At AYO National Music Camp this year, five intrepid writers took part in the Words About Music course. This passionate group got to work capturing the flurry of activity at camp with a range of interviews, articles, and opinion pieces. We are happy to present a collection of these works in our WAM Wrap-Up series!
Read the other pieces in the series here:
Meet the Campers: AYO National Music Camp 2022 by Lily Begg
Porque no los dos? It’s not so simple in classical music by Emily Dodd
Google what to do when you have lost your motivation to be a musician and it will say: surround yourself with other musicians, make music with them, be inspired by them, listen to them and remember what first inspired you to lead a musical life. Attend the Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp and you will do just that for an entire week.
Musical Memories is a collection of anonymous handwritten sharings; in the moments of stillness waiting for the lift, or amid conversation as the final days of the 2022 National Music Camp flew past. This piece looks to flood musicians with hope, after uncertainty, stress and isolation that still linger after three years, and as we begin to experience our lives as creative professionals beyond the COVID pandemic.
View the piece in full poster size here
Memories in order of appearance (top to bottom, left to right):
“I just started piano lessons and overheard my grandmother saying that it was a shame I wasn’t learning a string instrument because ‘you couldn’t put your soul into the piano’. That sealed my devotion to the piano- 5-year-old me resolved to prove her wrong. So I’ve spend the rest of my life doing just that!”
“My viola teacher believed in me from the get-go and pushed to do my best in everything. She was the one who encouraged me to try out for AYO and for the con. I owe her a lot.”
“I was inspired to become a musician after hearing a mum at my pre-school play the flute, I loved the sound of the instrument so much I begged my parents to buy me a flute and allow me to have lessons. Unfortunately I was too small at the time (my fingers wouldn’t reach the keys) but after a year or two of nagging I got my wish. I haven’t looked back since.”
“My mum plays the piano and when I was little she took me to all her chamber rehearsals and accompanist rehearsals so I heard lots of string playing. I think that was the start!”
“I watched a fantastic episode Playschool: Playschool Meets the Orchestra and was pretty enthralled by soundscape of the symphony orchestra. I was particularly taken with the violin and after a bit of persuading my parents agreed to get me lessons.”
“AYO music camp and VCASS.”
“I think musicians are so fortunate to have so many wonderful ‘light bulb’ moments that is hard to pick just one. But I think reflecting on all the time that I have spent playing music with such wonderful people, I pursued music after a culmination of experiences of making music with great people.”
“Getting to play real music in an incredible venue. When people give you a chance to make music, welcoming you into this vibrant creative space, it can be the most incredible experience.”
“My grandmother’s record collection was an Aladdin’s cave- and got me started in my life-long love affair with music.”
“To be honest, I didn’t want to learn the piano pieces my teacher gave me. So I made my own piece up on the spot. Later in life, composing found me.”
“My piano teacher at my tiny primary school was a massive fan of weird and unusual piano music, like Bartok. Her zany fervour and excitement gave me the energy I needed as a seven-year-old to pursue my instrument, and later develop a passion for composition.”
Molly Jenkins is an alumni of the 2022 AYO National Music Camp Words About Music Program.