Music Arts blog

Apra/Ara Artist in Residence

14 Sep 2017
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2017 Ara Music Arts Artist in Residence Anna Coddington
Funded by APRA AMCOS NZ

Anna Coddington, known for her enchanting live performances and songwriting prowess, recently spent an intensive three days with Ara Music Arts students. Kicking off with a brilliant performance, including our own Music Arts tutors, Anna also presented inspiring workshops, forums and small group sessions for students.
Students were treated to valuable insights on Anna’s songwriting process, feedback on their own writing and advice on being an artist in the New Zealand music industry. Music Arts students had many questions for the visiting artist, as well as the opportunity to perform their own work in front of an experienced artist.
As the successful residency closed, Anna’s mindful advice to students was to remember that ‘they are responsible for lighting the motivational fire beneath them.’
Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2018 Ara Music Arts Artist in Residence. 

All Ears at Ara Music Arts

16 Nov 2016
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Ara Music Arts are excited to be partnering with the ‘All Ears’ team to bring this unique week of workshops to New Zealand from January 23-27, 2017.

This week long program is a great opportunity for musicians of any age and ability. It provides participants a format to explore jazz and improvised music in a fun, safe and nurturing environment, while focusing on developing improvisation skills in the time honored tradition of the jazz greats: learning by ear.

"All Ears is a jazz and improvised music program designed by veteran US educators Dr. Arthur Falbush and Keith Pray. With 14 years of collaborating on many educational programs and with over 50 years of combined teaching experience, All by Ear is an evolution of the original method of learning jazz (by ear).

Jazz musicians since the earliest days of the music learned to play by imitating other musicians.

All Ears takes this concept into an educational environment and provides participants the opportunity to learn how to improve their jazz playing while being supervised by experience jazz musicians and veteran teachers."

For more information

You can register here
 

Sam Blakelock - graduate profile

09 May 2016
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Q: Who are you? Where are you? What year did you graduate?

I'm Sam Blakelock, I graduated in 2011 with a double major in Jazz Guitar and Jazz Arranging. I have been living in NYC for 3 years, studying my Master of Music at Queens College and now playing around on off-broadway, hotels, and with whoever else calls me. 

Q: What is your instrument and when and why did you start playing?

I started out wanting to be Jack Johnson. I loved writing songs, strumming chords and recording music. I was fortunate to have Harry Harrison (Ara Music Arts teacher) teach me at my high school. Harry helped me discover jazz and encouraged me to attend jazz school.

Q: How did Jazz school influence you and your playing? Tutors? Gigs? Workshops? 

My favourite part of jazz school was listening to students older than me perform. They pushed me to improve (fast) and inspired me. There we so many killing musicians one to four years above me, and I would walk past those two pictures on the stairs everyday of the "Jazz School All Stars" and think, "Damn, I got a lot of practicing to do."

Connecting with other musicians and performing around town was a big plus. The teachers were awesome of course, and it’s always a thrill attending workshops from visiting artists. I remember being so inspired (and equally intimidated) when David Berkman gave his workshops. I was lucky to spend 18 months over here in NYC learning from David who has had an enormous impact on my music.

Q: What is your greatest musical achievement to date? What are your current/future projects?

I tweeted Snarky Puppy and convinced Jazz School to fly Michael League over to Christchurch for workshops. Mike's a super lovely guy and It was in incredible honour to perform him in Christchurch. I'm very thankful to have been able to stay in touch with him in NYC. I have performed with Perez Hitlon for six months in an off-broadway show Full House the Musical Parody, MD'd cruise ship bands, played live on Brooklyn BRICtv, and performed at Brooklyn Bowl.

Q: What is your fondest memory of Jazz school (Ara Music Arts)? 

I can't decide between

A) Heating up my pasta in the microwave everyday for 4 years.

B) Sleeping behind a piano over night

C) Late night jams in the auditorium

I'm going to go with:

D) Meeting so many amazing musicians and making life long friends.