How music can bring about social change and play a critical role in addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time will be explored in a public lecture on June 7 from Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Director of Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre (QCRC).
Drawing on work from recent national and international music projects and the latest research, she will examine the critical role musicians, educators and researchers are playing in health, social justice and poverty alleviation, intercultural understanding, prisons, post conflict settings and environmental conservation.
It’s a topic close to Brydie’s heart, as she explains her earliest childhood memories stem from growing up in politically turbulent, apartheid South Africa.
“Being surrounded by music in that very politically charged cultural environment left a lasting impression on me,” she says.
“It sparked this intense interest in the way that music can facilitate a cultural connection amongst people and an intense interest in the role that music can play in healing and reconciling the past, but also in self-determination and imagining a different kind of future.”
Brydie is a national leader in arts-based service learning with First Peoples and internationally recognised as a catalyst for the creation of learning programs that mobilise and connect students, educators and community partners.
For seven years she has led a student cohort from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University on an incredible 2,484km journey to Tennant Creek in remote central Australia.
“The immersive project has brought together students and Indigenous musicians for a cross-cultural learning and performing experience, which allows students to experience first-hand the “richness of Indigenous cultures”.
“Initiatives like this develop intercultural understanding, deepens students’ appreciation of Indigenous culture and also supports Indigenous communities through arts activities that directly benefit them,” she says.
“I’m very blessed to spend quite a bit of time in central Australia working with Warumungu and Walibri elders and community musicians.
“What’s been remarkable has been watching those students and elders and musicians sit alongside one another, pick up an instrument, look into one another’s eyes, play together and have a conversation through music making in a way they never could have.”
Can music change the world?
Griffith University AEL Public Lecture
Tuesday 7 June
5.30pm – 7.00pm
Ian Hanger Recital Hall at Queensland Conservatorium, 140 Grey Street, South Bank.
RSVP essential as places are limited