Victoria strikes a chord with SongMakers: crafting the future of music

By Our Reporter
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Representational Photo by Getty Images. Licensed under the Unsplash+ License

A fresh wave of enthusiasm is coursing through Victoria’s high schools as the Allan Labor Government unveils a significant funding initiative aimed at nurturing the next wave of musical talent. Spearheaded by Minister for Creative Industries Colin Brooks, the enhanced SongMakers program by APRA AMCOS promises to usher in a new era of creativity and innovation in the realm of songwriting.

At the heart of this initiative is a commitment to empower over 1,400 students across 60 high schools throughout Victoria. By integrating songwriting into the curriculum, the program seeks to offer students a comprehensive insight into the art, connecting them directly with the pulsating beat of the music industry. This hands-on approach is designed to equip young songwriters with the essential skills required to navigate the dynamic landscape of the music world.

The SongMakers program is far from a mere introduction to songwriting; it is a deep dive into the intricacies of music production, creative songwriting techniques, and the critical aspects of intellectual property. By bringing local artists and industry experts directly into classrooms, the initiative ensures that students receive guidance from those who have walked the path and understand the challenges and triumphs of the creative journey.

With an inclusive approach, the program extends its reach to students in years 10 to 12 through in-person workshops, in partnership with Virtual School Victoria. Moreover, it acknowledges the unique needs of regional students by offering them a chance to immerse themselves in a songwriting school holiday program. A pilot program tailored for schools offering flexible learning options underscores the initiative’s commitment to accessibility, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to explore their musical aspirations.

The timing of the program’s launch could not be more auspicious, coinciding with the arrival of Taylor Swift in Melbourne. The 14-time Grammy-winning artist’s concerts at the MCG not only underscore Victoria’s status as a premier destination for major events but also serve as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring songwriters

Among the highlights of the SongMakers program is the opportunity for standout songwriters to take their skills to the next level. Under the mentorship of music industry organisations such as The Push and Music Victoria, these emerging talents will have the chance to produce and perform their original songs, paving the way for a future rich in musical innovation.

The timing of the program’s launch could not be more auspicious, coinciding with the arrival of Taylor Swift in Melbourne. The 14-time Grammy-winning artist’s concerts at the MCG not only underscore Victoria’s status as a premier destination for major events but also serve as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring songwriters. Swift’s journey from a country music songwriter to an international sensation exemplifies the potential that lies within dedicated and talented individuals.

Victoria’s commitment to fostering musical talent is further echoed by the sentiments of Minister for Tourism, Sport, Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos, who highlights the economic and cultural impact of hosting major events like Swift’s concerts. These events not only bolster Victoria’s reputation as the major events capital of Australia but also inspire the community, making everyone feel a part of the larger musical narrative.

Dean Ormston, CEO of APRA AMCOS, aptly summarises the importance of this initiative, pointing out that Australian contemporary music is on the brink of becoming the nation’s most significant cultural export. At the core of this burgeoning success story are the songwriters and their intellectual property. Victoria’s investment in the SongMakers program is a testament to the state’s leadership role in nurturing the global success story of Australian music.

As Victoria sets the stage for the next generation of musical talent, the SongMakers program stands as a testament to the belief in the power of creativity and the importance of providing opportunities for young artists to explore, create, and dream. In the words of Colin Brooks, it’s about “helping to uncover something more, searching for a sound we hadn’t heard before”—a fitting tribute to the endless possibilities that lie within the world of music.


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