Compositions . . . Timaru Girls' High School pupils (from left) Hannah Konings (17), Emma Kirkwood (17), Bethany Plant (16) and Kristie Goodsir (16) were composing an instrumental piece during the first day of the two-day music mentoring workshops in Timaru. PHOTOS: GRETA YEOMAN

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.

Jamming . . . Roncalli pupils Jodie Wilson (left) and Jorjia Perkin (both 14) take part in the workshop.

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.

I’m with the band . . . An interschool band including (front, from left) Timaru Girls’ Muriel Dsouza (16), Geraldine High School’s Gem Stevens (17), Timaru Girls’ Hannah Inwood (16) and (back, from left) Timaru Boys’ pupils Coltrane Leach (16), Isaac Fernandez (18), Joe Choy (17) and Daniel Nicolson (15) formed on the first day of the two-day music mentoring workshop.

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.


Christchurch musician Jed Parsons (back centre) co-led two days of music mentoring workshops, including listening to performances by Geraldine High School pupils (from left) Charles Henry (15), Quinn Claridge (15), Lottie Sharp (15), Angel Pullman-Stewart (16) and Daffodil Molina (15).

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