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About ‘Read the Episode’: Sometimes we would rather skim visually instead of listening to a podcast! That’s a great way to learn too! The transcript to episode 011 of The Crescendo Music Education Podcast is below.


Episode 011 Transcript

Introduction

Debbie
Here is the crescendo music education Podcast, episode number 11.
This episode, you’ll hear me have a chat to Mark Puddy, an Australian arranger, composer and musician, a lovely, lovely person. I’ve got to work with him a few times, which is great. His choral compositions are really worth checking out. If you don’t know his work, Mark Puddy. We’ll put the link to his website in the show notes. But you can google him Puddy, Mark Puddy I think you’re going to love listening to what he has to say. Hello, everybody, and welcome to Mark Puddy. Hello, Mark.

Mark
Hi, Debbie. How are you?

Debbie
Me? I’m pretty awesome. I would like to start by reading out your bio so that people who haven’t met you and don’t know of your amazing work will get just a little bit of a picture of your background. Mark has worked in music education for the past 37 years. There’s nothing wrong with that length of time Mr. Mack No. And this in demand as a writer and arranger of choral works, he is regularly commissioned to write works for schools and community choirs around Australia. Mark is the resident arranger and composer for the Australian girls choir. And this organization regularly performed his works for children ranging from 5 to 18 years of age, he has published many choral pieces, and his works are performed regularly in Australia and overseas, often appearing in. Now how do you say the plural of a Stanford?

Mark
Stanford owl? I don’t know. I’m not sure

Debbie
I’ll just just say a Stanford. Yes. Yeah. And, and other choral competitions, as set pieces or as recommended works or just as works that people choose because they’re all sudden, that’s just the Debbie edit in there. Okay. Mark conducts and tutors the Australian girls choir and has been a regular conducting tutor at the Australian Choral Conductors Education and Training Association, whatever they are for the puzzle is asset asset. We just say asset. Where are they based?

Mark
It’s a Melbourne based thing run by Faye Dumont.

Debbie
Oh, fabulous. Okay, I must find out more about that. Teaching conducting to choral directors from around Australia. Mark regularly tours home and abroad with the Australian girls choir, often as an accompanist. This combined with his instrumental experience as a trumpeter say, I didn’t know that till I read this trumpeter in the Australian Youth Orchestra, South Australian Youth Orchestra in various ensembles has been invaluable when it comes to working with and writing for ensembles, Mark taught classroom music for 26 years, and has been associate head of music at firbank Grammar School and Wellesley College’s Elsternwick campus in Melbourne. He was on the staff at Marriott Ville, High School’s special interest Music Center in South Australia. Wow! Now, that’s a very impressive bio. Before we go on from that, is there anything else you want to add to that big summary? So you’re an educator, and you’re a composer, but you’re also a pianist, musician, arranger, a little bit of everything.

Mark
Yeah, I guess if you stick around long enough, you know, you’d build up a set of things that you do. I mean, let’s face it, you know, I’m not as young as I used to be. So that’s part of it. And but I hope I still got many years left, you know, still a lot of things to do. There’s a lot of I’m still think of myself as a work in progress. And that’s the exciting thing about music. I think it’s the sort of thing that you know, that you can keep doing and keep doing, hopefully for a long time. Yeah.

Debbie
Yes. I think that’s one of the wonderful things about music, isn’t it? You can keep being involved actively, right up until the end. So

Mark
COVID permitting Hi. Yeah. Yes. Interesting thing, but yeah, that’s it’s no major cause for reflection the last couple of years but

Debbie
strikes on didn’t put the brakes on Wow. And you’re just recovering yourself,

Mark
Yeah, I just managed to get the as I call it, the spicy cough last week. So that was an interesting experience. But fortunately, I’ve been vaccinated. So my wife Vicki, she’s still got it pretty badly, but we’re both recovering. So that’s good.

Debbie
Thank goodness, you know, touchwood as they say, it’s wonderful. Well, I have certainly performed your music and heard of you for a long time being in just having a toe in the choral music world but when you when you teach full time like I do, and choir is part of my work and a part of my work that I love. But you can never, I’m just speaking for myself here, but maybe other music teachers can relate this so much to do in our role as a class music teacher, that you don’t get to play too long in the sandpit of your choirs, you know, I often used to feel I did not do my choral work justice, because though it was a passion, and I did it, there were so many pressures from the classroom with, you know, Assessment and Reporting and huge numbers. So I’ve always felt part of the choral music world, but a little bit on the exterior, if you know what I mean, because I can never jump in. As far as I would like to jump in.

