COSAMP News & Blog

Renee Pounsett from Seaview High School

Seaview High School Student Turning Chairs

As reality TV rolls on throughout 2015, with Hotplates, Masterchefs, Bachelors and Marriages At First Sight, a familiar favourite has returned to our screens and captured the nation in recent months. Channel 9’s The Voice is well into its new series, with Ricky Martin, Delta Goodrem, Joel & Benji Madden and UK pop-starlet Jessie J witness to some outstanding talent from around the country. One such talent is South Australian singer/songwriter Renee Pounsett, who turned chairs on the show with her version of I Want You To Know (by Zedd feat. Selina Gomez). Pounsett can best be described as “a young achiever”. The talented singer started her own business ‘Raise Your Voice Tuition’ at the age 16 and now has 49 students across South Australia. What many don’t know about Renee is that she’s an alumni of TPN VET member school Seaview High School, with Coordinator of the Arts ‘Trent Wickers’ fast to sing her praise when speaking with COSAMP. “Renee Pounsett was a very committed music student at Seaview High School,” Trent says. “She contributed to the school music program from 2009 to 2012 as a talented singer/songwriter and contributed to numerous school and wider community performances.” Renee started singing as a young child, inspired and encouraged by her mum, who was a professional singer.  Her mum took Renee under her wing and would take her on stage to perform to huge crowds from the age of five and went on to strongly supported Seaview’s music program because of their innovative approach to developing students with musical ability beyond standard classroom practice. “The teaching of Music Industry Skills and Recording Techniques (now the Cert III in Technical Production through COSAMP) taught Renee to become a competent live performer, business entrepreneur and recording artist in her own right,” Trent continues. As a pop and soul singer, with a love of hip-hop, Renee’s main inspiration is Beyoncé, with hip hop artists Ice Cube, Hilltop Hoods and Purpose her biggest musical influences. This inspiration certainly lead to numerous live performances and her eventual foray into creativity. “Renee was always reliable for many performances, be it a whole school assembly, singing for the Mayor of Marion City Council in South Australia or collaborating on writing the official launch song for the state wide Come Out Children’s Festival,” Trent says. “She was always part of the many original major musicals and performance showcases created at school and has become an ambassador to Seaview High Music as an example of the heights that can be achieved by enrolling in valuable and innovative industry based programs.” Though Renee’s time on the show has now sadly finished, Seaview would like to publicly congratulate her and recognise the great job she did in front of the nation. “On behalf of everyone at Seaview High School, I’d like to congratulation Renee on her journey on the Voice. I know she’s been an inspiration to many other young people with aspirations in the Australian Music Industry.” For more information on Renee Pounsett, you can visit her Facebook page and to find out all about Seaview High School and their innovative music programs, visit the Seaview High School website.

David Grice @ Wirreanda Secondary

Wirreanda Students Set To Launch In October!

COSAMP South Australian ‘TPN VET’ member school Wirreanda Secondary School are proud to have been associated with one of the music industry’s most respected and knowledgable figures, David Grice, for the last few years. Having forged a 25+ year full-time career in the music and entertainment industry, David has been a touring musician, studio engineer, owner of a successful studio and duplication facility, University lecturer, venue manager and creator of the 2013 Adelaide Fringe Success story The Depot. As a significant supporter of young musicians in South Australia for many years, David has worked with both local and national networks, making his mark on the South Australian Government and local councils and helping to promote and develop the music industry in SA. Cert III Music Trainer Kadri Auvaart has known him for many years. “My working relationship with (David) began in 2002 through ‘Kool Skools’,” she says. “At the time, David managed ‘Fat Trax’ and ‘City Dub Studios’ and we got the opportunity to expose music students to the experience of recording with a professional sound engineer in a studio setting. This ultimately lead to the beginning of offering VET Music in our school.” As the years have gone on, David’s support has continued with the RAMP (Recording and Multimedia Project) and now he instructs Wirreanda students on studio and live music recording techniques. Through hands-on setup, experience and recording, students assist in a three-day recording and editing/mastering process. On June 24th, VET Cert 3 students from six southern Adelaide secondary schools performed in their second year recital night. Here’s a photo from the Green Room, with thanks to Cert 3 Music Trainer, Kadri Auvaart (@Kadriblaster). Over the past few years, students have gained experience recording in different studio spaces, a University setting and various live venues. This year’s recording experience will take place in the performance space at the school. Following this process, the students will organise and run their own CD Launch event at the Hopgood Theatre. This opportunity will build upon students’ experience, recording their own demo CDs, and give them the chance to work with a professional, armed with years of experience in different musical contexts. Kadri couldn’t be happier with the program and the wide-ranging benefits for the Wirreanda students. “Our school is very grateful for this well established evolving partnership with David Grice,” she says. Wirreanda Secondary School’s Certificate III Music students will launch their CD on October 13 at the Hopgood Theatre. Keep up to date with all the lead up via or via their Twitter page (@WirreandaSS).

