Griffith musicians deliver live music in lockdown

As restrictions ease, more stories are emerging of Griffith students who shared their gifts during lockdown, including those from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, who performed for aged-care residents and created online shows for primary school students.

Sharing the joy of music

Associate Professor Peter Morris

Queensland Conservatorium Deputy Director (Engagement) Associate Professor Peter Morris said the long-running community outreach program had been adapted in response to social distancing measures.

“The Queensland Conservatorium has a really broad-ranging engagement program – from industry partnerships to performances at hospitals and schools and short courses for aspiring musicians of all ages,” he said.

“Our community outreach helps share the remarkable talents of our students and spread the joy of the performing arts. It also gives students the benefit of performing for diverse communities, helping them develop as artists and citizens.

“Even amid lockdowns and social distancing measures, we’ve been able to think outside the box and find creative ways to share the joy of music with audiences young and old.”

Performing in lockdown

Bachelor of Music student Jeremy Stafford performs for residents at an aged-care home during lockdown.

Classical guitar student Jeremy Stafford is one of the Queensland Conservatorium students who has performed regularly for aged-care residents at Aveo’s ‘The Clayfield’ at Albion.

“We’ve done socially-distanced concerts in the atrium, and performances for people up on their balconies,” he said.

“Even though restrictions are beginning to lift, many of the people here aren’t in good enough health to go out and see live music, and they really appreciate us bringing it to them – it’s been a really rewarding experience.

“Coming to the Con isn’t just about sitting in a practice room – it’s about sharing our music with other people.”

A walk down memory lane

Aveo spokeswoman Emma Messer said the initiative had been well-received by residents, who have enjoyed everything from opera to brass and cello performances. The program is now being rolled out across five Aveo centres across Brisbane.

“We have lots of people here who love live music, and not being able to attend concerts and shows has been one of the most challenging things about isolation,” she said.

“Our partnership with the Queensland Conservatorium has given us a way of bringing the music to us.

“It is a joy to see the memories that the music evokes. One of our residents said Jeremy’s performance of a particular Schubert piece brought him to tears – it was a song he had heard often as a boy during WWII in Germany and was so grateful to hear it again.”

The show must go online

Bachelor of Music student Ronan King-Rose

Bachelor of Music classical voice student Ronan King-Rose was part of a group of students that produced a series of online music resources for students at West End State School.

In the past, students from the Queensland Conservatorium produced live educational shows for the West End State School students as part of the popular My Life as a Musician course.

Senior lecturer Dr Diana Tolmie pivoted the project online due to social distancing requirements.

“This has been an amazing project and such a learning curve,” Ronan said.

“It’s been very practical and hands-on. I think all of the things we’ve learned will prepare us for entering the industry.

“Our aim was to reinforce the primary music curriculum in a fun way.”

Giving back to the community

Queensland Conservatorium students created an online resource for West End State School.

Ronan said he enjoyed engaging with the community as part of the Queensland Conservatorium outreach program.

“As musicians, it’s also great to share your music with people from all walks of life.

“We can share something we’re passionate about and give something back to our community.

“There are plenty of people who can’t make it to a concert hall – so we take music into hospitals and retirement homes and schools.”