Girls given chance to rock for a star

03:33, May 03 2012
Annah Mac
AWESOME OPPORTUNITY: New Zealand singer-songwriter Annah Mac, second from right, takes a workshop at Southland Girls' High School yesterday. From left are Lily Jackson, 17, of Central Southland College, Nina Poelman, 14, and Lucy McLean, 14, both of Southland Girls' High.

Many girls dream of being a pop star and what better way to reach for the top than learning from Southland songstress Annah Mac.

Southland musical role models Mac, Liv McBride and Anna van Riel led the "Girls Rock" workshops at Southland Girls' High School yesterday.

Pupils from Southland Girls', Menzies College and Central Southland College were divided into co-writing groups and performed for Mac and the other mentors at the end of the day.

"The girls are all so talented, it's very inspirational as an artist to be helping the girls," Mac said.

Mac, who has just finished her national tour, heard about the Music Commission's programme and asked if she could be involved with workshops throughout the country.

"It's not just about music, it's about teaching the girls how to do well," she said.


The girls were eager to learn and it was fun watching them play and enjoy music.

Lily Jackson, 17, plays guitar, writes song and sings and says she has always wanted to be a musician. She loved performing and sharing her ideas with Mac had been "an awesome opportunity".

Nina Poelman, 14, said she was inspired by Mac to write new songs, while Lucy McLean, 14, said although she had a good time, it was not her goal to become famous.

"Being famous would be a bonus. I just like doing something I enjoy and put it out there for people to listen and enjoy too," she said.

Kaitlin Andrews, 17, said getting feedback from a famous musician gave her confidence.

"People don't think music is a proper career but if you really want to do it, you need to follow it," she said.

Seini Fakatava, 17, played guitar, while Tiana Nikora, 15, and Ashley O'Kane, 14, sang along to their song. The trio said they dreamed of being pop stars.

"Having Annah here definitely helped develop our song writing skills," Ms Nikora said.

"We learned how to write music and include melodies."

Ms Fakatava said music was the food of the soul and a way she connected with people.

The Southland Times