This exciting newcomer has also released a raw, expressive video that conveys the truth behind the song through dance and visuals, and this effective clip has already…

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