Jeremy has always had a passion for playing guitar and began the Certificate IV in Music to gain professional knowledge and experience to perform and write songs.
"Being around enthusiastic and talented musicians who are into the same styles of music is the best part of learning at Kangan Institute," he said.
"I always challenge myself to learn new songs and skills on the guitar."
The 21-year-old hopes to gain more experience in playing different styles and techniques, and become active in the music industry. He’s well on track with his contributions to his class’ album compilation.
"I worked on ‘Interstellar void’ where I was the primary songwriter and gained inspiration from Rory Gallagher and Led Zeppelin. Another song was ‘Guilt/questions’ where I collaborated with my brother," he said.
Making the switch from automotive to music studies was a decision Nicholas never looked back on.
"Prior to studying music I had completed my Certificate II in Automotive. After that, my brother and I got a cheap guitar and started teaching each other how to play. I then discovered the music program at Kangan Institute and decided to change my field of study," he said.
"For all the years I’ve been at Kangan Institute, I’ve always felt welcome. Teachers have always been very nice and friendly."
Nicholas worked on several songs for his class album compilation – he was the main songwriter for ‘80s rock band inspired ‘Guilt/questions’ and a co-writer for Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin influenced ‘Interstellar void’.
The 25-year-old hopes to keep advancing his skills in playing instruments and join a band playing music he enjoys.
"I like to be pushed to the edge musically," said Liam whose passion in singing, playing and writing music drew him to the certificate IV music program.
"I’ve wanted to have a career in music ever since I was a teenager. I wanted to sing, play and write and I wanted to have more knowledge about these things for the future."
Liam was involved in four tracks as part of his class’ album compilation.
"My favourite song for the album is ‘Underneath’ as it’s got good vibes and I enjoyed singing it," he said.
The 20-year-old is busy writing and recording his solo music project and looks forward to a future in recording, producing and touring with his music.
Kaine dreams of becoming a world-class hip-hop and RnB producer, and is confident that his music studies will help him realise his potential.
"I love music. It’s the only thing that keeps me going," said the 19-year-old who wrote the lyrics and music for the track ‘Memory’ which features in his class’ music album.
"(The course has) amazing teachers who understands what I want and hope to accomplish in the future."
For Lachlan, the best part of his music studies at Kangan Institute was the "freedom and having everyone treat you like an adult."
The 18-year-old said his desire to enhance his skills and career prospects drew him to the course in the first place.
"I chose to study music because I’m passionate about it and wish to explore further ways of drumming and the music industry," said Lachlan.
In his class’ self-produced music album, Lachlan played the drums for the tracks ‘Interstellar void’ and ‘Guilt/questions’ incorporating a mix of fast, thrash metal drumming and progressive metal in the ways of Mike Portnoy.
Lachlan’s dreams are to create a successful band that would take him on a world tour.
Music has always helped Jackson through tough times, so studying and learning to create music was his way of giving back.
"Music is the only thing that helps me when I feel low, so I thought I should repay the favour," said the 19-year-old musician.
"The teachers are amazing – helpful, kind and so much more."
As part of the course, Jackson and his classmates produced an album compilation of their own tracks. Jackson worked on ‘Where you are’ and ‘Interstellar void’ alongside his peers.
He hopes to form a band after graduating, go on tour and forge a stable future for his family.
Currently working on her independent movie script and soundtrack, music studies is an avenue for Bernadette to hone her skills for a future in the music industry.
"It was something I always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity so I thank Kangan Institute," she said.
"The knowledge provided by the talented teachers enables me to improve my skills in the music industry. My challenge is to be as great as my teachers."
As part of her class’ album compilation, Bernadette wrote the lyrics to ‘Colours of shade’. Her message is that it’s never too late to change your life to what you want it to be.
For 19-year-old Courtney, music studies was her way to indulge in her passion and gain skills for a career, all while being a great mum.
"It’s been my biggest passion for as long as I remember. It has been a great outlet for me and it helped me find joy again," she said.
"My teachers are the best part of the course. Not only have they helped me grow as a musician, they also helped me through a lot of personal issues, the biggest one being when I fell pregnant. They helped me realise that I could be a great mum without giving up my passion."
