Monday, September 17

Drumming and Humming

A blog post by Tallulah.

Hi folk's
Yay, I'm blogging [finally] and I'm blogging about my drummmmming lessons.
You see I really do hum while I do the drum so thats why this post is called drumming and humming [and because it rhymes] this is me drumming.
and moving on.......................................................................... :]''
So at the moment I have learned a bit of drumming.

Some of the things I have learned about are crotchets and quavers and quaver rests, which are single beats, half beats and single beat rests and I have also learned some more simple stuff. We have been doing the drums with the metronome and I've been practicing quite a bit but not as much as I would like  because me and mum have been quite busy over the last week or two or the last month.

Moving on to the last bit of the post. Well I think doing drums is really fun and I really recommend it. And I'm just kidding the post is not over yet. I'm also doing base drum, you have to stamp your foot on a special pedal, and the beater that is attached to the pedal hits the drum. I can use both hands and there are accents which make the notes louder and stronger.     

Me drumming. The marks on my face are a temporary tattoo! A good quality one too.
Nat Grant is my teacher. And I think she is quite cool, and she is cool like all my teachers because I have a cool life.

The End

Friday, August 31

Sunshine Days....Magnetic Island Pix.

Waiting for the ferry from Townsville to the Island. There was a TV.  Lil't is very tv deprived.


Magnetic Island.

Spunky kid in the sunshine on the ferry.

Where the ferry docks. A few buildings, a car park and then forest.

T-shirt, shorts, sand.

The power of two. Tourists take turns holding up this rock on s shift basis. Community service.
This was awesome. This little guy ended up about 2 metres away from Lil't.

It wasn't a rock. It was a rock wallaby.

It wasn't a rock. Oh wait. Yes it was. Stunning huge rocks.

Lil t was absolutely in love with climbing the rocks.
I was in love with photographing them.

The way to the old pier.
For real. Taken on ipod.

Wandering up the mountain.

This was a gunner lookout during the war. Fortunately it never saw action. We walked quite a few km's through the state forest to get there. Fantastic engineering.

Hanging with Grandpa. Top of the world.

The communication tower. The tired kid.

Colour Riot. Every morning and afternoon these fellas would be fed at the hotel we stayed at. It was nuts. The noise was extreme. The two guys beak to beak are having a fight.

Friday, August 17

Magnetic Island. Here we come!


 This time tomorrow we will be landing in sunny Townsville, in far north Queensland. Then we will be jumping the ferry to Magnetic Island. Magnetic Island is a tiny place off the North East coast of Australia, with pristine beaches and forests. We will have some awesome posts loaded with information about this special little Island over the next week. A bit of history, a bit of ecology, and a bit of holiday bragging.

Melbourne, while actually having it's warmest winter in 4 years, has been freezing at night time, cold winds, and had a nasty all pervasive chill in the air and has also been chucking down rain like it used to do before the 10 year drought. As a result we have had very little outdoor time which of course results in lowered vit D levels and lowered 'fun outdoors adventuring and gardening' levels.

So we intend to get as much sun as possible and to warm our bones by the side of the pool and on forest walks in the tropics of this beautiful country.

I am heading up to meet with my Dad. Big John (Grandpa). He instilled my brother and I with a true sense of wonder and love for the Australian countryside, cityside, coasts and inland areas. In my life I have never traveled outside of Aus/NZ. But I have traveled extensively across, around and up Australia. There is still so much to explore! After Townsville, we will have to crack Cairns, Darwin and Central Australia. I am attempting to also allow lil't to experience the amazing treats this country has to offer. Last Christmas/New Year we drove up to Qld from Melbourne over 3 days to visit Vonnie and Jez and Niamh. It was such a fantastic road trip and a wonderful liberating adventure.

So stay tuned. Facts and Photos are on their way! the page I found this photo, as I can't find photocredit.

Thursday, July 12


Lil't recently did her first singing concert since beginning lessons a term ago with Em. She is loving her lessons and she sings all the time, day and night, composing her own lyrics and tunes. This kid is so relaxed on stage! I love watching her perform. Ash and Em's concerts are lovely. A bunch of friends of various ages showing off what they have learnt that term. Informal and fun. Simple and quick. Leaves heaps of time for eating scones and chatting afterwards!

Saturday, July 7


BLEED + READ: I HEART: GAGA: EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT GAGA! Because she's HERE, in Melbourne, for her Born This Way Ball Tour. PHOTO CREDIT The Tanster  a...

Going Ga Ga for Ga Ga

We went to see Lady Gaga!


 My awesome friend Vonnie took some great pictures of us the day of the night of the Lady Ga Ga concert. I have nicked one of the pix from her site, but check out the link to her blog see the whole post. It is pretty hilarious.

