Butter factory, Grantham, Preston Poole, Jake Slaughter, Harry Lersa
Butter factory, Grantham, Preston Poole, Jake Slaughter, Harry Lersa Meg Bolton

A different approach to teaching music

PRE-TEENS from across the Lockyer Valley were encouraged to channel their inner Beethoven in a three-day workshop held at the Old Butter Factory in Grantham last week.

Described as "experimental music in an accessible way” the group of 15 used a range of instruments and objects to make sound before transforming their work into a musical piece.

New Music at the Old Butter Factory facilitator Jasmin Leung said the workshop gave students the opportunity to become comfortable with creating the art of music.

"It's about the children being able to collaborate creatively,” Ms Leung said.

"We work with free improvisation, exposing them to the idea of music and the instruments and putting it all together.”

ARTISTIC FLAIR: Christina, Isabella,Claire, Eliana, Charlee, Tiffany and Melissa make music.
ARTISTIC FLAIR: Christina, Isabella,Claire, Eliana, Charlee, Tiffany and Melissa make music. Meg Bolton

The Lockyer Valley Regional Council program was open to children in the region aged 8-12 who showed creativity and initiative through identifying their favourite sounds and showing artistic flair.

"They're going really well, they've got some great ideas and they work together pretty well,” Ms Leung said.

"It's a good age group, a lot of them have never met each other either.”

The students used gongs, bows, tubes and vibrations to create their pieces.

"The music that we are doing is art music, classical music,” Ms Leung said.

"But it's new music, classical music of this century.”

Butter factory, Grantham,  Tiffany Carney
Butter factory, Grantham, Tiffany Carney Meg Bolton

After two days of practice the children performed alongside Brisbane and Sydney artists Elizabeth Jigalin, Michael Louttit and Phoebe Bognar.

"I think it can be quite highbrow and elitist but it's nice to be able to present it in this setting using children as well as the professionals who are coming.”

The children's work will also be made into a CD featuring 40minute tracks capturing the experimentation and creative flair of the youngsters.

The workshop was run by Ms Leung and fellow musician Timothy Green who studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Butter factory, Grantham, Tiffany Carney
Butter factory, Grantham, Tiffany Carney Meg Bolton

Ms Leung was raised in the Lockyer Valley but has followed her love for music around the world studying in Brisbane, Sydney, China and in Europe.

She's now following in the footsteps of her two former mentors, who incorporated children into their music, by taking a different approach to music teaching.

"Music is not really taught in a creative way, it becomes quite robotic or quite structured,” Ms Leung said.

"But when you really get to the essence or what the deeper part of music is you need to be able to be creative and be able to communicate with it and not just play what other people have written.”


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