In one of my first articles for the Goulburn Post, I spoke about the difficulty of the name “Conservatorium” and how the word has connotation of mystery, exclusivity and musical elitism. I hope that, over the past year, we have made some progress in demystifying this word by making it clear that the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium is here for anyone and everyone with an interest in music, music education and creativity. Furthermore, our slogan – “Music for Our Community – also goes some way to encapsulate the philosophy of our approach and the way we view our place and function in this regional community.

This month, we hope to move the process of demystification further by throwing the doors of the GRC open and inviting you in! We are holding our first ever “Open Evening on Wednesday March 28th. The building will be open to the public between 5pm and 7pm and following on from that, there will be a concert to which everyone is invited, presented by some of our students. This concert will start at 7pm and should be concluded by 8pm. There is no charge for any of this.

The purpose of conducting an “Open Evening” is diverse. For those who work at the GRC, there has never been any sense of mystery or confusion about what we do and the services we offer, so it is somewhat frustrating when we are confronted with a sense of confusion or misunderstanding about what happens. At the “Open Evening” you will be able to watch lessons being delivered to developing music students, you can sit in on rehearsals of a range of different music groups and take a tour of our wonderful, beautiful building. There will be opportunity to talk to staff and students about their work at the GRC and there will be an exhibition of beautiful photography, which uses our building as its subject matter. One of the key aspects that we are very conscious of at the GRC is that, other than their parents, instrumental music teachers may be one of the very few other adults that children work with on an intense, one-on-one basis. This relationship is extremely important and must be nurturing, encouraging, challenging and enjoyable as well. Although parents are always welcome to sit in on instrumental lessons, it is not often that anyone can observe such lessons. This is important to the demystification process. Learning any instrument is always a very personal, individual journey and there is nothing to be afraid of or worried about. We respect the individual, the educational process and the creation and performance of music. Our only agenda at the GRC is to encourage more people to make music an active part of their lives. So please, come along and pay us a visit.

The GRC OPEN EVENING will take place on Wednesday, March 28th between 5pm and 7pm followed immediately afterwards by a students concert which will be concluded by 8pm.

20 March 2012

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