Presented by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), Top Class is a showcase of senior Performing Arts students from across Victoria who have achieved exemplary results in their studies. Not only was Amelie, Year 12 student and Music Captain, invited to Top Class, she was also chosen to perform at Top Acts, a selection of the 20 best performances from Top Class.
Amelie joined Fintona in Year 7 after her family moved to Melbourne from Singapore. While she doesn’t remember a lot about her early years at Fintona, she credits the culture and relationships she has built here for her growth as a person and a musician.
‘I’ve grown more confident. When I went to a bigger school, I was really shy and scared to speak out. I think I’ve improved on that. People don’t judge you here like they do in other schools. You don’t feel the need to impress anyone.
‘In music, there are more performance opportunities here, which makes you more courageous for performance.’
Amelie comes from a musical family, learning piano from age 4 and violin from age 7, but it wasn’t until Year 7, at Fintona’s music instrument trial night, that she discovered the harp.
‘My parents didn’t think I was serious, but they let me have a go, and I realised I really enjoyed it.
‘It was a challenge to learn, but piano helped. I could already read the music I just had to learn the technique. It was really different, but I enjoyed it so much that I persevered.
‘I love how different the harp is. The sound is more resonant and something about it just intrigues me.
‘I like how it can be both a solo instrument and an orchestral instrument. It’s fun. I get blisters a lot but it’s fun to overcome them.’
Amelie is a member of the Tourmont Senior String Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra and the Harp Ensemble. She loves the inclusive nature of Fintona’s music program and as a leader she enjoys supporting younger musicians to develop their own abilities.
‘At Fintona you can join ensembles no matter what you play or your level. It encourages everyone to have a go and play instruments they’ve never tried before.
‘[as Music Captain] I try to create a welcoming environment where mistakes are okay.’
Amelie’s advice for younger students and those who are curious about learning an instrument reflects this attitude,
‘Just try anything. The first instrument might not be the one. Try and listen to other instruments and see what inspires you the most. For me, I went through piano and violin and they weren’t the ones for me. Just pick it up and don’t be scared.’