Mark
Think time, time is a big consideration for people in general. But for music teachers, it’s it’s a huge factor in coping with what you have to do. There are so many demands on music teachers, and, you know, I’ve experienced that, and time is something that you have to deal with, isn’t it? It really is a challenge. And I’m not sure how much people understand the sort of pressure on it into producing performances and so on.

Debbie
Oh, I think there’s very limited understanding out there, because we really are looked upon as you know, glorified babysitters, and anybody could do that. And let’s just sing a couple of songs. Yeah, sure. Not and you the answer is, if it’s that easy, do it yourself anyway. So but I do think the first time that we actually worked together was in 2017, you can correct me if I’m wrong. And I invited you to come and do totally treble, which was my, the crescendo music, annual choir based workshop that I used to run, it’s it again, of course, COVID knocked that one on the head, too. We couldn’t get together and sing. But every year, I used to try to run something for choral directors and music educators here in Brisbane. So you came on up and ran this amazing workshop for us totally travel. It was really, it was a highlight for me. And can I tell you, I’ll just share a little personal aside, as I was looking back through the archives for this, I came across a little video, a little snippet, I might even pop it in the show notes for this episode. And it’s just a tiny bit of you doing a warm up with the group. And that warm up ever since then, has been mice in my standard repertoire. I absolutely. Love it. Do you want to know which one? Yeah, I do. Yeah, it’s just it’s just amazing. It’s here. I’ll just call it here. And here and there.

Mark
Oh, yes. Yeah.

Debbie
Oh, and I can tell you where it’s magic. I’m at a school my way. And we get to teach what conduct work with one choir we have five choirs because some musics pretty important at the school one at thank goodness, but I take the most important choir, the grade one to choir. I genuinely have around 90. And we’ve got this big hall. And it’s all enthusiastic. And I often start with here, there. And when I had a look back, I thought, Oh, I’ve changed that a little bit. And it morphs. And I get the kids to suggest different things. And now that I’ve talked about that, I guess the listeners will be going, what’s that? Would you like to describe it Mark?

Mark
It’s basically an activity that I you know, I’ve basically picked up through the years through through the Australian Girls Choir, and then, which is part of what we call the Australian School of Performing Arts. There’s a lot there’s an emphasis on drama and dance with the girls choir as well. And one of the things about it is that, you know, theory is get your bodies moving, get people moving around, and they’re more likely to sing better, of course. And I mean, we all know that. And it was interesting, actually going to the international choral conference in 2017 that I went to, which was in Barcelona, and a lot of that which is, you know, really top level choirs. But it was really interesting to see the amount of music movement that was happening with the choirs there. And from what I had heard, I think there was more movement, more stage direction and so on then there had been in previous years, I don’t know whether there’s, that’s, you know, moving in that direction or not, but very much about loosening the bodies getting people to actually express themselves. Yeah. So yeah, so yeah

Debbie
I love it. And the kids just move here one direction. When you say here, they move that direction when you say they’re they moved the other direction. And then there’s various other things you do, but I always do angels so that they go and, but there’s a whole lot of social stuff too. I say to them, just find a group near you to do the angels and put your arms up in the air. And so I actually try and incorporate a whole lot of you know, I guess finding your singing voice type things within the movements. So it’s just lots of fun. And that’s just a little aside a little bit of gold I picked up from you. I thought that was lovely. So anything else you want to add about your work? Or shall we go on to your highlights? Oh, hello. Hello. Now how hard is that though to say your journey as a musician, composer, music educator, what would you say? Are the highlights of your career so far so far? Last year? Yeah.