Seeing Lady Ga Ga perform was incredibly inspirational. As a performer who comes from a family of theatre/circus/artists I was so blown away by her show. It was pure entertainment and talent perfectly executed. Everything from costumes, sets, direction, chorey, sound and lighting the dancers and most of all Ga Ga's voice, were all phenomenal.

Lil't has just been practicing Bad Romance on the piano. Tallulah spent the whole concert dancing on her chair singing along and screaming and clapping. We never ever forget our first concert experience! Mine was Wham in grade 6. It was AWESOME! Wearing our choose life tee shirts and fluro bobby sox...sigh....

Waiting impatiently for Lady Ga Ga. She rocked our socks off!

After the show. The set was AMAZING!

Friday, June 29

Barbie dolls and Shakespeare

Over the last 2 months my mum has been coming over on Mondays to teach Lil't how pleasurable it is to understand and subsequently enjoy Shakespeare. Maureen is an actress with over 40 years experience in the industry so it is only fitting for her to tackle this particular subject!

In Australia, Shakespeare's plays are not approached by students until high school which is right about when kids are rejecting anything cultural that is proffered to them by anyone over the age of 22 (which is WAY OLD anyway). Sparking an interest in this subject now is invaluable to Lil't's education, and how wonderful to have the privilege to start exploring this subject at the tender age of 9.

Big M and Lil't have been studying Romeo and Juliet. The quintessential romantic tragedy. So far they have also taken in two films as part of the study- the Baz Luhrmann version, and Westside Story, along with detailed coverage of the dialogue each week. More films will be viewed over time as to  impart some of the critical and interpretive understanding of theatre, tv and film. I can't wait to take her to a live theatre production!

So, what role does Barbie play in this I hear you ask? Well, who better to play the Montagues and the Capulets and all the other roles!

Learning to read Shakespeare out loud is fantastic. Lil't is learning about language evolution, history, metre, character, all while improving her literacy and covering various aspects of acting and performance. They have even begun a project that embraces location design for production purposes, finding  locations within our suburb to be used for different scenes and photographing them.
hi it's little T! Me and grandma have been doing Romeo and Juliet and we have being using the barbies that me and my dad collected when i was the age two up to five. I like the plot in Romeo and Juliet except the death part about it :[. sorry about the sad face. my favourite character is the nanny. ummm i guess that's all folks!!!!! :D

Saturday, June 9

Learning Art.

A bit about Big T. 


art [ahrt]
1.the quality, production, expression or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
2.the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection. See fine art, commercial art.
3.a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art.
4.the fine arts collectively, often excluding architecture: art and architecture.
5.any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art.

Art in school has upset me since I was a very small child. I would go to galleries with my mum, and see magnificent works, or look in books and be awed by simple pencil drawings of aesthetic proportions that would blow my mind, and then I would be at school 'learning art'. You do not learn art at school You learn to blob paint around in a format set out to cater to a half hour slot.  True art requires immense skill and knowledge, and does not come about by colouring in a picture of a bilby with coloured pencils. Art requires planning, mathematics, understanding of colour, of depth of field, of ratios, more planning, understanding of physics, chemistry and now also computers. Art requires practice, courage and insight and the capacity to translate from the inner eye to reality and hard copy.  But none of these are taught in school. Art is treated like poo at school. A boff off easy subject, a time to rest from 'real' learning. 
My first day of pavement art at 24or25. I had just quit doing visual arts at tafe because it was such a load of rubbish.

As a child I taught myself. No one else would teach me what I wanted to know. My mother helped me at home, she was a pretty good artist herself. We had a fantastic room with sesame street characters painted on the walls. But for the most part I taught myself, I was resourceful that way, still am. Trial and error and hours every day learning the hard way, painstaking observation. I was teaching myself how to make something of 'more than ordinary significance'. I started this when I was eight.  I wanted to be a master painter. Eventually I was good. Very good. I have not yet reached my potential, the fun part is that I never will!

 A rather bad photograph of one of my last works of pavement art and one of my last works of art. She was about 8ft tall! Summer 2005/6.

I am actually glad I never studied art at University. I have learnt that they teach aspiring young artists to cheat. Yep, to use projectors to translate photographs into paintings. What they haven't worked out yet, is that this totally messes up the proportions of the portrait, causing bulbous noses and large foreheads. A projector doesn't understand foreshortening. It just makes things big, and it doesn't work. I can pick a projector painting a mile away. They can look flashy, because the kids are great at colouring in, but they are missing something, something integral, something I can't yet pinpoint, inner soul perhaps? Oooh, I am such a b*tch.

Over the last 8 years I haven't produced much work. I did a few lame sketches of my daughter sleeping when she was a baby and that is about it. I will get back to it eventually of course. I have just been doing other things! 


