Local musician Kahlia Martin recently graduated from the Country Music Association of Australia (CMMA) Academy of Country Music in Tamworth.
Kahlia said the course had been recommended to her by a fellow musician.
“Once I looked into it I knew it would be a good experience and would make me a better musician. I applied as an instrumentalist and had to submit videos of myself playing the guitar along with an explanation of why I wanted to apply, my influences and musical knowledge,” Kahlia told The Cobar Weekly.
Over the 14 days of the course she said she experienced a wide range of lessons on all aspects of the music industry and performing.
“Lessons included songwriting fundamentals, music theory, how to read and write charts, the history of country music and how it has developed over the years, tips on production and recording, how to market and brand yourself properly, and also hints about the business side of the industry.”
Kahlia reports she and her fellow students were also lucky enough to have guitar masterclasses with Rob Motbey.
“The general manager of the academy Roger Corbett of The Bushwackers and Lyn Bowtell were the directors and the group tutors included Catherine Britt, Kevin Bennett of The Flood and Karl Broadie.
“Our instrumentalist group leader was highly sought after musician/producer Simon Johnson. There were a number of special guests we met during the academy including Kasey and Nash Chambers, Harry Hookey, Allan Caswell, Aleyce Simmonds, Drew McAlister, Amber Lawrence, Ashleigh Dallas, Dan Biddle (manager of The McClymonts), Lawrie Minson and producer Matt Fell,” Kahlia said.
She rates playing along side these musicians as a highlight of her time at the academy along with a great jamming session with Kasey and Nash Chambers and Harry Hookey.
“The graduation concert on January 14 was the major highlight. We also got to perform at the opening concert for the country music festival held in Bicentennial Park on January 15.
“The academy provided me with some great skills for working as a professional musician.
“It has also given me some great contacts and exposure to people in the industry.”