Mark
I guess I’ve been very lucky. I mean, as far as an arranger and composer is concerned, I think the highlights for me have been particularly to start with when, when music was actually accepted submissions that I had made. And two people I think, really well three people are really involved with that I think we were doing some work at Australian girls choir, and I thought, I reckon I can do this stuff. And so I sent some stuff through to Lynn Richardson, who’s a fantastic music teacher in Melbourne. And she was sort of in charge of the music side of things and Australian girls choir for very many years, fantastic person, and she accepted and said, I’d really like to do this stuff. And I was, you know, incredibly validating to hear that. And then I sent also sent some music through to Morton music, you know, you know, Ralph Morton, of course has since died, and Graham Morton, his brother, they, they created an Australian music publishing company called Morton music, and they accepted some of my music, which again, was so exciting to have, you know, your music accepted. Of course, things are different nowadays, that in that you yourself publish. And I think from the point of view of a composer, arranger, I think that’s fabulous. But it does have responsibilities in that you have to, you have to be able to market yourself. And I don’t think I’m particularly good at that side of things. But anyway, I think those those are the highlights for me, as far as my choral music is concerned. Yeah, I think I’ve been very, very lucky, having been at the Australian girls choir at a particular time when things are opening up, as far as that’s concerned, and I’ve had a number of people have a lot of confidence in me and utterly grateful for that.

Debbie
It is wonderful and well deserved, because your music is so.

Mark
The other thing I should say also is that it really does give you and I’m still learning. I mean, there’s so many, it’s so exciting to be able to try things out and fix them, and change them if things don’t work according to what the people want as well.

Debbie
Yes. And I that’s a huge advantage or you poor thing. So that’s why it’s okay, we’re blaming the COVID. But it is a huge advantage to be able to try things with children first. And being attached to the girls choir gave you that that little advantage. I don’t want to say advantage it go opportunity.

Mark
Oh, God, thank God, it really is, I think it really is an advantage. And the other thing is saying about attach to things, from their point of view of being attached to the music, you learn pretty quickly that you can’t be attached to the music, because if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. And you might have spent hours on or you know, quite some time on trying to fix something up and think it’s a really beautiful bit of writing and you’re done and people saying that sorry, doesn’t cut it. And that’s good, you know, makes you realize hang on in the end, you’ve got to serve to serve the group that you’re writing for. And that’s important.

Debbie
Yes, yes. And it’s hard, isn’t it? Because it’s like, again, I’d like I’m only like, you know, teeny been toddler baby composer that just paddles a little bit. And you get you get really, you do get really attached it feels like it’s a part of you, isn’t it? Because and that’s that’s what music is? Anyway. So yes, I think I agree with that. When you write I’m really interested in your writing in your composition process and your considerations for when you’re writing for kids. So first of all, it was sort of already, in fact, tucked around one, it’s got to be something that works for the kids. So if you can try it, that’s even better. But how do you approach the composition process? I’d be really interested in I’m sure there’s not like one, this is the formula? Oh actually be great. If it was this is the formula. This is what I do I do a followed by B followed by C followed by D done.

Mark
No, it really depends on that depends on the work. And I think the important thing is that it singable but if you need to know who you’re writing for, I think I think that’s that’s the more you know about the group you’re writing for the more chance of success. I mean, there’s no point in writing something that’s physically impossible for people. If the more you know, sometimes some of the Commission’s I get if all you’re told is how could you just write a pace then I need more information than that if I think you’re more likely for it to be a successful commission and so on, as there’s nothing worse than writing a piece that’s never ever used and I seen a few of those in my time. And and I think it’s just really unfortunate that that happens. Because you want the pieces to be used by various people. I think the other thing I tried to do is I’m keen for the piece to be something that the not only the kids enjoy performing and can achieve success with, but also the conductor the director actually enjoys working on. There’s nothing worse than being in a situation where you’re, you know, you’re really sort of having to make you’re going, Oh, no, not this piece again, or whatever. Perhaps it might never happen again. Anyway, if it’s like that, that, you know, if you’re going to spend a fair bit of time rehearsing, and then performing the piece as a director, I think it’s fairly important that you like that piece as well.

Debbie
Oh, I love that. I thought you were going to say the audience.

Mark
I think if the kids enjoy performing the piece, if the conductor enjoys performing that piece, then I think hopefully that that should follow on. But no, it’s

Debbie
it should. No, I love it. That’s, that’s interesting. Yeah.

Mark
I mean, I mean, you want to be passionate about it. You want people to be passionate about it. And if they’re passionate about it, hopefully the audience will sense that passion.

Debbie
It always comes through, it has to come through. That’s what we love about music, isn’t it? Do you write much? Because you you’re talking about Commission’s? And that’s wonderful. And you know who you’re writing for? Do you often get stuck with the by the Muse and just go, I just want to write this piece and put it out there?

