NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2012 A Newsletter for Australian teachers and students in Music, Drama & Speech, and Rock & Pop.
Message from the National Manager A lot has happened since our first newsletter was produced. The newsletter has met with a great deal of commendation. I hope it will continue to be a source of information, encouragement and inspiration for teachers, students and schools. Barry Walmsley
Comments from readers “I often feel really isolated, and particularly as I am the only Trinity teacher, but being able to read about Trinity’s activities throughout Australia is great. I feel more connected.” (Angela, from Darwin, NT) “hoping to fill in my knowledge gaps from the National Newsletter. Great also to see an Australian website for Trinity.” (Darren, from Orange, NSW) “Wow – Trinity taking up the mantle of social media – twitter and facebook. Really innovative stuff! Great to see.” (Crystal, from Lismore, NSW) Readers can make comment or suggestions by writing directly to the National Manager.
International Playwriting Competition Now in its third year, the International Playwriting Competition aims to encourage new writing for young performers and audiences around the world to engage with – in classrooms, drama clubs, youth theatre groups and more. The winning playwrights in each category will be awarded cash prizes of £1,000 and will travel to London to see their play performed as part of Trinity’s first ever International Festival of Playwriting & Performance. Previous prize winners have come from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Malta, Singapore, South Africa and the UK. The best plays entered in the competition will be published in a collection of plays with international distribution. The winning plays from the 2012 International Playwriting Competition will be professionally staged as part of our first ever festival event in January 2013. We are eagerly awaiting the outcome of this year’s competition to see if any Australian play writers have been successful, as was the case in 2011.
Social Media Trinity has embraced social networking by having a presence on Twitter and Facebook. To follow, here are the details: Follow Trinity (Australia) on Twitter: twitter.com/TCL_Aust Follow Trinity (Australia) on Facebook: facebook.com/TCLAustralia
Queensland Awards Top Drama Students The Annual Barbara Sisley awards took place earlier this year at Parliament House in Brisbane and attracted many teachers and students. The awards are presented by the Speech and Drama Teachers’ Association of Queensland.
Above: Cheryl Colegrave (Brisbane D&S Rep) with Jasmin Smith, and Barry Walmsley
Above: Recipients of the Barbara Sisley Awards in Brisbane
Learn Rock & Pop – by Greg Philips Music is supposed to be enjoyed. Why, then, have traditional music education methods been so… well… tedious? Finally the penny has dropped for a learning institution. Trinity College London, which has been operating in Australia since the late 1800s, now offers a ground-breaking syllabus which young musicians who are into contemporary music can really relate to. It’s called Rock And Pop, and is a graded exam system in guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. The difference between this syllabus and any other contemporary music course is the materials used for study. Students enrolling in this performance-based program are able to study music from an impressive roster of artists such as the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, ABBA, David Bowie and Joni Mitchell, through to modern day rockers like Muse, Radiohead, Kings of Leon and Rhianna. Songs have been carefully selected to demonstrate specific musical skills, such as mandolin tremolo in ‘Knights of Cydonia’ by Muse, funk drum grooves in Cee Lo Green’s ‘Forget You’, and double-stopped harmonics in the bass line from Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Born of a Broken Man’.
Trinity College London has been able to offer such an inspiring musical experience due to an association with two of the world’s largest publishers of contemporary music, Faber Music and Peters Edition London. Barry Walmsley, who is National Manager of the Australian arm of the international College, is excited to have the publishers onboard. “It’s a commercial arrangement in a sense that they are providing all the copyright provisions for us. The two of them are the largest and most outstanding out of a handful of international publishers, so we’re very fortunate to have them.” It is the great range of music available in this syllabus which is the real point of difference between this and any other course offered. “Our new music
publications use real songs,” said Walmsley. “They are not contrived music of a particular style for the purpose only of an examination. They are from real artists and bands. The other thing is that Trinity comes with that vast history in terms of external assessment, so they know how to put something together which is appropriate at the various levels. I think it’s the real music which is the number one standout that students and teachers will really enjoy. Plus it is very current music, so the challenge for Trinity will be to keep that music and the publications fresh. In this style, things can be quite transient but having said that, there are standard, classic rock songs there as well.” It is important to outline that Trinity College London doesn’t exist in Australia in a bricks and mortar sense, and the Rock And Pop syllabus is an external assessment program, not one where students study from a central location. Students are required to work with their own teacher, in their own space and time and success very much depends on a student’s own discipline and work ethic. “It really works well for those who are goal-directed or their teachers can motivate them,” explains Walmsley. “It is totally up to the student how long they might take for each grade and where they go with it. It is not a course in the sense of going to a music school or academy. So it’s a matter of them applying for an examination in a particular session we might offer. What we have are examiners who come out, the majority of them from the UK. They have been standardised and carefully monitored and put through their paces. They come out from the UK, travel around Australia and examine the candidates who present themselves.” The traditional road to rock’n’roll success has always been paved with a mixture of talent, hard work and an ounce of good luck. Have the ground rules changed so much that you now need formal training to play rock and pop music? “It’s an interesting question,” said Barry. “In the past it was a genre or style that people just did and had fun with. I’m not one who says that exams have to be onerous. These exams are designed to continue that fun element but give to students and parents and teachers a benchmarking system. I think in today’s society, we’re very keyed into accountability, progress and all of those kind of things which may mean an assessment like this is appropriate. The interesting thing about Trinity’s point of view is that they have come at it from the angle of how students in rock and pop actually learn. They are not trying to overlay a traditional system of assessment which may work for classical pianists or vocalists. Therefore you have such things as session skills, improvisation and playback (so that they are dealing with their aural skills), and this is reflective of how students learn in this type of music.”
