Thank You for the Music!
Director of Music and Head of Learning Area for the Arts Chadwick Beins first picked up a microphone aged two and can now play a number of different instruments ("except most woodwinds and classical strings"). The University of WA alumnus joined St Norbert College almost five years ago and rates College musical productions and St Norbert Day celebrations among the highlights so far.
St Norbert News: Bravo, Mr Beins, and all involved in another successful Music Night. What was the highlight of this year’s event for you?
Chadwick Beins: There were so many highlights from the night but the thing that stands out the most was the enjoyment that the YMCA finale brought to everyone from the families and friends in the audience to the dancing and fun had by over 90 students on the stage. The energy and joy on their faces is something that I will never forget!
SNN: Can you guesstimate how many live musical and theatre productions you been involved in?
CB: Believe it or not, I am still a novice when it comes to musical theatre. Cinderella was only my third production as Musical Director, and I have played in the orchestra for about five other shows. I even acted in a very small role in my Year 10 production of Annie at Chisholm Catholic College. But I have been blessed to be surrounded by experts over my time at SNC, especially Miss Hilton and Mrs Freind who are founts of knowledge.
SNN: What are your earliest memories of singing and playing music?
CB: While I don’t actually remember this, my parents have told me about a time when I was two years old and I was at a gig that my dad was singing at. Apparently I was adamant that I wanted to sing Elvis’s Can’t Help Falling in Love in front of a crowd of 200 people. I’d probably say that no matter how bad I sounded, I had the cuteness factor on my side!
SNN: Who has had the most influence on your musical career?
CB: Coming from a musically-talented family was a significant influence on my life and then into my musical career. I was also surrounded by very musical people in the community brass band that I was in and then musical friends in high school and university. I actually almost gave up on music at the end of Year 10, but after having a heart-to-heart conversation with my music teacher, she convinced me to keep going. In some ways, I owe my career to her.
SNN: What is your favourite musical instrument to play?
CB: I love all instruments, but I’d lean towards one of the more contemporary ones like bass, keyboards or drums. Singing is great as well!
SNN: Who are your favourite artists?
CB: I love all music from Mozart to Macklemore to Metallica and everything in between.
SNN: What prompted you to become a teacher?
CB: As lame as it may sound to our students, I really loved school. I loved the friendships, the learning, the events and the opportunities that my school gave me and I wanted nothing more than to relive it again, and to give others the chance to experience schooling like I did.
SNN: What advice do you always give your students?
CB: I have two important pieces of advice. Firstly that if someone tells me that they don’t have an instrument that they call their own, they are misguided! If you were born with a voice, you were born with an instrument and as a result, to be human is to be musical! Secondly, music is not always about getting things right all the time - the best musicians are those who make people think they are perfect all the time. So making mistakes is normal, but hiding those mistakes is the real skill.
SNN: Why is music such an important part of life?
CB: Music is important to me just as music is important to so many people around the world. You don’t have to be playing music for it to be important, just think of how boring the world would be without it! Add to that the fact that if you do play an instrument, science has proven time and time again that music is good for your brain, with a recent study showing that students learning instruments performed two year levels above their non-musical peers. That is like a Year 9 student working at a Year 11 student cognitively.
SNN: Applications for music scholarships at St Norbert College are now open. What do you look for in choosing successful applicants?
CB: Senior scholarships are awarded to current Year 9 students who have over their time at St Norbert demonstrated great progress in their instrumental/vocal learning and classroom music studies, and show a high level of theoretical, aural and practical skills. If successful, they hold their scholarship from Years 10-12 covering instrumental tuition fees up to the value of $3000! I encourage anyone who thinks that they have these skills to apply!
SNN: Do you have a hidden talent?
CB: I’m a mad football fan (and by football, I mean the real type of football – soccer). I’m a Chelsea FC fan and am currently playing outdoor with Kingsway United Football Club.
Mrs L Quartermain
(Community Relations and Marketing)