It is clear that establishing a performing career in the music industry is a non-linear process, full of insecurity, the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It takes guts, determination and an incredible sense of self-belief. Most of all, to succeed, it requires an innate passion for the music. History is littered with tales of brilliant young musicians who were unable to cope with the extreme demands of working in the music industry. They walked away to pursue other interests because they didn’t get the support and advice they needed or they had plenty of passion, but too little inspiration. Such stories always make me very sad. However, there is always that “passion” thing – the burning flame of determination, the light in the eyes that gives the belief that no matter what, your life must be about music!

If you or your children recognise any of these “symptoms” of the passion–thing, you are not alone. Finding ways to get close to those who share your passion is a clever strategy for survival. Working with and talking to another person who understands that, for many people, a musical career is simply not a matter of choice can offer the kind of collaborative support and shared vision which may reveal positive pathways ahead for our future creative musicians.

There is something very powerful in an exchange between a Year Nine music student with an idea of where they might like to go, and a final year Masters of Music student from the ANU, The Sydney Con or any good music institution, who has travelled that path and is now at the next stage. This is exactly the kind of vocational and musical support that can be found and here at the GRC we are determined to foster and encourage those opportunities for our young students.

I encourage as many schools and music students to join with us and participate whenever such opportunities arise. Other than the above-mentioned activities, many of the performers who are taking part in our visiting artists concert series are offering master classes for students. These are often available at little or no cost to our music students. We have nationally and internationally renowned musicians visiting Goulburn this year including Paul Grabowsky, Michael Kieran Harvey, The Idea of North and Deborah Cheetham, all offering workshops for students! Grab these opportunities with both hands and find the inspiration that you need!

22 March 2012

Paul Scott-Williams

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