Finding inspiration beyond your hometown can start with taking a chance. Whether it’s taking time to explore places you’ve never seen or reaching out to those who you aspire to be, inspiration can come from simply taking action and heading towards your goals. For Music Performance student Gabrielle Parker, following songwriting was that step forward that would define her creation as both an artist and a student. “I’ve always loved writing and performing,” Gabrielle shares, “I began when I was a little tot writing little ditties to sing to my cat. My love of music only grew from there.”
For Gabrielle, music and performing music had always been apart of her, allowing her to better express herself to those around you.”I taught myself to play a bit of piano when I was about seven or eight and it was around that time that I wrote my first real song with your general verse-chorus structure. It’s been hard to stop me writing ever since, so I decided to go out and learn more about music and songwriting.” Following this urge for writing at a young age, Gabrielle decided to pursue music full-time after high school, looking to Collarts as a way of elevating her passions.
“Collarts has been the perfect place to facilitate learning and creativity,” she explains. “I’ve done lots of musical theatre growing up on the Mornington Peninsula, and that really helped me to get out of my shell and enjoy performing rather than be terrified of an audience. These days, I play in a café on the Peninsula on weekends and do a bit of performing through Collarts.”
“I have found that the best thing about studying music is being surrounded by a group of people who are all incredibly passionate about music and are all eager to learn and improve their skills.”
Wih an upcoming performance at The Collarts Sunset Social, Gabrielle’s stage presence is one of a storyteller, unafraid of acknowledging her roots and those people around her. “My songwriting is often inspired by people I meet and stories I hear… it allows me to explore a range of emotions that I may not necessarily feel towards an event and leaves a lot of room for creativity. People should expect some morose songs of my own as well as a couple more by some amazing artists that have inspired me.” When asked about her songwriting process, Gabrielle noted. “Each song starts differently; it may begin with a specific idea to write about, a phrase, a line or a melodic idea. I often find that the process of writing the song can be as enjoyable and rewarding as playing the final product.”
Feeling rewarded for taking time to perfect her craft, Gabrielle didn’t mind acknowledging those who supported her and helped grow her confidence in other aspects of music production. “I have found that the best thing about studying music is being surrounded by a group of people who are all incredibly passionate about music and are all eager to learn and improve their skills. It’s been wonderfully beneficial to be in such a creative environment with so many like-minded people, where we can teach each other and give and receive feedback instantly.”
“I was surprised by how supportive everyone is. I was expecting a very competitive environment but everyone has been very focused on their own journey.”
Reflecting on her first year, Gabrielle admitted she had her concerns about meeting new people in the industry she loved—after all, it was a brand new step in her career. “I was surprised by how supportive everyone is,” she crooned, “I was expecting a very competitive environment but everyone has been very focused on their own journey and there is little to no hostility amongst the students. I hope that this year I can continue to develop my skills in performance and writing… performing more and working with new people is also a goal of mine for 2018. Collarts makes this all feel very achievable.”
Gabrielle Parker is a current Collarts student studying in her second year of the Bachelor of Arts (Music) and is set to perform at The Collarts Sunset Social.