So here is the first art project that Lil't has done at home. This project required a paper draft, to plan pattern, colour and layout and measurements. Also important to the plan was the order of colours to be painted, as acrylic tends to have a shadow bleed effect. The project is a complete one. Not a slap of sticky tape and pipe cleaner. It took two weeks to compleat. Some of it I helped with, especially the lining (which was really hard) but then my mentors would get their hands in with my art too. Teachers at school can't teach art this way, because there isn't the time to teach art properly at primary school, especially to kids who show a disposition toward it, which is a travesty and let down to the future culture of the human race.
Planning. Integral to learning to be an artist.
 This can be executed as a million drafts or in the head,
 but it has to be done.

Each colour required several coats of paint, which in turn requires patience. Patience is awesome.

The finished box, ready for display!

Monday, June 4

In the garden

How cool is our pink shed!

We have been doing a lot of work in our new garden, although it has been a difficult to get out there as much as we would like with all the rain we are having in Melbourne.

Lil't, for the first time ever, has a home with a climbing tree! It's magical to see her hanging out up there, just being. The day I took these photo's was stunning, tee shirts in winter, well, I was in a tee shirt, but I was pruning and digging.

Lil't's tree.
 Our garden is still pretty lame at this stage. It will take us a few months to prep it up, ready for spring plantings of veggies and flowers.

This is where the veggies will go!
 We can't wait!

Thursday, May 24

Music, friends and photographs.

Every Wednesday eve we head over to Ash and Em's house for lil't's music lessons. It is a fabulous affair that usually includes cups of tea, biscuits, lots of chats and a lot of music. I met Ash and Em through my mum, who does play readings with them, and I was super excited when they started their own wee music school. I had been looking for teachers that were self employed as I find it irksome that many teachers don't get paid their full dues or have appropriate autonomy when teaching for a school or institution. Initially lil't was just doing piano with Ash, but in the last few weeks has begun singing lessons with Em. Next term guitar and music theory will be added to her classes.

Cups of tea and biscuits form an important part of our time together. We share cooking tips and ideas and ecological awareness and a love of locally made goods!

 un-edited pic by Big T of lil't drinking tea.
Ash and Em have incredible and varied backgrounds in music, theatre, film and television.

 Ash is currently performing in a show where he breaks into renditions of Flight of the Valkyries on piano accordion, an instrument he has only learnt to play in the past few weeks. He has written curriculum for music teaching - theory I think, and is a most interesting and excellent songwriter, with an album or two under his belt. He also is quite the actor, though apparently untrained. Ash likes to teach a broad curriculum to lil't , which includes the use of percussion, improvisation, reading, mathematics and even good ole' fashioned scales.

Em has a background in musical theatre, film and television. She studied at NASDA and WAAPA. Em has been in some big shows, like Guys and Dolls and Jekyll and Hyde and bazillion films and adverts. She teaches singing and drama and has had several of her current students accepted into a BIG musical! Awesome! Em is an animated and exciting teacher with an immense understanding of the human body and the mechanics of singing along with being a kick arse actor and singer and is amazing with children, she should make some - with Ash preferably.

They both star in the excellent very short promotional film The Melbourne Appreciation Society.  They are both from New Zealand. Their music school Ash & Em's Home Studio is going from strength to strength as is lil't's progress! They are wonderful passionate teachers and our lovely friends.

Singing with Em

An instant rapport. Em is infinitely likeable and a total sweetheart.

In both Ash and Em's classes there is a lot of laughter. Music is such a joyous experience who wouldn't want their kid to experience that!
Em firmly believes that if she gestures emphatically enough the right sounds will come out. This is the big finale. It actually worked!

 Tallulah has had an affinity for music from a very young age, it may have something to do with me blaring Aladdin Sane and the likes in the car to cover up her crying as a baby! Grandma Mo bought her a weighted keyboard for her 3rd birthday and she has been able to jam it out with muso's since she was four. She has a great ear for pitch and is a very passionate and sincere songwriter! Lil t is by no means a prodigy, but I do think she will be a fine musician/singer/songwriter given half a chance and given her current dedication and love of music. It is a passion that I believe every child/person is entitled to enjoy and I have shared it with gusto. She is yet to appreciate Kate Bush the way I do but she is a firm fan of 'Daddy' Bowie.

 Are there any cultures on this planet without music or song?

  Piano with Ash

The vibe is very different with each of her teachers. Ash has a dry cheeky wit. Its all very business like when these two pals get together!

Ash has incredible patience, never condescending, and extremely aware of lil't's ability to understand concepts. So Rad Eh!

Lil't has made huge leaps since beginning lessons with Ash and Em, I am so proud of her and I think they are too!
So I got me a camera. A Canon Eos30D. I am thrilled to bits, and this is my first piece using it. Some of the pictures are kinda fuzzy, but they show the energy of the classes. I am looking forward to learning more about photography. Its something I enjoyed a great deal at Tech and Tafe and High school. My aim is to take fewer fuzzy shots and be able to concisely document my world in picture form. It's so much faster than painting!

For more info on Ash and Em follow these links Ash's Music Blog and Em's Acting & Singing blog.