Matt Wild gave students some pointers to help them rock on the ukulele. Photo/Holly Cormack.
Matt Wild gave students some pointers to help them rock on the ukulele. Photo/Holly Cormack.

Little musicians capture South Burnett spirit through song

THE vineyards were alive with the sound of music this week, as Moffatdale State School students strummed ukuleles, learned all about music composition, and practised singing the lyrics to their very own Aussie Ballard, which they produced with a little help from Topology.

Aria nominated indie classical quintet, Topology, brought the beat all the way from Brisbane to students at Moffatdale, Cloyna and Windera State Schools, as part of their community engagement and education program ‘Top Up’.

As part of the fun-filled program, the students have written their own lyrics and composed their own music, with a little help from professional musicians John Babbage and Matthew Wild.

“Matthew’s expertise is in string instruments, including ukuleles and guitars, and he’s running ukulele workshops with the kids,” Regional Project Manager for Topology John Rush said.

“John’s expertise are in composition and creative activities related to giving the kids a taste of basic music theory around rhythm and melody.”

The Moffatdale musicians practising their big number for Topology's Wondai concert this November. Photo/Holly Cormack.
The Moffatdale musicians practising their big number for Topology's Wondai concert this November. Photo/Holly Cormack.


“They’re also getting the kids creative juices flowing by writing lyrics for a song, which they’ve done already together (last time John and Matt visited the school), and John has arranged the song in the meantime, so they’ll get to see today how their creativity and their creation has been captured with the musical notation.”

“This gives them a better understanding of how you do that sort of work.”

Next month the little musicians will have the opportunity to take part in Topology’s We Will Rise Recover Tour, which will stop off at Wondai Memorial Hall on Friday November 13.

“The group started as a contemporary music ensemble, and it still works as that - writes its own music, tours and records - and in that context, what we try to do is integrate the Top Up program with the actual performers and performance of the group.”

“The idea behind getting the school kids involved is to give them a chance to work with professional performers who are really expert at what they do, and at the end of the day, get them to become part of a Topology performance.”

Topology's Matt Wild jamming with Moffatdale State School students on the ukulele. Photo/Holly Cormack.
Topology's Matt Wild jamming with Moffatdale State School students on the ukulele. Photo/Holly Cormack.


According to Mr Rush, the song written by the children is about the places, people and history of the South Burnett.

“The songs are all about places like the BP dam, roads they know, and history they know,” Mr Rush said.

Mr Baggage has been helping the kids get their song performance ready, while Mr Wild has been teaching them some basic chords on the ukulele, so they can play along with the song on show night.

To date, Topology have conducted under their Top Up education brand, 170 workshops and events to over 3000 participants. A rigorous Top Up workshop schedule continues in regional Queensland throughout October to December.

The band believe regional artists are critical to a vibrant arts sector that reflects Australia’s depth and diversity, and aim to enrich and empower these communities - who have borne the brunt of drought, a global pandemic, and on-flow economic hardships - through music.

South Burnett

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