Mark
Yeah, there are times when that happens. I’d say less more so lightly. But if I’ve got something that keeps going around in my head, I tried to write it down or, you know, hammered into the phone or whatever it is and or doodle around on the piano and just try to record it somewhere out there and come back to it. Yeah, yeah, put it in there. But there’s nothing like a deadline to make.

Debbie
Like you’ve finished. Yeah. So do you have lots? Do you have lots of what I affectionately called UFOs. Unfinished objects? Do you have any?

Mark
I’ve got some yeah, I’ve got some a lot. UFOs. That’s good. Yeah. And then sometimes you come back to them and think, oh, that sounds like something that I’ve heard before or whatever. Or you go back later after you’ve done a piece and going through some stuff, and oh, that’s that idea that I used a while ago. Good. Sorry. Not that I used a while ago that I actually put down somewhere other Yeah, yeah. That’s fascinating. When all that happens. Yeah.

Debbie
I love it. I love it. Your website, you pausing now you have another drink of water. And oh, I’ll talk for a little while. I’ll talk about rainbows. We sang one of your pieces last year, and it was just so beautiful. Loved rainbows. I just thought I’d pop that in was lovely. Recommendation. Well, oh, it was beautiful. I must say, okay, okay. I’ll tell you. We did it as the mess finale about we have, I have to give you just a little background. We have two choral concerts. Yes, purely choir concerts. The end of semester one, the end of semester two. And it was the end of semester two. And we taught all of the choirs so we’ve got about over a third of the school 250 kids or something. So right up from my grade 1 up to grade 6 because we are very fortunate. Our other choirs are conducted by Katherine really, who is so extra fabulous. Can I say that as a conductor, she is fabulous. As a person, she is fabulous. But you know, just all around fabulous. So she taught all of her choirs. I taught my little quiet my little kids. And we even had a year for boy who’s incredibly advanced, who wanted to learn the accompaniment. So he he accompanied these hundreds of kids singing, and he did so well. And he followed the conductor I’m going there we go. Okay, you’ll never be short of a job can. So we sang it together. And I will confess I had the best ideas for staging. And then I just did not have the time I wanted balloons or something in colored rainbows, you know, across the oh, I mean, we weren’t even sure until the last minute whether we were even going to be able to have a live concert, you know, so, but I did imagine somehow having the colorful rainbow but as it was, it was magnificent musically. I just couldn’t make the visual feasts that I wanted to. But now it just was just beautiful. So thank you for that.

Mark
Oh, thank you and I should put a plug in there for to sort of tinge was said it’s actually the bloke who wrote the lyrics, Danny O’Brien he is a man that I have written a number of songs with over the years and I never actually met him. You know that he was a I said I’d love to meet you one day and he said, you won’t. I’m a hermit. We lived in country, South Australia. And he died at the end of last year. So aged 80. But he wrote the most beautiful words, also read some absolutely disgusting mantis. Which would not be good for children’s carts. But he wrote the most, he had a different way of looking at the world and rainbows. He actually I discovered, he wrote for the funeral of a friend of his Oh, yeah, but they’re just beautiful words, he’s a very talented man,

Debbie
I must admit those words, because I actually taught it to I sang with every class too, because one of the things that I am trying to do now is I do some sort of score, we learn a piece from the score in classroom music, and I start with Grade Two, I don’t do it with year one, because our reading skills are still very much developing. But from grade two up, and I teach them to just follow the top line of the system. You know, I figure, I’m going to make sure all of the kids get this beautiful about speaking of the lyrics, we had some very interesting conversations about what the words might mean. And for those people who are listening, it was about rain. That I guess the main theme is, rainbows can be people, people are rainbows.

Mark
Yeah. I sent it to you in the first place. Because I know you’re the Brighton by lady that’s like, you know. And I immediately thought of you. But I think that person should just read those words. Like just sort of, Yeah, rainbows are bridges that hold dreams together. Colors suspended in fairy floss skies, rainbows dancing in time to the weather. Bring the wonder of light to their eyes. I just think it’s beautiful. Yeah. I mean, thinking of rainbows as bridges, you know, that’s a great idea.

Debbie
Yes. And what the kids come up with? What do you think that means? That I just love the things that children say, Yeah. And they? Yeah, that’s wonderful. Anyway, so that was a little bit of a side note there. But some people listening might want to go and look that up on your website, which is incredibly easy to navigate with samples of your scores and the music, it must have been really time consuming to put your website together. Has it been like a labor of love.