COSAMP VETiS Concert #1 Wrap Up

Students Shine At First COSAMP VETiS Concert!

Last Wednesday (June 24) saw the first of two VETiS Concerts take place at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Fairfield Campus. With 8 separate acts performing on the day, the two hour concert was as diverse as it was impressive with some of Victoria’s young secondary school talent getting the opportunity to perform and network with other students from across the state. VET Music students from Eltham College, Manor Lakes P-12 College, Carranballac College and Wallan Secondary College performed on the day, with acoustic duos, trios and quartets on display alongside backing track accompaniments, full band rock/soul and more! The bands were ably assisted by VET Technical Production students from both Eltham College and Essendon-Keilor College who were in charge of initial sound-checks, live mixing and lighting requirements for the afternoon. In addition to the ability to showcase their skills, COSAMP & Salt Studios’ own Kye Thomas & Simon Imrei were present to judge and award a prize for ‘Best Act/Artist’ on the day. Judged on a range of performance aspects including musicianship, stagecraft, band dynamic and originality, female duo ‘Flaxxon’ (from Wallan SC) took out the award, receiving the prize of a full 8-hour day at Salt Studios with a professional engineer / producer and the chance to record and mix a song like the pros! Set against pre-produced backing tracks, made by the girls in Garageband, it was both their performances of pop hits from the likes of Sia & Iggy Azalea, as well as their original composition, that gave them the edge on the day. If you’d like to see a couple of snaps from the day, head to the COSAMP Facebook page to view the album. The team from Melbourne Polytechnic also did a multi-track recording and had multiple video cameras capturing the day so stay tuned to the COSAMP website and social media for some more pics & clips from the event as they come to hand. (more to come…) All of us here at COSAMP would like to thank the students and Teachers for taking the time out of their school day to attend the event. We’re constantly blown away by the proficiency of the students and creativity on offer. We’d also like to thank Lliam, Andrew and the team at Melbourne Polytechnic for all their hard work on the day. The second ‘VETiS Concert’ will take place on Friday August 28 at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Prahran Campus.

South Fremantle SHS

Follow The South Freo Success!

As a member school of either the COSAMP VET resources or non-VET (Australian Curriculum) resource package, schools get access to a network of over 200 schools right across Australia. Establishing supportive relationships and connecting schools irrespective of location or circumstances has always been at the forefront of our offerings, with our TPN Teacher Forum and social media frequently highlighting achievements and exciting news within our network of schools. Some of our schools have established their own small websites or blogs to publish new developments in their music departments or photos from events that take place throughout the year. One such school is South Fremantle Senior High School in WA, who have used the Weebly website creation platform to create their ‘Specialist Music Program’ blog/site. The most recent post highlights the new event, Concert Prac, which took place early this month. All music students spent the day in the music centre as every band performed and every band received critical feedback from their peers and a panel of musicians. Music Teacher David D’Uva said, “One of the more difficult performances for a musician is playing in front of other musicians. That’s when you start to really critique your own playing. The concert prac provides an opportunity for students to be challenged and extended by local music professionals in a safe and supportive environment. Although an intense and tiring day it was well worthwhile as it gave students a clear picture of how their bands’ are progressing.” In addition, you can view photos of overseas trips, mentor programs, other events and excursions and more. Music Director Mike Gowland has established the site and would be more than keen to receive any feedback or comments from people in the COSAMP/TPN network of schools. You can view the Blog/Site at If you’re from one of our member schools and have your own blog, subsite or social media page that you’d like other schools and Teachers to engage with, please let us know by emailing

Our School's A Star Competition (WA)

Is There A Star Among Us In WA?

