by Greta Yeoman
Timaru high school pupils got the chance to learn first-hand about the New Zealand music industry earlier this week.
About 50 pupils from Timaru Girls’ High School, Timaru Boys’ High School, Mountainview High School, Opihi College, Geraldine High School and Roncalli College attended two days of workshops with Christchurch musicians Jed Parsons and Katie Thompson.
The music mentoring service is an annual scheme funded by the NZ Music Commission.
Each year, it funds one mentor for 60 schools across New Zealand.
Roncalli College head of music Nikki Hall said the South Canterbury Secondary School Music Cluster had put in a collaborative application – to work with several schools at one time – and it was successful.
The commission had also offered up two mentors: indie-rock musician Jed Parsons – whose debut album was named a finalist for Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ) best independent debut award last month – and country-pop musician Katie Thompson, who is set to release her third album later this year.
Because Roncalli College was closed on Monday for parent-teacher interviews, the workshop attendees were able to spread out around the grounds to compose their musical creations.
The workshop was split between Roncalli and Timaru Girls’ High School on Tuesday.
Topics covered during the two-day workshop included songwriting tips from both musicians for developing ideas, tips to combat writer’s block, varying musical styles, song structure and stage presence and crowd rapport.