May Book 2020 May 2020 - Page 33

EDITORIAL Notes From The Education Desk MUSICIANS MENTORING IN SCHOOLS 2019 concluded as another bumper year for the Musicians Mentoring in Schools Programme. 41 Mentors visited 72 schools for a total of 629 music mahi with students, from Kaitaia to Gore, and across the breadth of both Islands. As expected demand for the visits remained high as we entered 2020, with Mike and Angel from the New Zealand Music Commission Education Team promising over 700 hours of contact time, putting industry experienced song writers, producers and musicians in front of students. Then things took a change with the introduction of COVID-19 precautions. Schools closed for a while and travelling freely up and down the country became problematic, so moves were made to shift the Programme content online. “E-mentoring on a video-chat platform like zoom was the obvious next step” said Mike Young, Programme Manager. “In fact, there is a personal connection and a degree of practical, 1-on-1 advice that is hard to achieve in the conventional setting.” HOOK, LINE AND SING-A-LONG Mid-March saw the usual deadline for this annual competition which has been running since 2010. As always the judges relished listening to the fantastic creativity of our young songwriters. The 47 entrants in this year’s competition truly proved that the future of NZ Music is in great hands. Contestants showed confident use of chord progressions, harmonies, dynamics and feel changes. Lyrics ranged from the thoughtful to the inspiring, through to cheeky and just downright fun. Congratulations to all contestants for your work and talent!! The eventual winner was “We Are One” by Sophie Brown. NZMC “Sophie, you’re in Year 12 at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School. Tell us a bit about your musical journey growing up.” I’ve always loved music. I can’t think of a day where I haven’t listened to at least one of my favourite songs but I haven’t been songwriting forever. In fact, I only wrote my first proper song in December of 2018. I had absolutely no expectations for myself and was shocked when I finished writing a whole song. It wasn’t great, but it was a start, so I just kept writing. Eventually, I showed my best friend, who said my voice was so calming and lovely (those words have stuck with me until this day) and I showed my sister and wider family. Next thing I knew I was playing on a stage. I remember the feeling very vividly. I remember strumming my ukulele, singing into the microphone, looking out into the crowd and thinking, “I want to do this forever.” I still get extremely nervous and shakey when I perform but I have most definitely gained a lot of confidence from songwriting. I’ve found my passion and it’s one of the best feelings in the world. NZMC “How did you hear about the Hook, Line and Sing-a-long Competition and what made you decide to enter?” My amazing music teacher Mr Thomas sent me the website link and I checked it out right away. I think I’d decided to enter before I’d even finished reading the competition guidelines. It was just such a cool concept and I started writing lyrics as soon as I got home. I didn’t think I would actually win though! I still can’t believe it. The fact that kids all around New Zealand are going to be signing my song just feels so bizarre to me. NZMC “Tell us about the inspiration behind your lyrics and theme.” “We are one” is a song about coming together to conquer the challenges facing our planet. The song was actually an old idea I had written sometime last year that I pulled out from the back of my head to recreate which proves that no idea is ever wasted. The melody of the chorus had stuck with me and it felt like the right time to use it. I wanted the lyrics to convey both hope and participation. Clapping is something everyone can do so I figured I would use Sophie Brown it as a lyric and main feature in the song. I needed a really simple hook to get everyone singing so I took the lyrics “clap your hands” and used only two notes. Music brings people together and I’m really hoping that this song will help kids understand the importance of support, participation and hope. NZMC “What is next on your musical horizon, this year and in the future? What are the goals?” The plan is to keep writing music forever. As for now, I have a song about to come out on Spotify that I produced in my bedroom so I’m hoping to keep releasing music and sharing it with whoever wants to listen. A goal for this year is to record an EP, release it and to continue to perform, practice and produce. I would love to collaborate with more people this year as well. I love sharing musical ideas with others and seeing where they go. Writing music with others is magic. I’m looking forward to the future as opportunities are limitless when working creatively. NZ MUSIC COMMISSION MAY BOOK 2020 • 33