The Rock and Pop syllabus from Trinity College London is an enticing prospect for anyone wishing to gain internationally recognised music qualifications and in the process, play some of your favourite songs. No prerequisites are needed and you get to choose when you are ready for your examination. “I think the syllabus is groundbreaking because of the use of current material. I think it’s groundbreaking because they address an area of assessment which is perhaps not understood, or is crying out for it,” said Barry Walmsley in summary. Reprinted with permission from Australian Musician, 2012 http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/ 2012/07/09/music-ed
Top Prize winner awarded by Trinity at SIPCA The Sydney International Piano Competition of Australian (a quadrennial event) held at the Sydney Opera House is one of the most prestigious piano competitions in the world today. Trinity was proud to be sponsor of a prize, which was won by Dmitry Onishchenko.
Above: Dmitry Onishchenko in rehearsal with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Attending the grand finals were National Manager, Barry Walmsley along with Trinity examiner and international conductor, Mark Eager. It was a great opportunity for Trinity College London to be seen on the world stage in the context of an international competition. The event saw thousands of people attend the concerts, as well as hundreds of thousands listen to live broadcasts via ABC FM and streamed online.
International Singer at Newcastle
Awards and Presentations
The international mezzo soprano, Catherine Denley toured Australia recently as an examiner for Trinity, and whilst here spoke at a Teachers’ Meeting in Newcastle. Held at the new beachside hotel, The Sebel, the teachers’ meeting attracted a range of established and new teachers interested in hearing an examiner’s perspective.
It is Trinity’s objective to recognise high achievers and diploma graduates each year in both Music and Drama & Speech, as well as Exhibition winners. This year, Karen Carey (from “Mrs Carey’s Concert” fame) was our special guest at a presentation held at The King’s School in Sydney. Mrs Carey (an LTCL holder in recorder) spoke on the need to keep vigilant about the arts in the newly proposed National Curriculum, in order for music and drama to retain its pre-eminence, and that the number of mandatory hours are not diminished in any way.
Above: Karen Carey and Barry Walmsley
Above: Catherine Denley speaking to music teachers in Newcastle.
Examiners in Profile Already Australian students have enjoyed the examination experience given by Catherine Denley, Colin Wright (for Music) and Paul Trigg (for Drama & Speech). Forthcoming visiting examiners include Dr Dr Phillip Lane (pictured below) and Danielle Perrett amongst others.
Above: Award recipients at NSW Ceremony
Musical Theatre Musical Theatre continues to be an extremely popular study option and we are pleased to announce the launch of four volumes of foundation and intermediate Musical Theatre repertoire, the first publications in the Sing Musical Theatre series published in association with Faber Music. The books contain background, performance and singing notes as well as a CD of the piano accompaniment for each song.
The Brisbane Music centre has been administered primarily from our Sydney office as an interim measure. It is expected that a new representative will be announced for the start of 2013. Past applicants along with new expressions of interest will be considered.
If you would like to order a replacement certificate (e.g. if the original has been lost), or request an amendment (e.g. if the candidate’s name is incorrectly spelt), you will need to complete a Certificate Replacement & Amendment Form, and return it to Trinity College London along with the appropriate payment. Requests for replacement certificates relating to exams sat prior to 1997, may carry an additional administration charge. To download the form, go to
Melbourne has a new representative for both Music and Drama & Speech. Kathleen Parer is both a cellist and pianist, but her main skills is in Marketing having a post-graduate Diploma in Business and a BS (Hons). Her extensive experience in the corporate world along with her recent experience in a similar business, makes Ms Parer’s appointment a particularly strong and welcome addition to the representative network. For all representative contact details, please go to www.trinitycollege.org.au
SDTAQ – 2013 Conference Looking ahead, 2013 will see Trinity’s presence at the Speech and Drama Teachers’ Association of Queensland conference in February next year in Brisbane. There will be presentations on Diploma examinations, Musical Theatre, and Performance Arts. For further information, see www.sdtaq.org.au
Wondering where to get music online? Two recommended suppliers are: www.unicornmusic.com.au Unicorn Music Publications
www.clearmusic.com.au Clear Music Australia distributes all publications listed in Trinity Music syllabuses.
Contacting Trinity College London’s Australian Office: Mr Barry Walmsley PO Box 1 Parramatta NSW 2124
T: (02) 9630 1289 M: 0414 468 254 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
photo: Andy Howes
Musical Theatre Repertoire Books
Develop your singing and musical theatre skills with this superb range of classic and contemporary pieces. Produced in association with Faber Music, these books are ideal for singing and musical theatre candidates — or anyone looking for a new, practical compilation of repertoire. ◗ Expert singing tips ◗ 15 musical theatre songs ◗ Useful background and performance notes ◗ Fun exercises ◗ Backing track CD Available now!
photo: Performers College — David Bartholomew