After years of pandemic-related travel restrictions, students from Sydney Conservatorium of Music are returning to the world stage to further their musical artistry and develop personal skills.
While digital technology helped music and art to persist safely online at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, most musicians will attest that there is nothing quite as emotionally and psychologically impactful as in-person events, performances, and conferences.
Three highly accomplished students from the Con have taken advantage of the world slowly re-opening its borders in 2022 by undertaking opportunities overseas to expand their musical horizons and showcase their craft.
Bachelor of Music (Contemporary) student and rising singer-songwriter Chelsea Warner participated in a week-long intensive song writing camp at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, USA. Through this opportunity, Chelsea found the space to venture out of her comfort zone
“Since knowing about the LA Experience program that former students took part in, I knew I wanted to expand my musical and personal horizons by being a part of it,” Warner says.
“I learned a lot about self-sufficiency and adaptability, while constantly considering how to best use my time and create to my highest potential.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Master of Music Studies (Performance) student Olivia Fisher. Fisher was invited to bring the one-woman show she wrote during lockdown at the 75th Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the UK.
“Often artists have to create work for themselves and it’s so important to learn exactly what that entails and how to do it,” says Fisher.
“Learning skills like producing, social media and campaigning is not something that has been a huge part of my life until now,” she adds.
While making the most out of masterclasses led by legendary pianists including Prof. Sergei Edelmann and Prof. Konstantin Scherbakov, Mudgil especially benefitted from lectures on practical topics for aspiring musicians such as international competitions, musician entrepreneurship, self-promotion, mental health, and filmmaking in music".
Although Australia seems secluded from other cultural communities, Mudgil attests to how an academic global experience “bridges this gap, leading students to a new future of peak musical and cultural prosperity that they could never have reached otherwise.”
“This is a critical aspect of one’s musical development, because without it, students can feel quite ‘isolated’ from the rest of the musical world,” Mudgil adds.
The exposure I received in this trip helped me understand more about what it means to be a pianist.”
For Fisher, the opportunity to perform at one of the largest at prestigious fringe festivals in the world allowed her to “see an astronomical amount of other shows, particularly new works by developing and emerging artists and network with international theatre makers, producers, directors, musicians and artists.”
“Networking, marketing and being a businessperson has been the biggest learning curve of this experience,” she reflects.
All three students agree that putting hesitations aside and being brave enough to pursue opportunities in a different cultural setting have contributed to their artistic and professional maturity.
“I learned about the technical and conceptual fundamentals needed for a successful performance, as well as how musical education is undertaken in countries—which are good preparations for my career after my current study” reflects Mudgil.
For Mudgil, a major benefit from undertaking global opportunities, is that students can “feel more holistically educated both from a musical and a cultural perspective, and now can make decisions for upcoming careers with the confidence of knowing more about how the ‘real musical world’ works.”
“I think it's so important for all developing and young artists to learn what it is to produce a show, create work and then have to sell it (and yourself) to a wider audience,” adds Fisher.
Chelsea echoes her peers, while adding that her exprience in LA has untapped an interest in future travel for professional development.
"The skills learned on this trip will translate into the kind of travel I want to do for my post-uni working life," she says.
These enriching global experiences allow emerging artists to connect with audiences and peers, make enduring memories and gain deep insight into the industry, fuelling creative inspiration and driving careers forward.
Interested in undertaking a global experience? Check out the overseas opportunities available to Sydney Conservatorium of Music students.