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TAFE teachers who practise what they preach

Six TAFE Queensland music teachers were among the incredible talent at the 2022 Byron Bay Bluesfest - and their students are happy knowing their teachers are practising what they preach.

You'd never take lessons from a golf professional who didn't also play the game and the same should go for further education and training.

The Byron Bay Bluesfest is a premier Australian music festival, attracting over 100,000 music fans. The line-up included Amy Shark, Casey Barnes and Tijuana Cartel, with TAFE Queensland’s Coomera Creative campus music educators taking centre stage with them.

Bachelor of Contemporary Music (3003140 | 026996C ) lecturer Donovan Lee, who is also the drummer for Electrik Lemonade, said the energy at the festival was electric.

“My favourite part of performing is always seeing the audience's reaction, knowing that what we do on stage can provide such a rewarding experience for the audience is amazing,” said Donovan.

Donovan explained that performing and actively participating in industry is a big part of the TAFE Queensland teaching team ethos.

“The ability to guide a student in the music industry relies on our current knowledge and contact base to give the student's the best outcome in their studies and careers.”

“We try to use these experiences to guide students through their own performances, and being able to share examples of our experiences lets the students know that we are all experiencing the same sorts of things,” he said.

Meanwhile bass and electric guitarist for The Buckley’s and TAFE Queensland music teacher Sam Besmehn-Burt said he loves teaching, but there is nothing quite like a live performance.

“I enjoy the spontaneous moments on stage, the beauty of a live performance is that every one of them is different, from the audience, to the songs and how you are feeling. The performance happens, and one like that might not ever happen again. That's the magic,” he said.

“The experience is a great opportunity to practise being prepared for nearly any situation, from limited rehearsal time, to new stages and changing the set list minutes leading up to performing. These moments are what we prepare students for.”

Sam said sharing these experiences with his students demonstrates that huge industry events are achievable and within their reach.

“There is definitely a spark of possibility when a student hears we are playing at a festival of that scale,” he continued.

“Teachers are students of the industry as much as anyone else. Being a part of this industry has you constantly adapting and changing to the times which allows new experiences to reflect upon, develop and deliver to the other students of the industry.”

TAFE Queensland Coomera Creative campus offers a Certificate III in Music Industry (CUA30920) right through to a diploma and Bachelor of Contemporary Music (3003140 | 026996C ) in partnership with Southern Cross University. Sam said he encourages anyone looking to further their music studies to come to TAFE Queensland.

“There is a great community at the campus that are working with each other in bands, song writing groups and helping produce each other’s songs. The people you meet will be colleagues and mates throughout your life,” he concluded.

TAFE Queensland General Manager on the Gold Coast, Karen Dickinson said the organisation is lucky to have some of the most amazing music teachers.

"Our teacher’s involvement in the music industry with their bands or being part of a band helps them stay abreast of exactly where industry is at. Our teachers knowledge and experience really assists our students to prepare for job in the real world and be ready for life after graduation,” said Ms Dickinson.