Mark
Particularly when I’m not, not the most savvy person when it comes to things online, and so on. But I was also very lucky to have an upgrade, sort of spend a bit of money upgrading it in the end of 2018. And 19, really didn’t do much about it until COVID came in. We were, you know, in Melbourne, the most lockdown city in the world, apparently, that’s what people are saying. I don’t know whether it’s true. But there was a good amount of time in 2020. And I could really spend quite a lot of time reviewing stuff and fixing some stuff up. It’s still a work in progress. I don’t know how easy it is to sort of navigate through. But anyway, you give it you give it your best shot. Don’t you have it hard?

Debbie
I find it quite easy to navigate. So I’ll see you around. Keep keep going. Keep going.

Mark
Yeah, I mean, I still think word of mouth is the most effective way of selling stuff. But you can’t. That’s a hard, hard thing to do. But you know, it’s amazing how much business also things like, you know, workshops, whatever word of mouth should never disregard that.

Debbie
It’s about personal connection to, I think,

Mark
And I think what I used to like doing, which I haven’t done for the last couple of years very much at all is actually going out and visiting people and playing through some stuff and so on. That seems to me a very effective way of doing things. But it’s physically not possible to know.

Debbie
We’ll have to wait for a bit and when it’s possible, come up to Brisbane again, we’d love that. Yeah. And now you’ve already talked about some people in your life. But can you tell us about someone or someone’s who’ve been very influential in your life personal or professional? Or both?

Mark
Yeah, well, I was thinking about this. You know, I mentioned Lynn Richardson and then her supportive me with the Australian girls choir also does a music teacher I had at school, school I went to as an all boys school in Adelaide. I’m from Adelaide originally, and a man called John Drake. And it was an amazing man. It’s very, very humble, very flexible musician. Just saw music as good or bad. You know, didn’t matter what style it was. It was very, very flexible when he was a lovely man. You know, we’d be doing school musicals would then be doing studying. I don’t know. Schoenberg, Berg, that sort of stuff. Figure 12 through a mixture of stuff. Very talented man. Margaret Lambert, who I talked with that no she was my head of music at Marrickville High School, which is one of four special interests Music School schools in South Australia. Margaret was incredibly supportive of me over the years. And then when I moved to Wellesley, she and I moved at the same time move over to us, Victoria.

Debbie
That’s a typical team. Hey!

Mark
Yeah! hold the principle of Wesley was a man called Glenn MacArthur, who’s one of the few principals I’ve ever come across who really understood the arts and he was just amazing. rest his soul. Glenn MacArthur was just brilliant, but he was very supportive of the art understood at all. AGC staff, there’s so many staff on the AGC and students so just learn a lot from you really do. And I see the young, the youngest because I’m an old, old fogy now and in the organization, but see some of the clever teaching that people are doing. People come through, they’re just incredible. And you just think why? Wow, I would never have thought of teaching us on that way. But Isn’t that brilliant? So that’s very exciting. Vicki King, who is my wife, now we got married in last year at that in January, Vicki has been in she’s just again, a very, very humble person and never blows her own bags, but just knows so much and is able to do so much in so many different areas. He’s very, very, very important part of my life professionally, as well as personally. Yeah. And then finally, there was a guy who was actually my football coach in year 10, a guy called Mike Galette. Ya know, no, I was right into sport, and I still am in a big way. But Mike was my football coach. And he was a very well respected Australian cricket journal still alive, cricket and football journalist, and he was my footy coach, but he’s sort of the thing that he really made clear to me, I think was, there’s a world of possibility out there. Just so positive about going doing things and you know, really going for it. And in such a supportive person. So all these people have been really supportive of me. And a lot of way.

Debbie
That sounds wonderful. Yeah,

Mark
There’s people like you Debbie, you know, you’re supportive of all sorts of people in your community. Yeah. And I don’t think you should ever underestimate just how important that is to support people like that, you know, in different ways. And, you know, don’t ever underestimate what it is that you’re doing in the music community.