For schools in Western Australia, recent times have been all about creating their unique entries for the state competition, Our School’s a Star, presented by the Deparment of Education in Western Australia. The competition is an opportunity for Western Australian public schools to show the world what makes them shine, with each school that enters given the chance to showcase their story through media coverage in The West Australian and on Channel 7. There’s also a chance to win fabulous prizes including $10,000 cash, an outdoor community movie night at the school and visits from local Perth celebrities. School staff, students, parents and local community members have worked together to identify what is special about each of their schools and how proud they are of their programs and how they contribute to collective success. Entries have closed for the main prize and judging is taking place now, with many of our COSAMP member schools in the mix having submitted their entries. You can view their entries below: BALGA SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL OCEAN REEF SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL CANNING VALE COLLEGE ASHDALE SECONDARY COLLEGE KALAMUNDA SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL SOUTH FREMANTLE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL LAKELAND SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL One of these schools, Canning Vale College, has already won the Early Bird entry prize, with their Circus Program being featured on Today Tonight on Channel 7 (Perth). Taught by Crystle Challinger, the story highlighted the important social and emotional benefits experienced by children in the program, as well as the skills and opportunities offered throughout. View the Today Tonight story by clicking here! Final winners of the Our School’s A Star competition will be announced on July 2. Visit the official website at for more information and details on how to vote for the People’s Choice Award. Entries close Friday June 26th.

Sibelius for Music Teachers

COSAMP & AVID present ‘Sibelius for Music Teachers’!

Following successful collaborations on live online presentations and Teacher training in 2014, COSAMP have again teamed up with Avid to present a series of live webinars for 2015. The first of these will take place on Thursday June 25 and focus on Avid’s hugely popular music notation software, Sibelius. Sibelius is well regarded as a user-friendly application for conventional score writing and it offers much more above and beyond this too. The webinar sessions will aim to enlighten both new and experienced users with a general overview of the key areas in Sibelius, with a broad look at what the application has to offer whilst demonstrating some new features for the 2015 release. The sessions will again be presented by Avid Sibelius Support Specialist, David Dowling. David has been working for Avid Technology as the regional Sibelius Support Specialist for Australia/New Zealand since 2009, steadily accumulating an exhaustive knowledge of the Sibelius product line along the way. He has taught Sibelius at Adelaide University since 2012, and began delivering Avid-driven Sibelius workshops and presentations in 2013. In addition, David also holds an honours degree in music studies with a specialisation in music technology from Adelaide University’s Elder Conservatorium. To cater for the variety of availability across the country, there will again be two sessions running the same presentation on the day with the early presentation at 4pm and the later at 7pm. Discussion topics will include: Essential tutorial access Score setup/instrumentation (including the worksheet creator) Note-entry (including new options with the Microsoft Surface Pro’s magic Pen!) Text options Line and symbol manipulation Annotations (new feature!) Graphics Navigation Playback Printing and other Export/Sharing options Version Tracking and Commentary Scoring to Film Sibelius Licensing (including our new subscription options and Classroom Control) Don’t miss the first of the COSAMP & Avid 2015 webinars on Thursday June 25. To register, please click one of the buttons below. If you have any questions about the presentations or would like more information, please phone us on (03) 9592 4801 or email REGISTER FOR 4PM SESSION REGISTER FOR 7PM SESSION

COSAMP Novotel Event

Attend a FREE Presentation at The Novotel (St Kilda)!

COSAMP’s resource & support package, the ‘Tech Production Network’ (TPN), is now used in over 200 schools nationwide. Join us for two free presentations at The Novotel (St Kilda), where we’ll discuss how to tailor the TPN for VET Music programs or music & technology in the Australian Curriculum. PRESENTATION #1 (10:00am – 12:00pm): Prepare for and deliver a fully auspiced VET Music program in your school, utilising COSAMP’s music technology resources & support Overview: TPN VET is tailored for schools delivering a VET in Schools programs for music. COSAMP is the only music based provider whose core service is auspicing VET in Schools programs and delivers expert support to member schools, including requirements for VCE VET and scored assessment. **A MUST-SEE PRESENTATION FOR ANY SCHOOL DELIVERING A VET MUSIC PROGRAM IN 2016!** PRESENTATION #2 (1:00pm – 3:00pm): Incorporate Music Technology for music-making, composition & theory with holistic support & courses mapped to the Australian Curriculum Overview: TPN Australia is tailored for schools using music technology in classroom music from Years 7 and up. As well as flexible courses mapped to the Australian Curriculum for The Arts, COSAMP gives teachers holistic support across the music department, including PD for music technology. **DISCOVER A FRESH NEW APPROACH TO MUSIC TECHNOLOGY IN YRS 7-10, PACKED WITH EXTRAS!** WHY YOU MUST ATTEND: • Put your music department at the forefront of music technology from Year 7 onwards • Discover how easy it is to get a VET Music Program happening at your school • Drive student engagement through COSAMP’s online resources and TPN Student Site • Gain access to a wealth of flexible PD options & tailored support whenever you need it • Complimentary sit-down lunch (12pm – 1pm) in the Novotel Restaurant ‘Grill 3182’ ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Kye Thomas has many years of experience as a musician, songwriter, performer, recording engineer producer and audio lecturer. He has held senior positions at various Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and has been designing music technology based teaching resources for VET in schools for over ten years. This special event, presented by COSAMP, will take place on FRIDAY JUNE 5TH at The Novotel, 16 The Esplanade, St Kilda, Vic. To reserve your seat at this FREE PRESENTATION, visit or phone us now on (03) 9592 4801.

