On the long weekend, my family and I had an AMAZING time at Nannup music festival– I’m still buzzing with excitement! On our way home we bought a cello off Gumtree, for my son Kale, who couldn’t wait to start practicing! Now Kale is our genius kid who has perfect pitch. When you play a particular note on an instrument, he can tell you exactly what note you’re playing, just from the sound of it!
So when a note came home from school about an opportunity to learn to play an instrument, I was totally ecstatic! You can imagine how gutted I was when Kale said, ‘I don’t want to learn an instrument. It’ll take too much of my time. Besides I want to be a politician when I grow up, not a musician.’ I replied, ‘But you can be a politician and a musician at the same time! Besides, you have perfect pitch and it would be a wasted talent if you don’t use it!’
So he signed up for the cello, but wasn’t as excited as I was about it. I know people who were forced by their parents to play an instrument and then didn’t touch them again when they became adults, because it was something their parents MADE them do. I wondered if I was becoming one of those parents!
It was kind of bizarre how we ended up at Nannup music festival. Sally Newman, a poet and founder of Lyrical Infusion, saw me performing at The Ellington Jazz Club, and asked me if I would put music to one of her poems, and perform it at Nannup music festival! As a performer I got free camping accommodation for the weekend in the ‘artist only’ section, which made us feel a little bit special!
Kids Make Hundreds of Dollars from Busking
Aside from my performance, the whole weekend was ours to explore as a family. There were several stages with world class local and international musicians performing until midnight each night. Plus lots of workshops and activities for kids, all included! Also, anyone was allowed to busk for free. So we saw some clever kids taking advantage of this by tapping chairs with sticks, as well as playing instruments. Sally from Lyrical Infusion said that two of her kids made $500 between them last year from busking!
Well, that was all Kale needed to hear! After that, whenever we walked past a busker, he would have a sneaky stickybeak in to their hat or instrument case and be astounded at how much cash the kids were making! There was one kid tapping some sticks together and we watched a lady give him $2 for his effort. Kale’s jaw dropped! He then couldn’t stop talking about how he was going to bring his cello next year and how he was going to practice and make heaps of money and buy lots of Simmo’s ice cream!
Don’t Spoil It
I think this was so motivating for Kale, because we never give him any money. He has to earn it. We also never eat out unless it’s a special occasion like a birthday, so our kids rarely get ice cream or treats from us. Recently the kids each got $5 for helping someone move house, and that is all they had to spend at the festival, so they only bought one treat each. Before we left I cooked up our meals, froze them and brought them in our fridge so there was no need to buy anything. Kale was so motivated to earn money through busking, so he could buy stuff that he never gets! This might not have been as much of an incentive if we spoiled him all the time.
Music Lover’s Heaven
Elijah passed out in the ‘Little Big Top’ activity tent for an hour, and all the other kids were occupied with activities, so my hubby and I could actually listen to the performers on stage! It was heaven! My hubby’s favourite performer was Canadian Jaxon Haldane. When Elijah woke up we danced to Kale’s favourite musos Irruntytju Band who were an Aboriginal group that busted out some desert reggae. Next we headed to the Amphitheatre to watch Jewel’s favourite band, The Jerry Cans from the Arctic Circle in Canada. They performed in Inuktitut and featured some unique ‘throat singing.’
I highly recommend you check out the annual Nannup music festival! It was only a few years ago that Passenger himself was performing at Nannup music festival and who knows, you may discover the next Passenger before anyone else does! At this family friendly event you will find something for everyone, and your kids will come back inspired and itching to learn an instrument!! Also while you’re in Nannup, you must check out Barrabup Pool– what a stunningly beautiful place!
I will sign off by sharing this email that I read once I got home- it made my day!
I wanted to write you an email to thank you for your incredibly selfless gesture today. I very much enjoyed your short performance at the Nannup Music Festival today – your voice is a gift and you use it so selflessly. I didn’t have any cash on me so you gave me a CD in exchange for my promise to make a donation to World Vision. I wanted you to know that I was very moved by your gesture and I donated $100 to World Vision today – a small amount compared to the work you do promoting their message.
I volunteer with a group called Pacific Artisan, a network of Pacific Island women who create artisan products but don’t have a market or means to generate an income outside of their tiny island homes. I love volunteering my time in this way and wish it was my full time job, so I very much admire you.
Thanks again, we love your music!