As part of the course, Courtney and her classmates produced an album compilation of their own tracks. Courtney wrote and played guitar for the track ‘You lost me’, a personal song about her dad.
Her dreams are to play music for the rest of her life and she sees herself performing at pubs in the future.
The choice to embark on music studies was a no-brainer for Tassia – "music is a big passion of mine and I wanted to take it seriously."
The 20-year-old said the course has been "really good" and her teachers are "really supportive and helpful".
As part of the course, Tassia and her classmates produced an album compilation of their own tracks. She wrote the tracks ‘Four’ and ‘Where you are’ which drew upon on her life experiences and hopes for the future.
Tassia dreams of playing in front of big crowds and sell out solo shows. She’s already well on track with several gig opportunities around Melbourne, including at Little Red Pocket Cocktail Bar.
"Music has always been there for me," said Angelo who juggles part-time retail work alongside his music studies.
The 20-year-old began the music course as a means to learn more about the guitar. What he discovered was that hands-on learning and opportunities to perform as part of an ensemble were of immense value to his musical progression.
"The best part for me is practical work, which is where we come together and perform for other students as part of an ensemble," said Angelo.
Some challenges included learning about music theory and how to read music notes – but these gradually became "easier to understand" as Angelo progressed through the course.
Angelo plans to continue into the Diploma of Music next year. Outside the course, the young musician is also working with his band to produce an EP album.
"I wanted to become a better musician," said music student James, who returned to education at age 37.
According to the drummer, the opportunity to meet and play with fellow classmates was a big highlight of the course. James also worked on several tracks as part of his class’ album compilation.
"I like ‘Subterranean airport’ as it allowed me to play a bit harder and faster," he shared.
James hopes to continue making great music after completing his studies.
Stephan, Diploma of Music, Gold medallion – Professional and creative industries
"My teachers were always supportive and it made a huge difference. They were people I could look up to."
The road to success is different for everyone. Stephan, who is all set for an exciting future specialising in audio studies, is proof that unique educational paths can lead to some fantastic outcomes.
"High school was never for me. I started year 11 VET in Schools in Music with Kangan Institute and decided to leave mainstream school to pursue music as a speciality. I enrolled in the Certificate II in Music at Kangan Institute and progressed into certificate III, IV and diploma levels," he said.
"I’ve grown to no end since the beginning of this course and my confidence has gone through the roof. My supportive teachers made a huge difference – they were people I can look up to who were genuinely interested in us. I also enjoyed learning with other students who have the same experiences and enjoy the same things I do."
Throughout his course, Stephan went the extra mile to pursue his passion in audio engineering by voluntarily helping other students with producing an album.
"During my diploma studies, I assisted students with recording tracks and helped the certificate IV class with engineering their album. This meant coming to TAFE outside of my classes. It was a great experience to help others as I got to work with talented musicians on things I wouldn’t have had a chance to work in otherwise," he said.
Stephan intends to keep developing his skills in audio engineering, film and multimedia while pursuing the Bachelor of Audio at university. His motivation to succeed is something he attributes to his studies at TAFE.
"This is what I want to focus the rest of my life on," he said.
"This award shows that my hard work is starting to pay off and I’m glad everything led to this point.
"I lacked motivation when I first started but through the course, I gained confidence to pursue my dreams. TAFE teaches you to give things a try, with incredible teachers always there if you need help. Kangan Institute will change your life and the best years of my life have been here. I’d recommend this music course to anybody who wants to pursue it."
Tusi was born with crouzon syndrome which led to vision and hearing impairment. But a love for music meant that he was prepared to do whatever it takes to fully participate in his studies and succeed, including working closely with support workers and teachers to overcome challenges and develop greater independence.
The aspiring singer began his musical journey with a certificate II and is currently studying the Diploma of Music Industry (CUA50815). He has already written several songs and has performed on various stages as part of his training!
In 2018 Tusi was awarded a $8,000 Vision Australia bursary, which he applied for with the help of Kangan Institute’s disability liaison officer. This amazing boost has enabled him to purchase a new laptop, reading camera and other tools for his studies.
"This bursary from Vision Australia is a great help for my future. It’s allowed me to purchase equipment to give me more independence in my studies," he said.
"Music is something I’ve always loved and enrolling at Kangan Institute has given me a confidence boost. I hope to do further studies in the future."