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Tayiha mixes up her musical career

After writing her first song at just eight years old, it was evident that Tayiha Grant was destined for a career in the music industry.

"My mum says that I was singing before I could talk, and I've always been naturally good at it and always wanted to release my music," explained Tayiha.

Then, at 14 years old, Tayiha worked with renowned Brisbane producer Stewart Stewart, who has worked with The Veronicas and Dean Lewis, to produce her original songs professionally.

With a passion for music and already an accomplished singer-songwriter, Tayiha decided to get outside her comfort zone and learn to produce her music.

"I already knew a few things about sound production, so I didn't want to commit to a four-year degree for it. So, I investigated studying for a diploma that focused on teaching the things I wasn't learning about music after I finished high school in 2021."

Then, when her friend suggested she investigate studying Diploma of Music (CUA50820) with TAFE Queensland, she found what she was looking for.

"I'd never considered TAFE Queensland, even though everyone in my family studied here. But when I looked at the course content, it was exactly what I wanted."

The course filled in Tayiha's musical knowledge gaps by developing her skills in live sound concert production, studio recording and mixing, sound design, lighting and the business side of creative industries.

"Learning in a musical environment is amazing. Every day I collaborate with classmates who play, produce and release music, or work in the industry, and I've been learning so much from them."

"Studying alongside like-minded people is helping professionally and personally. Most of my classmates are older and from various backgrounds; we all love music, and I'm learning from them and developing real-world skills, which will help when I work in the industry."

Also helping Tayiha's learning is TAFE Queensland's industry-standard equipment and facilities, which she describes as the same as she used in recording studios when recording her songs.

"We work with music mixers, different types of microphones, different amplifiers, isolation booths, live concert rooms and everything's industry standard. Work then use different software to put the finishing touches on the music in the computer labs."

Also, teaching Tayiha how to use the sophisticated equipment is her highly experienced and passionate teacher who brings years of industry experience to the classroom.

Using a combination of tutorials and one-on-one guidance, Tayiha feels well-prepared to take her music career to the next level.

"My teacher helps and supports his students by communicating well in and out of the classroom. He's always available and is willing to listen to our mixes and recommend how we can improve them."

"He's very involved with the class and individual students more than any of my teachers in high school. I can tell that TAFE Queensland's teachers care about us crafting the best music possible."

"Through his industry connections, he provides us with job opportunities, we go on field trips, and we have speakers from the music production business come to class to give us more insights," she said.

As she comes to the end of her studies, Tayiha confidently looks forward to creating and producing music to complement her song writing and singing skills.

"I'm looking forward to producing my music while continuing to release singles and albums. Now, I'm confident that I can also write and produce music for other people, and one day I hope to write with international artists like Ellie Goulding or Florence and the Machine."

Having accomplished so much at 17, Tayiha has advice for anyone wanting a career in the music industry.

"Don't replace your passion for music with the pursuit of money. Music is a creative way of creating and expressing an emotion; keeping that passion is essential to being a successful musician. Do it because you love it."

She also recommends investigating all your study options, understanding what knowledge you need and then choosing a course that will give you the best career outcome.

"I came to TAFE Queensland because I understood what I wanted to do and what I needed to improve on, and this course was perfect for me," concluded Tayiha.