’It helped me become a multifaceted musician, able to play so many different musical genres,’ says the violist

AUSTRALIA Student - Ariel Postmus

Violist Ariel Postmus

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) loves getting young musicians, before university, to gain experience with WAAPA teachers and ensembles, so I was invited to play with its orchestra when I was in high school. When it came to deciding where to go, my gut feeling was definitely for WAAPA because of the environment and multiple artistic disciplines it offers.

As well as one-to-one lessons, we had string classes and performance classes, aural training, music theory, music history and composition, as well as classes on both classical and indigenous Australian music. We were involved in operas and musical theatre, which were some of my favourite parts of the course, as well as the symphonic programmes, chamber music, and playing Baroque music with my teacher, Paul Wright, who is a specialist.

Most of us would get there bright and early for our aural classes, then commune at the café. WAAPA operates 24 hours, so people were in and out of practice rooms from six in the morning until late at night. Perth is very suburban, so most people lived with their families or in houses with other students. And there’s a park nearby where we’d all sit together and have picnics.

WAAPA helped me become a multifaceted musician, able to play so many different musical genres. The performance experience ensured that I didn’t get too comfortable, and pushed me to be better. A highlight for me was the concerto competition in my final year. Being at the front of the stage rather than in the orchestral section really got me out of my comfort zone.

The other students become your fierce friends for life. I would really recommend WAAPA to musicians who want to branch out beyond classical performance and to pursue other interests. This is because WAAPA offers so many collaborations with dance, opera, acting, new music, musical theatre, improvisation and jazz. That environment was what sold me on WAAPA.

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