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Creative ID: 041

Art form(s): Music.

Based in: Nelson. 

When I'm available: As a self-employed contractor, with predominantly private students, my schedule may allow for flexibility but I would prefer a well-arranged agreement to deliver my services at a regular time to the schools I'd work with. Potentially I would block out one or two days a week to allow for the placement of this 8-week programme in several schools. During the months June-August I am involved in travelling with RockQuest work, so I can potentially be heavily booked up with work in the Winter season.

Where I'm available: Predominantly Nelson, West Coast Districts and Marlborough. I can potentially travel to other places in New Zealand if the budget allows for this.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

As a professional singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and vocal coach, I've been involved in a wide variety of musical projects. I currently utilise my collective skill set for live performances and in my teaching practice, assisting people of all levels to achieve more confidence in their singing, song'writing and performance skills. My 20+ years experience in the music industry has made me proficient in singing, playing the piano, the guitar and the drums as well as producing and recording students with my own portable studio gear. My specific focus in regards to the Creatives in Schools Programme would be to support the creation of Original Contemporary Music for individuals and small groups. My strength is in working with students in Years 7-10 (10-15 year olds) but I would also be open to discussing other potential collaborations, including assisting teachers who might be inexperienced in this area of music. My passion is working directly with students as they craft their act, whether as a soloist or in a band. Song writing and musical expression is something that I believe is highly beneficial for all young people, and I would love to make this experience accessible to more students through my work.

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

Some highlights from recent years as an Artist include successfully crowd funding the production of my own original album. I've toured NZ as an opening act, performed as a guest vocalist on an Australian tour with a band, featured as lead vocalist with other bands, played for the Nelson Arts Festival and been contracted as a Piano Bar Entertainer on a cruise ship. Recently I fulfilled a long-held goal of writing my own solo musical theatre show which debuted at the esteemed Nelson Fringe Festival. I currently perform most weekends for local venues and private functions. I'm also in the process of writing and recording a new album of my own original material and educating myself in the new ways of promotion, distribution and sales of music online in the digital era.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

Music has always been a hugely important part of my life. For the past seven years I've been living in Nelson, and focusing on growing my music business. Currently I'm entering my second year as an Accredited Singing Teacher where I teach individuals in private lessons and small group classes. I also work in various roles for 'The Rockshop BandQuest' and 'The Smokefree RockQuest' and have been contracted every performance season for the past 5 years to assist at events throughout the South Island. My personal experience with contemporary school bands really started back in 1993. I was the front person for my own high school band. We won the regional finals of the RockQuest competition. That was the highlight of all my school days! Now many years later, I'm enjoying being on the other side of things helping prepare young musicians for the stage and all aspects involved, including singing, songwriting, musicianship, practice skills, goal setting, stage craft, performance
skills and making of demo recordings. Other experience includes being an itinerant teacher for singing and managing a local recording studio.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

I feel I would be well matched for the Creatives in Schools Programme due to my wealth of experiences in Contemporary Music, both in my own practice, and in my role educating others. Assisting young people while they're growing their musical wings is definitely a passion of mine and I absolutely love being a part of that journey with my students. My work life is set up in such a way that I currently have the space and flexibility to take on another project as an independent self-employed person, and my confidence is consistently growing, especially as a mentor and singing teacher. I have had the opportunity to be involved in some amazing projects professionally and feel very grateful to be doing my work in this field. In the past couple of years I've seen a decline in the number of students from the West Coast and Marlborough attending the events I'm involved with.

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