Genevieve Fry wanted to extend her repertoire and explore some different genres of music. Melbourne Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Music gave her the opportunity to branch out and experiment with different styles, but also fostered her talent for composition and arranging.
“The Melbourne Polytechnic staff really do care and I also feel that they treat you as professional musicians from the start which is a really great feeling.”
Coming into Melbourne Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Music, harpist Genevieve Fry was hoping to broaden her musical knowledge and try a few things outside her folk/pop comfort zone.
"I was already playing music and gigs, but I felt like I really wanted to expand my knowledge so that I could play with more bands and with other people. Learning music is about learning how to communicate so my aim was really to polish that skill.”
Even though she already had really strong connections in the Melbourne music community, Melbourne Polytechnic offered her the chance to work closely with some talented musical mentors.
“Working with Peter Knight and Adrian Sherriff were probably my highlights; their lectures, what they taught and how they taught it were just amazing.”
Being inspired by talented teachers also took Genevieve’s musical practice in a slightly new direction.
“Arranging with Eugene Ball was incredible as well, and I think that was probably the main thing that got me started writing arrangements. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I also think just being surrounded by so many talented people and having access to a group of musicians who can play your arrangements is awesome — finding that can be quite hard.”
Since graduating, Genevieve’s work has even extended into composing for film using the skills she learnt at Melbourne Polytechnic.
“The subjects that were to do with technology — the soundtrack and writing for film subjects, and using Logic and other music recording programs — were all amazingly helpful. I used the skills from that to score a soundtrack for a short film this year, Maralinga Pieces made by Jessie Boylan, who is a local independent filmmaker.”
The greatest challenge for Genevieve throughout the course was managing her work commitments with the demands of a full-time study load.
“It was really full on. I had to work as well as study for the last year and a half so if you have to do that it’s pretty intense because you also want to gig and do music. I did a full-time load, so I think it’s a good idea to do a part-time load if you have to juggle work. Then you have more time to really get into some of the subjects.”
“There’s a lot to take in so it would have been great not to rush it so much, but at the same time I still got heaps out of it — I’m okay doing a million things at once.”
Genevieve is now working on an EP, due for release by mid-2013.
“Peter Knight is going to help me with the EP that I’m working on thanks to a grant from Arts Victoria. The music community is quite small in Melbourne and so you do all have to support each other.”
For anyone considering a Bachelor of Music at Melbourne Polytechnic, Genevieve’s advice is really simple: “This course is fantastic if you want a great broad musical education, if you wanted to just focus on jazz or just classical it’s probably not right, but it’s great if you want that broader view”.
Bachelor of Music