2018 Summer School Rural Commuters – Elizabeth Meadows
My Hometown I live in the small city of Dubbo which is almost in the centre of NSW. It is very hot and very dry. We are not quite outback, but almost, so there are not many people who play the cello. This makes it very difficult to find a cello teacher.
Supporting rural musicians I think opportunities to attend school holiday workshops like SYO Summer School, which is open to all kids of any level of ability, is brilliant. Country kids enjoy meeting and working with the city kids, learning new skills and making new friends. I also loved attending the June workshop in Dubbo with the Peter Seymour Orchestra, it was an amazing experience to play with a real orchestra in my home town.
At the SYO Spring Strings Camp in September I loved playing with The Sydney Youth Orchestra Emerging Artists. I was also lucky enough to have a private masterclass with conductor John Ockwell. This was an amazing and useful experience for me, and has made me more determined to look beyond Dubbo for tuition and mentoring. More regular string and orchestra workshops and performances in Central West NSW would be fantastic.
Maybe being able to Skype regularly with a mentor would be very helpful for young rural musicians, I am not the only kid in my family, and travelling is expensive.
My Commute It is very difficult to find string or cello teachers in Western NSW. My current cello teacher travels to Dubbo from Warren every fortnight, a 3 hour round trip. I am currently looking into Skyping or masterclasses with Sydney or Canberra cello teachers in order to advance my study and skill as a cellist. My high school, St John’s College, has a fantastic music department (thank you Mr and Mrs Dunn! ) which includes a band, a marching band, a string ensemble and a choir. I play and practise with our school string ensemble and sing in the choir. I am really lucky, my teacher travels to Dubbo as she has more than one student in town, and chooses to travel to us.
My Future I will definitely be playing the cello, maybe even become a famous cellist when I am older. I will be doing something to do with music, because I love music, playing an instrument, and creating my own compositions.
SYO Summer School 2018 I am looking forward to working with other cellists and learning new skills and making new friends at SYO Summer School. Summer School is a great opportunity for country kids to spend time with amazing musicians and mentors. Getting to work in a big ensemble full of awesome musicians and playing complicated and beautiful pieces of music is going to be great.
My Advice I would definitely encourage young people to pick up an instrument and learn how to play it. Even if you can’t find a teacher, go to workshops, organize masterclasses, and start asking people; even start Skyping with teachers from anywhere in Australia. If you love music and playing, never give up!
Thank you to the Sydney Youth Orchestra for educating and helping kids in rural areas who love music.
This program has been made possible through the generosity of SYO Opportunity Fund Donors and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.