The Early Years no image

Published on January 13th, 2012 | by johnw

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The Conservatorium

Having returned to Adelaide after managing Hoad Woodcarving Academy in Victoria, I determined I needed to concentrate on one or the other of my passions – business or singing. I couldn’t do them both successfully – spreading myself too thin. I wouldn’t do either any justice. I decided to concentrate on the singing, and decided, at the age of 22 to embark on a singing degree. I applied for the adult entry examination, and at the end of 1989 I opened the letter with anticipation, hoping with all my might it said what I wanted it to say.

I felt the letter would determine the direction my entire life would take. I didn’t want any other direction. This was want I wanted, what I needed to do to gain the skills to secure my life’s direction.

I carefully opened the letter, and with an overwhelming excitement, I picked up the phone and called my mum “Mum! I got into Uni, I am going to study music!” She replied “well done, I knew you could do it!”

I was accepted into the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide. There started what I believed was a wonderful journey of immersing myself daily in the subject I loved the most, singing.

It started to be an exciting journey, but over the next few years, I was struggling to pass my practical exams. I didn’t realise at the time, and it wasn’t confirmed until after I finished these studies, that I had a hereditary neurophysical disorder which translated to never being able to sing professionally to the high standards demanded from a singing career.

I struggled in the final years of the degree to pass the practical singing components of the course. The teachers were none the wiser and unable to assist in making the journey easier.. I eventually passed after changing my major from Voice Performance to Ethnomusicology. It wasn’t without its hardship, but got through, ready to fulfil my other love – business. I now had the skills and the piece of paper to bolster this, and was ready to start my own business … a singing studio!


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