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Photo by Nikki Hall

Songwriters workshop with Matt Barus

Nikki Hall —

Roncalli College joined with Opihi College and Timaru Boys' High School Music students to develop songwriting and performance techniques over two days. Funded by the NZ Music Commision and led by Matt Barus (of 'Terrible Sons')

The event hosted by Timaru Boys' High School in 2021 allowed students from three different schools ( Roncalli College, Opihi College and TBHS) to collaborate and develop songwriting strategies and throughout the two day event. 

Many students used the workshops as a chance to create their songs ahead of the Smokefree Rockquest on 26 June and for others, it was the first time they had given songwriting a go. 

At the end of Day 1, all students got up the front and shared their efforts and were really encouraged by their peers and Matt's advice throughout the event.

This year the workshops were led by NZ songwriting music legend, performer and mentor, Matt Barus who is currently releasing music as husband-and-wife duo “Terrible Sons”, Matt has been in the Christchurch music scene for nearly 20 years. As a member/songwriter for The Dukes (2005-2010) Matt’s successes included a top 10 single as well as several Award nominations and NZ tours with Blondie and The Pretenders.  Currently a member of Nettwerk Music Group label and Native Tongue Music Publishing, Matt has also has music regularly featured in TV and Films. 

On Day 2 Matt visited each of the schools and spent time sharing his journey and sharing key concepts and lessons from working in the Music Industry. He covered topics of wellbeing, diversification of skills, using technology and working collaboratively. A key message was that you never stop learning and "you can learn from anyone and any genre".

Thank you to the NZ Music Commission for funding this event and to Matt Barus for sharing your knowledge and skills with us.