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Armidale students making noise in the big smoke


Armidale students making noise in the big smoke

Live performance at TAFE NSW Eora

Six Indigenous students from Armidale have exploded onto the Sydney music scene with their original beats recorded live at TAFE NSW Eora. 

TAFE NSW joined with Armidale community organisation Mad Proppa Deadly to bring the six music enthusiasts to Sydney to study the Certificate III in Music Industry (Sound Production).  

The students travelled to Sydney as part of an “Away from Base” program and have spent five block weeks of four days each learning the fundamentals of audio sound production and electronic music, theory, composition, recording and producing using the latest industry software. 

The students also participated in a live performance and recording of their original songs at TAFE NSW Eora’s purpose-built theatre, impressing with their style and creativity. TAFE NSW Electronic Music teacher James Moore said the students responded well to the practical elements of producing, recording, and performing music. 

“The hands-on nature of the course was perfect for this group of students as they were able to jump straight in and start creating.  

“The students all have diverse backgrounds that fuel their creativity and passion for music. They all have a natural motivation to create art that is meaningful and deliver it to the best of their ability,” James said. 

Armidale local and founder of Mad Proppa Deadly Nate Weatherall is a mentor in the community and travelled with the students to participate in the program and further his knowledge of music production. 

“The program aligns perfectly with what we’re trying to do in the community – teach young people how to make music and show them that it is possible to launch a successful music career.” 

“The teachers are absolutely incredible; you can tell they are just so passionate about music and its great learning from people who you know have had personal experience in the industry and can share that experience with you.” 

The accredited Certificate III in Music Industry (Sound Production) gives students essential skills and knowledge they need to work as a music producer, assistant sound mixer, post-production editor, or a live sound assistant.  

The global music market is expected to grow 8.5% annually between 2020 and 20251. Teacher James Moore said there are growing opportunities for upcoming artists to showcase their work to global audiences via online streaming platforms and social media like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Premium, and that the resurgence of live performance post COVID-19 presented more opportunities for music creators. 

“These students can now pursue opportunities to keep recording and performing live music. I really want to see these guys keep working on their craft, progressing, and delivering more polished and professional performances,” James said. 

Nate says he hopes to continue with further study and complete a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to become a TAFE NSW teacher himself and help bring music education to more Armidale young people. 

To find out more about the range of study options available at TAFE NSW in 2021, including the Certificate III in Music Industry, visit or call 131 601. 

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, mobile 0402 528 210.