COSAMP VETiS Concert Series

The VETiS Concert Series Is Coming!

COSAMP is proud to announce the 2015 VET in Schools Concert Series, for Victorian VET member school students studying certificates in Music and Technical Production. The series will be a great opportunity for bands and music students from COSAMP auspiced schools to perform in concert with their peers from other VET music schools and gain invaluable experience at one of Melbourne Polytechnic’s two professional Theatre venues. The events will be presented jointly by COSAMP and Melbourne Polytechnic and will include Audio and Music Management students from Melbourne Polytechnic.Each concert will allow for 6 bands/acts, performing for 20mins each, and 12 Technical Production students to assist in the live sound and recording processes. The first, to be held at the ‘Yarra Edge Theatre’ on the Fairfield Campus, will take place on Wednesday June 24, with the second slated for Friday August 28 at ‘David Williamson Theatre’, on the Prahran Campus. A full multi-track recording of the concerts, to be made available to schools following each event, with one act from each concert to be awarded “best original song/act”. Winners, as judged by a small panel of industry experts, will receive a day in Salt Studios, with an engineer/producer to record and mix a song to a professional standard. We look forward to meeting some of our COSAMP member school students and enjoying two great events at two of Melbourne Polytechnic’s top class performance spaces. For more information about Melbourne Polytechnic, make sure to visit To enquire about membership or getting your school’s students involved, email or call (03) 9592 4801.

Inspired By Project RnB

Narre Warren South P-12, Inspired By Project RnB!