Debbie
Thank you. Thank you, Mark. I think it’s really essential that we help each other. And that’s, that’s what’s the purpose, if we’re not doing that, that? Just that connection, which I think the next thing I was going to ask you about is gratitude. But I think that’s partly been answered to hasn’t it because it’s gratitude for those people. And then the network and, you know, do you know what it’s about? That’s what quiet that’s what’s beautiful about quiet too, like, I could never, I don’t have the skill, talent, wonderfulness to ever be a soloist, but I’ll tell you what, I’m a bloody good choir member, you know, and in a choir, we make the most beautiful music together. And you know, we are, we are capable of so much more together. Um, so that’s getting very deep and philosophical. But that’s why one of the reasons I love choir.

Mark
And I think, I think that’s one of the sadnesses of the last couple of years is just how much that was threatened by COVID. We, you know, had so many zoom classes in 2020 and 2021. And it was really hard work. But ultimately, it kept the group together the group’s together and that was really, really important. You know, it’s just ironic, isn’t it? That choir was one of the things that was really, really hit.

Debbie
Yes, yes. And of course, for us that’s highlighting its importance. Yeah. And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about that professionally, and what we can do to help support you know, the promotion of singing together for well being. It does lots of other things. Of course, I’m a music educator, of course, I think it does, but it’s that well being so did you want to add anything else about gratitude in there before we get on to my favorite bit?

Mark
I just think I’m very lucky that I’m able to make a living from you know, making music I think somehow you know, it’s just very lucky.

Debbie
It is pretty fortunate isn’t it to make a living your love of people thing? I want to say publicly thank you for doing this interview that all this talk. Okay, we’re nearly done. We’re nearly done. All we’ve got left really nuggets of fabulous. All right. So people listening, they would love to hear your little nuggets of fabulous now I consider you a music educator and you certainly have worked in the classroom but you are tending to work more now. You work with choirs and children in the choral situation. So You take this question, however, is best for you. Maybe it’s about when you’re working with the kids or in a workshop or in a warm up or whatever is best for you. But three, give or take could just be one, if you want a nugget of fabulous to share with people who are listening, who want to go and try something new with the kids,

Mark
I think one thing is resources. And you know, we have a lot of young teachers at choir and so on. But I think I think the actual resource of Voiceworks are handled for singing by Peter Hunt, is a really great resource to have on board. High close to 200 bucks, which people think to me, that’s a big outlay, but you can do all sorts of things with that. It’s got so many activities, and so many things that you can photocopy legally, that people can work with. But more importantly, I think even if it was just the first, I don’t know how many pages it is of warm ups and concepts of approaches to teaching, seeing really good McAleer. He put me on to this book years ago and shout out to mark because he’s doing fabulous work. And I’ve always held him in very, very high esteem. But that Voiceworks, I think is a fantastic book. And you know, because you do need resources has a text.

Debbie
And it is great resources. Yeah, I agree.

Mark
As far as activities are concerned, well, sort of rounds. I guess that depends on the age group that you’re taking. But I thought I’ve got three guys who as I was thinking about this this morning, when you’d sent me through the stuff. There’s a there’s an Australian, a Melbourne composer called Grant Ward.

Debbie
Isn’t he amazing?

Mark
Yeah, that’s been round – a book of rounds and so on. And I think there’s a round that people all over the place use and they have no idea that he’s actually written it. But it’s called doo doo doo doo. I didn’t mean not sure if that’s called but I think it’s called. Yeah,
I do. Doo doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo. Just check out that last line, because people often get that wrong. Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, excuse my voice. And you can use it in so many different contexts. And it’s something that’s easy. If you’re doing a workshop, you can teach it in two seconds and people can get in less than five minutes satisfying musical outcome.

Debbie
Yes. And I think that books been around and it’s from gold. I mean, it’s called the second month. So we’ll put the links to those obviously

Mark
Says that is websites called says the tune says the tune and Grant’s a very clever man. And we’re very lucky to have him working with the Australian girls choir, to very humble man as well. There’s a man called Peter Butler from he lives in country Victoria and one of his rounds go to ‘Young Man from Perth.‘ I just love that round. That’s a limerick. There was a young man from Perth, who was born on the day of his birth. He was married some say on his wife’s wedding day. And he died on his last day on earth. And Peter’s just sent though that’s just a quirky Daggy words that I really like and think they’re a bit of fun. And often if I’m working with a group, it’s really interesting to see the kids who react to that straightaway. And you think oh, yeah, you’re, you’re on the ball.

