Hitmakers zoom in to mentor Tassie students

Kicking off this week, music industry pros zoom in from around Australia and LA to collaborate with Tasmania’s secondary school students. They will write and record new songs and share insights about managing a creative career. It is part of a partnership between Tasmania’s Department of Education (DoE) and music rights management organisation, APRA AMCOS’ SongMakers program.

It follows last year’s successful Statewide trial of the program, which aims to forge closer links between students, teachers, and the Australian music industry and to help build students’ overall career-ready skills.

This year, COVID-19 forced a redesign of the program from in-person mentor visits to remote delivery. The redesign includes a weekly ‘meet the makers’ webinar series, online mentored workshops, music teacher masterclasses and a culminating industry Q&A and song showcase next month.

Australian musicians involved in the Tasmanian project include: from LA, songwriter/producer Tushar Apte whose credits include K-Pop sensations, BTS; Grammy-nominated artist/writer Georgi Kay whose song, In My Mind, has been streamed more than one billion times; Sydney-based artist/producer/broadcaster and in-demand cowriter, KLP; award-winning songwriter and Potbelleez frontman, Ilan Kidron; Melbourne songwriter/producer featured in the ABC TV’s The Recording Studio, Anna Laverty, whose collaborators include Nick Cave, Meg Mac and Courtney Barnett; SongMakers alum, songwriter/producer/artist, Taka Perry, whose credits include Ruel’s double platinum Younger; multi-instrumentalist, artist/songwriter and producer Alice Ivy; and long-time music manager, Cath Haridy (Eskimo Joe, Frente, Bob Evans), among others.

Tina Broad, SongMakers Project Director, APRA AMCOS“We’ll have songwriters, producers and music biz people zooming in from all over Australia and even from LA. Just as the music industry has had to develop new ways to cope in a closed borders world, we have rethought our in-school mentoring too. We’ve taken this opportunity to connect Tassie students with as many fantastic music-makers as possible so that they get to see the diversity of career and creative experiences out there. We’re looking forward to doing our bit to help teachers and school communities keep students engaged, against the backdrop of what are unsettling times. We’re thrilled to be working with Tasmanian students once again and we commend TAS DoE for continuing to innovate with us.”

Jane Polley, Curriculum Leader, The Arts, DoE TAS“We are committed to inspiring all our learners to be connected, resilient, creative and curious thinkers. Partnering with the SongMakers program is one of our ways of supporting that commitment. Adapting to online delivery of this program models the kind of flexibility and agility that students need to thrive in a fast-moving future. They’ll see how music industry professionals are responding to challenges in a COVID world, they’ll connect with other like-minded students and produce songs in a real-world scenario, extending their creativity and finding their voice.”

Photo: SongMakers mentors KLP (upper right) and Alicy Ivy (bottom) get down to work with Tasmanian students.

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