February, 2018

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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

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - February 27, 2018

We’ve drawn our winners for the Rodrigo Y Gabriela meet and greet competition and they are:

James Huckson

James Reinhardt

Jemma Davey

The Rodrigo Y Gabriela tour begins on March 9 at Womadelaide. Here are the national dates:


Presented by Gaynor Crawford & Chugg Entertainment
 Friday 9th March – WOMADelaide
 Saturday 10th March – Forum Melbourne (18+)
Tuesday 13th March – Astor Theatre (18+)
 Thursday 15th March – Enmore Theatre (All Ages)
 Friday 16th March – The Tivoli (18+)

For more information go to:

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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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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - February 23, 2018

Dynamic Music is delighted to announce a new partnership as the exclusive Australian distributor of Meinl Cymbals & Percussion, effective Monday April 2nd 2018 .

“We are proud to represent such a progressive and innovative company and one of the great global names in percussion. We look forward to working closely with you all to provide the best possible outcomes for your business and the future growth of Meinl products in Australia.”

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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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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - February 21, 2018

Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips caught up with Melbourne based multi-instrumentalist Daryl Roberts to chat about his band Hey Gringo’s brand new album Not The Same Planet. Melbourne-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daryl Roberts is passionate about his music. He and his current crop of Hey Gringo band mates have just…

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Posted in Gear, Other Fretted    //    Post Date - February 20, 2018

At the 2018 NAMM Show, Ryan from Cordoba show us the 21 Series ukuleles. Ryan also presents the ‘Coco’ guitar, designed in conjunction with Disney/Pixar to promote the movie Coco Cordoba distributed in Australia by

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - February 20, 2018

“If you don’t like the blues, you probably don’t like your mama,” states Bobby Rush, the passionate blues legend who turns 85 in November. Rush is blues music royalty, a rare breed that can count iconic names like Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins,…

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - February 19, 2018

Perhaps best known for his guitar work with bands such as the Desert Rose Band and The Hellecasters, JOHN JORGENSON is also proficient in the mandolin, mandocello, Dobro, pedal steel, piano, upright bass, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone. John has earned a reputation as a world-class musician, as evidenced by his…

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Posted in Bass, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - February 18, 2018

Nicolas Wilfer presents new Warwick and Framus product from their booth at the 2018 NAMM Show. Warwick and Framus distributed in Australia by Amber Technology

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