Musicians to share secrets

19:32, Dec 13 2012
chris matthews
LEGEND: Chris Matthews from the Headless Chickens will be in Geraldine teaching music in January, 2012.

South Canterbury, get ready to learn how to rock.

The Geraldine Academy of Performance and Arts is holding a School of Rock programme on January 21-25 with the legendary Chris Matthews from the Headless Chickens and Brett Lupton from the Flying Nuns.

Academy director Fiona McKenzie said it was possibly the first of its kind in New Zealand.

"We haven't heard of anything else like it."

It was designed to provide high quality tuition, she said.

"We tried to tap into professionals . . . by bringing them here it means that South Canterbury people have access to high quality tuition.


"It's bringing the experts here."

She said Matthews and Lupton had made careers of being musicians, "which is hard to do".

"It's good for young people to know it's an option and to get some sound advice."

The pair had liked the idea of the programme.

"Chris was really enthusiastic about (it). I think also they live in the provinces now . . . and they know what it's like to feel removed from these sorts of things."

She said there were plenty of high-performance sports programmes for young people but a lack of arts programmes.

"Sports gets a lot of attention . . . but for teenage musicians there's not a lot to do so we just really wanted to give them the same intensive training opportunities."

She hoped it would be an annual event.

Speaking to Attitude this week, Matthews said it was possible for "anyone, anywhere" to have a career in the music industry, even in South Canterbury.

"Especially in these times that we live in of instant communication with anyone anywhere in the world via the internet.

"And don't forget that Jordan Luck and The Exponents came from Geraldine."

His advice for anyone wanting a career in the music industry was to "just get out there".

"Set the wheels in motion and start working towards that idea. It can take a lot of time, effort and good luck to even get a band started, let alone get yourself noticed in an industry where there are so many other musicians trying to make it as well, but if someone has talent and the drive to succeed then it'll often happen.

"You only have to look at the history of the Smokefree Rockquest, for example, to realise how many young musicians did well in those competitions and went on to be some of the leading figures in the current music scene."

He said his key to success was perseverance, self-belief, and "just being in the right place at the right time".

"And it didn't hurt that I had a natural talent as a musician and songwriter that I spent years developing because I wanted to be as good as I could possibly be."

The Timaru Herald