— observations from the Blue Mountains Design Bureau —

The Hills Are Alive…

It isn’t everyday that you hear the cry of “music technology” resounding through the Blue Mountains. Starting this summer and guided by the creative spark of multi-instrumentalist/ songwriter Rowley Holmes, Music Technology Workshops are on offer at The Wentworth School of Music.

The workshops are designed to support conventional instrument learning, while providing an introduction to the world of music production for both musicians and non-musicians. Students are inspired to motivate each other to create songs in a supportive, peer led learning environment. They learn to compose, edit, perform and share their music-tech knowledge through a broad range of resources and a new curriculum that utilises the latest in music technology.

“Music technology provides endless possibilities for students to be creative and to engage in the process of making and performing music,” says Rowley. “Studies have shown that music technology can raise students’ awareness and interest in the study of music.”

Rowley has fond memories of his own music teachers. His guitar style was influenced by his teacher Ted Dowse, who also taught the legendary singer-songwriter Nick Drake. Other contributors were Susanna Dawson, concert pianist Mathew Bale and the Jazz pianist and composer Biff Smith, who all combined to make a strong foundation for Rowley’s technical ability on the piano. “The ones who inspired me were those who loved improvisation or just kept it fun, fresh and were interested in a student’s contribution to the music,” he says.

Aged 13, Rowley won a music scholarship to Marlborough College in the UK. Later, he diverged from mainstream music to train as an actor/ musician and gain a degree at Rose Bruford College, London. Whilst learning his craft he began to write music for theatre. He went on to successfully work as an actor in theatre and television, starring in various musical productions across the UK that included Cabaret at Lancaster Playhouse and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at The Royal National Theatre.

In 1998 Rowley arrived in Australia to pursue his music as the lead singer- songwriter in the pop rock band Snugglepuss. His love of dance music and techno/ pop wizardry transformed into a career of music composition and teaching. He devoted five years of teaching music at the Glenbrook School of Music before doing a formal teaching degree and starting The Wentworth School of Music. He is a passionate and motivating teacher of clarinet, piano, guitar and saxophone.

During his many years as a music teacher, Rowley has helped a number of students to gain a place at Universities and music scholarships at selective schools. “My teaching philosophy is simple, I aim to strike a balance between fun and rigour and to encourage a sense of achievement and self-worth in all students.”

In his current role as a composer of production music for film and television, Rowley has his finger on the pulse within the rapidly expanding world of music technology. He regularly enjoys messing up music genres with production tracks (currently published and distributed through Grey Area Sound) which combined with his background in professional acting and music teaching, augurs well for an exhilarating line up of summer workshops.


For more details or to enrol contact Rowley on 0409 007 049/ rowleyholmes@gmail.com

WORDS Rebecca Somerville IMAGES Camille Walsh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags are not allowed.

    © COPYRIGHT 2011-2012