Country Music Calling

Townsville's Brooke Roberts (15) will attend the 2018 Australian Junior Academy of Country Music in Tamworth. IMAGE: Tammy Roberts

A budding local musician is set to learn from the best of the best, after being awarded a spot in the Australian Junior Academy of Country Music.

Brooke Roberts, 15, will spend eight days learning alongside a handful of Australia’s aspiring musicians with workshops during the academy ranging from songwriting and production processes, through to information sessions for parents on managing their child’s musical future.

Brooke said she’d had her sights set on the Academy since visiting the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.

“While I was in Tamworth, I entered a couple of songwriting competitions and was a semi-finalist in one, which was pretty awesome. In one of the other competitions down there I spoke to a lot of the competitors and they all said they’d attended the Academy and told me how amazing and helpful it was to [developing] their own skills as an artist,” Brooke said.

“You get to write songs with different country musicians and learn so much of the other stuff you don’t think about as a performer. Mum and I looked into it and put an application in, then got the news a few days ago that I was accepted – which I’m stoked with.

“I prefer writing my own songs, because it’s more me than singing other people’s music. I like putting covers into my sets, but definitely love writing my own songs as a better way of expressing what I feel.

“At the Academy though, I’d definitely love to write a song with someone else; it’s something I’ve never had the chance to do before. I’m really excited to pick up new skills that I wouldn’t be able to pick up in my own bedroom, talking with professionals in the industry, and just can’t wait to see what the experience brings.”

While the Academy is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it comes with a price tag.

“The eight days at the academy costs $2500, which will cover all of our workshops, food, accommodation and everything. To help cover those costs plus the cost of flights, I’ve set up a GoFundMe page and am seeking sponsorship from businesses and am thinking of doing a couple of fundraisers between now and when I leave.”

The Australian Academy of Country Music Junior Course runs from 7-15 July, with more details available here. For updates on Brooke’s time at the Academy follow her on Facebook.

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