This month, more than 60 of Australia’s most important musicians took centre-stage in the Auditorium, and we were all in awe of their achievements. I speak, of course, about the young men and women in our Foundation Concert series; they are future musical superstars in waiting. Many of these students have only played their instruments for a year or two, and for some, this was their first opportunity to perform in front of a large audience. I cannot stress enough how crucial these foundation years will become. Parents, please continue to encourage your children to give concerts regularly, even if this is just for Aunty Esme, or the next-door neighbours, or a collection of stuffed toys on the lounge chair. Challenge your child to compose their own piece on their chosen instrument, perhaps as a special gift to their music teacher. Make short videos of them playing and create a youtube channel for friends and family to enjoy; this is especially significant when, in five years from now, the musician looks back on their early years of musical training to realise how far they’ve travelled in their musical journey. Ask your teacher for some simple duets, and invite other musicians over on weekends to practise together. Show your child online performances of the great instrumentalists – Yehudi Menuhin, Idil Biret, Pablo Casals, Wynton Masalis, etc. There are lots of ways to maintain the excitement that your child felt in their initial weeks of music-making. Of course, letting them hear other local musicians and visiting artists perform is equally important, because witnessing live music makes the long road towards musical success seem more tangible and real. Whether this is the local High School Performance evening, or the excellent UNE Ensembles, or a pipe organist in a cathedral or a visiting string ensemble – immersing yourself in live sound can only broaden your musical vocabulary, especially at a young age.
Photos from each of the performances can be found below. Click to enlarge.