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Banding together

Jett Whitaker picked up a guitar only six months ago.

Last week he played in a band on stage.

The experience was nerve-racking but a lot of fun, he said.

Jett was one of nine young musicians who took part in a two-day music workshop held over the school holidays.

They ranged in age from 10 to 17, with a mix of singers and instrumentalists who had the chance to play guitars and drums as well as tambourine, keyboard and recorder. There was even a mandolin in the mix.

Instrumentalist Moana Hoogland said everyone should have a go on stage.

“It's a good confidence-booster.”

The workshop was led by music teacher John Minogue, who is also a singer and guitarist.

He knows the importance of learning the skills and patience needed when working with other musicians.

“It's a time for kids to be able to perform together as a group. It gives them the opportunity to combine with other musicians and work together.”

The finale concert was held in front of family and friends at the Assembly of God Church.

The band played two songs — Pete Seeger's Down By The Riverside and California Dreamin' by The Mamas and the Papas — followed by impromptu performances by some members of the group.

Mr Minogue said it took patience for someone to learn their part and even though they might know it, wait while others learned their parts.

Other advice for the aspiring musicians was to use the microphone like an ice cream — it had to be close to the mouth.

John has been playing the guitar since the '60s.

He learned to play the music of the time from bands such as The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel and The Mamas and the Papas.

Music Workshop: Jett Whitaker and Moana Hoogland strum through the chords of California Dreamin' by the Mamas and the Papas. It was one of two songs they learned with seven other young musicians who banded together for a two-day school holiday workshop. Moana said playing on stage was a real confidence booster and everyone should give it a go. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
CONCERT: Performing onstage as part of a school holiday music workshop are (from left) Willow Hoogland, Adriana Hoogland, Jett Whitaker, Jonah Reynolds (obscured - only feet visible), Moana Hoogland, Micah Blank, Anaya Blank (obscured), Krishna Singh, with Abhay Singh on the sound desk, a crucial job that can make or break how a band is heard. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
SISTERS: Willow and Adriana Hoogland harmonise on the '60s hit California Dreamin' by The Mamas and the Papas. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
HAVING FUN BEING ROCK STARS: At a practice session during a school holiday music workshop are band members from left Willow Hoogland, Adriana Hoogland, Abhay Singh, Jonah Reynolds, Moana Hoogland, Jett Whitaker, Krishna Singh, Anaya Blank and Micah Blank. Picture by John Minogue