Musician Hollie Smith zooms into students at Wintec


Musician Hollie Smith zooms into students at Wintec

June 4, 2020 | 3 min read

Innovating online has been a theme in 2020 for educators and musicians, and New Zealand Aotearoa musician, Hollie Smith is doing both, combining virtual teaching to Wintec music students and live-streaming performances to the world.

As Musician in Residence at Wintec School of Media Arts, Smith is an influencer who has a lot to share with students and her Thursday lunchtime Zoom workshops are open to all Wintec music students.

“Although teaching online in this current environment has its challenges, it’s a good way to stay connected and have some focus. It’s also a reminder that music never stops and how  powerful and helpful music it can be,” says Smith.

“Teaching reminds me that I have skills and to practise what you preach! I’ve also had to learn new things so I can share them with students, for example understanding more about the various digital platforms and strategies for using them.”

On the back of her Vodafone Lounge Jams performance  in support of MusicHelpsLive , (which in turn supports Kiwi music people affected by the COVID-19 crisis), Smith talked about the live-streamed performance experience, and gave tips on how to perform to an audience that you can’t see.

Other topics for discussion are overcoming writer's block and being disciplined and self-motivated when working on music projects.

She will continue her Thursday lunch-time workshops for this semester, with topics based on what students have asked for in a dedicated forum on Hollie’s own teaching page.

David Sidwell who heads the Music Department at Wintec says that the forced move to online learning during COVID-19 was challenging but it had a silver lining.

“Music will always be something we celebrate live but it also lives online. By bringing our industry partners like Hollie into the online classroom during COVID-19, we created a different experience and picked up our online game very quickly. We can take a lot of positive learning out of this. Sure it wasn’t easy, but going forward we’re now better equipped for online delivery and we’ve got a whole new appreciation for live performance and learning.”

Wintec music tutor Megan Rogerson-Berry says: “These workshops are a great opportunity for students to gather together to feel a sense of community. They’re getting some invaluable learning from an industry professional while taking part in a relaxed and informal forum”.