Advice to my younger National Music Camp self

Some Alumni from the 1960s and 1970s share the sage advice they would give today to their younger selves at National Music Camp.

 

Your tutors have so much to offer, and you will spend a lot of time with them. Make the most of this relationship while you have the opportunity. Seek out your tutors, speak to them whenever possible and don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Fred Shade, Flute, AYO 1959-67

Dive into everything and grasp every opportunity. You will suddenly find yourself with a whole bunch of like-minded people from all walks of life – so socialise, stay up all night talking, go to chamber concerts, etc.

Libby Brookes, Violin, AYO 1976-78

Go around with a smile on your face - it attracts people and makes others feel more comfortable. This helps immensely, particularly if you’re feeling shy or have a fear of fitting in.

Libby Shade, Flute, AYO 1959-67

Practice more - don’t be underprepared! Also, if you’re a woodwind player, be prepared for changing climate conditions; for example, your reeds will not be the same in different climates. Speak to your tutors about this if necessary.

Janice Stockigt, Oboe, AYO 1958-67

If your parents are residential coordinators, find some big trees to hide behind…

Jo Beaumont, Violin, AYO 1960-67

Remember that you’re not in competition with the other musicians – you’re there to create sincere and effective music performances. And don’t play rock music too loudly or you might experience temporary deafness!

Margaret Crawford, Flute, AYO 1960-66

Remember that you’re not in competition with the other musicians – you’re there to create sincere and effective music performances. And don’t play rock music too loudly or you might experience temporary deafness!

Karen Alexander, Oboe, 1966

Be curious about your fellow students and try to remember everyone’s name! My mum, AYO founder Ruth Alexander, always made the effort to remember all the students’ names, what instrument they played and where they came from. It made such a difference, because the students felt someone was taking an interest in them.