The University of Newcastle, Australia


Thursday, 22 October 2015

For Jarrod Wilton, a passion for music comes naturally.

Image of Jarrod Wilton

He has been recognised for spreading this passion across the three campuses of Callaghan College by receiving a prestigious Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Student of the Year Award from the University of Newcastle.

The WIL Awards formally recognise the outstanding performance of students who achieve excellence during their Work Integrated Learning based studies.

Last year Jarrod took up the opportunity of a new course offered by the School of Creative Arts to implement the Rock Band Project with students across Year 8, 9 and 10 as part of his Bachelor of Music.

He worked with students to produce small rock band style performances and helped them develop performance styles and techniques.

"We would look at repertoire firstly and pick songs they enjoyed doing, after that I would help each member with their individual parts and once the song was loosely completed we would then talk about the performance aspect," said Jarrod.

He credits his extensive work as a Crew Member with the AIM HIGH program at the University of Newcastle for providing him with the skills to connect with students of all ages to create positive change. 

"The interest from Callaghan College coupled with the art elective gave me the opportunity to combine my AIM HIGH mentoring skills, my musical ability from the Bachelor of Music and have my work marked and critiqued as an assessment item. Seeing the students grow in confidence and stand up and perform was nothing short of amazing," said Jarrod.

After working with Jarrod throughout Term 3 and part of Term 4, the students put on an end of year performance at the Callaghan Education Pathways Outdoor Digital Media Festival and Lizottes in November and December 2014.

Candece Bergin, Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Coordinator across the Callaghan College campuses, reported that all 30 students involved in the Rock Initiative selected music as an elective in 2015 because of the confidence that Jarrod's mentoring provided.

"What impressed me the most about the Rock Initiative is seeing 100% of the students who were involved select music as an elective the following year. This project allowed our CAPA students to demonstrate a high level of creativity, collaboration and create new friendships across campus. Some of the students are now really considering furthering their studies within the Arts at a university level," said Candece.

Jarrod's outstanding contribution will be recognised at the WIL Awards ceremony being held on Tuesday November 10 at the University Gallery from 5pm.

Ongoing research is happening at the University of Newcastle in the Creative and Performing Arts sector. Music Lecturer Helen English was awarded funding for her research project Building Aspiration in the Creative and Performing Arts for local high school students to work with University students to develop creative projects across Drama, Dance, Music, Visual Arts and Information Technology. A showcase of the students' creative performances is being held on Thursday November 5 at the Griffith Duncan Theatre.

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