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Year 12 Music Performance

Student Reflection: 

On Tuesday, 19 March, the combined Year 11 and Year 12 VCE Music Performance class attended the Top Class Concert of 2019, at the Melbourne Recital Centre. The concert is composed of students who have completed either Music Performance, Music Investigation or VCE VET Music Industry in the previous year, and who achieved a perfect score in their performance exam. They are then asked to play a particular piece in which their performance of the piece stood out against everyone else in the state.

 Our class attended two concerts, both featuring many very different and inspiring musicians. The instruments which featured across the two concerts included Clarinet, Harp, Cello, Marimba, Viola, Violin, Tuba, Guitar, Trumpet, Piano, Voice, Flute, Bassoon, Drum Kit, Electric Bass, and Tabla. Most of the instruments played by students in out VCE class were covered, so the majority of students had at least one performance that was specifically related to their instrument, that they could take specific pieces of detail and information from to apply to their own instrumental skills. 

We were particularly impressed by the performances on the Harp, Tuba, Drums, Electric Bass and Tabla, as these instruments are different from the instruments we hear in class, at school. The girl who played Electric Bass, Ashleigh Howell (Catholic Ladies College), for example, played David Bowie’s 'Isn’t She Lovely' with a backing track, and was commended by VCAA for her original interpretation of the piece, while maintaining part of David Bowie’s original performance. Many of us would agree that this performance was one of the best versions of that song that we have ever heard. 

The traditional Tabla performance by Rithvik Chand (Lakeview Senior College), accompanied by another musician playing the Indian instrument, the sitar, was intriguing and exciting and a valuable insight into Indian culture. Whilst we are able to listen to Indian music online or on Spotify, we do not gain the same experience as seeing a live performance or even the experience of playing the instrument. The tabla is a small set of two drums, played sitting down, and with different parts of your hand. Chand used the palm, fingertips, and heel of his hand fluently and accurately at extremely fast tempos in order to create different tone colour on the instrument, and creating and exciting musical character by increasing the tempo each time the song was repeated. 

These were just two of the amazing performances, which we learnt so much from. The excursion gave us the chance to think about stage presence, articulation, dynamics, fluency, musicality and phrasing and various other musical performance elements so that we may take what we learnt and put it into practice for out own future performances, enhancing our abilities and musical potential even further.

Madeline Brown, Year 12 Music Performance



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