COSAMP were proud to bring music teachers a series of webinars, presented by Brad Fuller & the team at Northern Beaches Christian School & Sydney Centre for Innovative Learning called ‘Inside Project RnB’ in 2014. The series focused on how the team at NBCS/SCIL transformed their recording & performance facilites and pedagogical space into arguably Australia’s most contemporary and forward-thinking music departments. Recently, at DAYTIME Melbourne, we caught up with Rob Oakley (Instrumental Music Coordinator) from Narre Warren South P-12 College, who showed told us about the impact ‘Project RnB’ had had on the staff and school at Narre Warren South P-12, and the evolution of their own facilities in the months since viewing the series with COSAMP.  COSAMP: Thanks for chatting with us, Rob. Tell us about the role that ‘Inside Project RnB’ and other COSAMP webinars played in your initial plans at Narre Warren South P-12? ROB OAKLEY: The ‘Inside Project RnB’ series was a real inspiration and has guided us in the evolution of the Secondary Music Environment and Curriculum. After watching the webinars, Paul Leach (Technical Production Trainer at NWS P-12) and myself were motivated to try and not only emulate the physical spaces but also the online “blended learning” approaches we’d seen as well. COSAMP: So you made some changes to your online environment and sites first, last year?  ROB OAKLEY: Yes. Last year (2014), we implemented the flipped classroom technique and a blended learning approach with the use of online tools such as ‘Google Drive’, ‘Wikispaces’, ‘YouTube’, ‘Padlet’ and ‘Soundcloud’, in addition to the TPN Student website. This has proved very successful and allowed us to change the standard teaching approach, allowing more time for individual and small group instruction. This also means there is no excuses for work not being completed as the curriculum is accessible from anywhere. COSAMP: Sounds great! So this year it’s on to the physical space, and from the photos we can see you’ve already made some significant changes? ROB OAKLEY: This year we stared renovating the physical spaces with a number of goals, inspired by key aspects of the webinar series: “MUSIC AT THE SPEED OF THOUGHT”  In previous classes so much time has been wasted in the setup of equipment and soundchecks for rehearsals. Students would waste time looking for leads, straps, amps, mic’s, stands, power boards, you name it. In the new space, we’ve tried to remove all bottlenecks from students wanting to make music by making our spaces “plug & play”. This also goes for recording and production. In the past we have had to dedicate hours to recording a band. In the new space we are trying to implement an easy multitrack recording option for all performances on stage. This allows us to not only create backing tracks for students, but also streamline our production process. It’s a simple as “Write”, “Record”, “Release.” “A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE”  Previously, we would have significant damage to equipment from students setting up, packing up, moving and using gear. We wanted to create spaces where there is no longer a need for students to rummage through the storeroom. Now, nothing that students will need is located in the store room anymore, with easy access to instruments and equipment meaning time is saved and damage is reduced. When wiring up the environment, including stage, PC’s and practice rooms, we follow the “If they can’t see it, they can’t break it” motto. “BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME”  The spaces we wanted to make needed to be spaces where students ‘want be in’. This involved putting some stage lighting into practice room rooms and also purchasing soft furniture and finding some “guitar pic tables”. This is a proven success as the music spaces are packed out with students rehearsing every lunch time. Money follows vision and students in the school are excited about the new spaces, creating a great buzz around the place! “ITS ALL ABOUT THE GIG”  I have always run my classes with an emphasis on performance, but I wanted to create a performance space where students could practice their skills and not drop the ball when it came to “the gig”. This not only gives the class real world relevance, but it’s a great motivator when students have live performance dates they need to prepare for. This also keeps everything in prospective, as everything should be preparing students for the “gig”. COSAMP: So with these approaches, what physical changes did you make to your existing rooms and how in-depth were the building works? ROB OAKLEY: Well, we moved into the old Drama Room which backed onto three Practice Rooms and converted this into our main music room (named ‘The Forum’). We cut double doorways into each room and boarded up the doors into the hall on two of the rooms (named ‘The Corner’ and ‘The Espy’). We did this as we only wanted single access due to the equipment kept inside. We then built stages in each of those two […]

Music Count Us In TPN Finalists

TPN Finalists For 2015 ‘Music: Count Us In’ Comp!

The finalists for this year’s Music: Count Us In Songwriting Competition have been announced, with two of the four finalists being students from TPN member schools!  Music: Count Us In (MCUI) is Australia’s largest school music advocacy and participation program. The program celebrates the value of music education and attracts more than half a million students from right across the country. Students will learn, rehearse and then perform the same song, on the same day, at the same time on Thursday 29 October 2015. Every year, more and more students enter the comp in the hope of being chosen to co-write the song that stops the nation, with this year’s final four from right across the country. Here’s a little info on the two TPN member school students… FRANK DIXON (ELTHAM College, Vic) Frank has been an active songwriter and musician over the last couple of years, releasing two singles to iTunes (Gold and Bottle) and self-producing a 7-track debut EP, Hello World. In August 2014, Gold was chosen as the theme song for the Australian Teenage Expo and was played to over 9,000 students, later winning ‘Song Of The Month’ in the International Songwriters Universe Comp and earning Frank the title of ‘Australian Under 18 Songwriter of the Year’, as awarded by the Australian Songwriting Association. Between performing at and hosting talent showcases and co-hosting the successful ‘Music Matters’ radio show & podcast, Frank began touring in early 2015 and performing across Victoria. LARISSA LOCK (Immanuel College, SA) Larissa Lock is representing Immanuel as a national finalist for the 2nd year running. 12 years old and in Year 8, Larissa has a strong interest in music stretching back over several years. In 2014 she was an award recipient in the ASME Songwriting Competition with her original composition Happy Place, which dealt with the issue of standing strong in the face of bullying. She has been a member of the Australian Girls’ Choir for the last 7 years (currently in the Camerata Group), twice nominated for the ‘Outstanding Potential Award’ and twice performing solos at annual concerts. Larissa has also been a member of school choir/specialist singing groups during this time with solo, live performance and studio recording experience. Playing violin and piano, she enjoys surf lifesaving, triathlons, squad swimming, athletics, netball, cross-country running, drawing, painting and song/story writing. The four finalists will meet up in Sydney in the coming weeks to attend the songwriting workshop and hopefully cowrite the song with John Foreman for the national “Count Us In” program. Congratulations to Frank, Larisss and the other finalists and best of luck in Sydney! For more information on the comp and the latest developments, visit