Debbie
I haven’t seen Peter for many years, shout out to Peter. Yes. Some lovely little things he’s written.

Mark
And another round that I use is it’s actually from a Telemann Rondo. So this would be for slightly older kids, but you can use it with younger kids as well and tell them I’m right this series I think of six canonic sonatas. So you just get this they’re three movement pieces. Right? Six of them are like a full on. Wow. And each of them work as a cannon at the bar, I think to movement of each Sonata so okay. Yeah. But there’s there was a particular theme that I heard years ago I heard a woman I used to work with at Marrickville Jane Brida that was not sure what her Jane Varnish that’s right Jane Varnish. She played an on recorder she was a Baroque recorder specialist and probably still is but I heard this pace and then I heard it played by to the this particular movement played by two euphonium players from the British brass band tradition and now fabulous, I can’t remember the names of the guys but anyway, I thought the theme was a really good one. And it’s one that I’ve used quite a bit teaching to people because you can use Kodaly rhythm, you know Curwen rhythm syllables and so on with it. It’s just it really works very nicely.

Debbie
That sounds Fabulous.

Mark
I don’t have time I could provide you with the link for that.

Debbie
Please, would love that. Thank you. Oh, oh, good.

Mark
They’re my Nuggets of what they called them. Nuggets, nuggets of fabulous. A lot depends on what you feel comfortable teaching too doesn’t it?

Debbie
Yes, absolutely. But there’s some gems in there. So thank you, things people can chase down if they haven’t seen them before. And I know that what’s taking up a lot of my spare time at the moment is what I would consider my fight for music education. And without going into lots of details, I think that we are actually fighting for the existence of our profession. And part of that fight is around advocacy. We know how important we are because we know all of the huge advantages for children and removing music education, from their school life, their early childhood and childhood is just a huge mistake.

Mark
Yes

Debbie
We know that. But of course, not everybody knows that. So would you have any advice around advocacy? You know, just just general advocacy? sending the message?

Mark
Yeah, I think I think the really important thing is to be part of a group of people like minded people who can combine to get the message across which I think what, which is one of the things I’m you know, the kid I come here, as we call it, you know, is one particularly fantastic group that has done Fanta continue to do magnificent work. And I think that the message that they combined together with Tim to make all sorts of suggestions have been very important. I think anchor, the Australian National choral Association has another group that it’s very important that people are members of that those two groups in particular, of course, the offshore work community, as well as another group. I think individually, it’s a struggle. But if we combined with these particular, you know, become members of these particular groups, you’ve got a chance of getting some messages across.

Debbie
Yes, again, we’ve come back to this more powerful together, we’re better together. theme. I love it. And I do so appreciate you sticking this along with your with your post COVID voice, you’re doing super well. But there’s just one more, but I like to ask my chat guests your opportunity to get on your soapbox. So to whoever is listening. And to finish off this interview. It’s a little bit like, you know, starting and ending with music, but it’s a bit too tricky. Via zoom to do that. I think if there was one message that you could tell the world, what would it be the most important thing that you want to say? Are you ready? Okay. Okay, ready? Ready? Okay, no pressure go.

Mark
I think as a music teacher, I think it makes sure you’re enjoying the music yourself. And remember, it’s about that music. It’s not about you. It’s actually about the music when you’re teaching. It’s that’s where the magic happens is with the music. And I think sometimes we get so worked up about, you know, trying to teach a particular way and doing all this sort of stuff and making sure that how we teach is important. But the important thing is that there’s passion, and there’s enjoyment all around. That’s my message for what it’s worth.

Debbie
Oh, I love it. And I think it’s actually a perfect, perfect message to finish on. So thank you so much for your time. It’s just been a pleasure, Mark, love talking to you. And hopefully we’ll see you in Brisbane in real life soon.

Mark
Debbie, thank you so much. I hope that’s been what you’re up on. It’s really nice. Really nice to be really nice to catch up again. So, you take care.


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This podcast was brought to you by Crescendo Music Education. Connecting, supporting and inspiring music educators. In the show notes, you’ll find links to Crescendos social media platforms. Please connect with me and be part of the Crescendo Community. You might consider becoming a Crescendo member. For a low annual fee you can access hundreds of files, worksheets, printables, workbooks, repeat workshops, webinars, and receive great discounts on events. Come and connect with me, Debbie. Okay, see you in the socials.


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