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Community music-making in regional Australia: creating, improvising and performing at a festival
journal contributionposted on 2014-12-01, 00:00 authored by Dawn JosephDawn Joseph
Community arts in Australia, as in many other countries, continue to permeate society, illuminating the past and shaping the future. This article situates itself as an aspect of community music through creative music-making within a larger research project that started at Deakin University (DU) (Melbourne, Australia) in 2011 called ‘Flows and Catchments’. Through the lens of creative arts and music-making, I argue that community partnerships between local communities and tertiary institutions are a fertile ground to celebrate arts practice where the cultural and artistic life of the community is promoted, fostering respect and understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. In 2012, I presented a music workshop at the 8th Annual Lake Bolac Eel Festival (LBEF) in Western Victoria. Using the African term Masakhane, which means ‘let us build together’, I provide a snapshot of my experience through journaling and anecdotal feedback as I reflect in and on the teaching and learning episode of the volcanic composition. The community partnership between DU (academics in an urban space) and the LBEF (local community in a regional place) provided an opportunity for people of all ages to engage, explore and experience music-making collectively in a social context. As a tertiary music educator, I propose more pathways being established with regional communities in order to deepen the knowledge and understanding of them; schools, communities, artists, academics and tertiary students can form cultural synergies in place-based settings like those of festivals.