May 26, 2013

Guest contributions

BANYULE council offers a wide range of programs and activities for young people through the Banyule Youth Services and one of the many youth experiences on offer is Jets.

What is Jets? Jets is a “multifunctional creative arts youth facility, delivering a range of programs and activities to young people and the community”. Jets allow young people in the community to promote their creativeness; it offers opportunities for photographers, filmmakers, sound engineers, bands and musicians.  Not only does it provide a space and the equipment needed to rehearse for musicians and bands, but Jets has a state of the art recording studio, which allows musicians to record and promote their music, as well as giving them experience for their future careers.

So what is the purpose of Jets? The main focus of Jets is to encourage youth in the community to express themselves through music and creativity and to give them an opportunity to build their technical skills. By doing this in an environment with other youth from the community, a social and friendly environment is created where youth can gain confidence and build on their relationships with other people. Jets have created a variety of programs for youth to participate in which further enhances these skills and attributes and can also contribute to future employment pathways.

Jets also run a very successful respite program for disabled youth. This program encourages expression of oneself and social connectedness and engagement. This is done through many creative outlets including art-making, multimedia, photography and their central focus; music. Some examples of the respite programs that are run are Saturday Sounds; which gives people the opportunity and experience to experiment with animation, green-screening, drama games and overall performance skills. Also, Monday Night Rockstars which is a program where youth are inducted into Jets operations and are then able to use rehearsal space and learn how to record sounds and mix them.

The Jets team have experienced studio engineers who help young musicians with recording, mixing and post production. If interested in this area, the youth can become a Jets crew member which provides even more opportunities to gain a wide range of skills in sound engineering and the ability to use a range of software programs that are commonly used in the music industry. The Jets crew also learn how to use the Jets portable PA and get the opportunity to use these newly developed skills at different events that are run by the council or Jets themselves. As well as learning about sound engineering, Jets crew members also gain access to Jets “Multimedia Training Hub” and learn how to use the editing software and equipment.

For Jets crew members, Jay and Chris, this is a very worthwhile program and one that they enjoy immensely. 15 year old Jay has been a part of the Jets crew program for 6 months now and enjoys every moment of it. Music has always been a passion for Jay; he loves playing guitar. Through Jets his passion for music has been enhanced, but it is not just playing that interest him; sound engineering and the multimedia side of music interest him as well. “When I first started at Jets I hadn’t done any training, so I’d just come into the rehearsal rooms, get a few hours in. But then I started to do the training , I kept on progressing and doing more and more stuff until I was in the studio and had everything at my disposal.” For Jay, this is more than he ever could have imagined doing, “It’s opened up a world for me that I didn’t even know existed and I’ve learnt so much over six months, it’s just crazy.” The Jets crew program is a great one and when asked if he would recommend it Jay said that he definitely would. “I’d recommend it to anyone, at any age, at any time.  I’d recommend it to anyone who could possibly do it.” His experience at Jets is as positive as any other; no one can get enough of it.

Chris is also a member of the Jets crew, currently studying live production and theatre events. How did he get to this course? Through the wonderful work at Jets! “Josh, one of the leaders at Jets, helped me find the course and he wrote me a reference for it. I ended up studying through the help of Jets.” Chris has been a part of Jets for 3 years now, starting in a program similar to the Jets crew members. Since first starting he’s been involved in many programs including Jets crew and Jets start which leads up to the Jets crew. For Chris, Jets was a recommendation. “It was a recommendation for me by a career guidance counsellor at school” Chris recalls “I have always been interested in sound production or sound engineering and so Jets was the perfect opportunity for achieving basically where I wanted to go in life, give me a head start in everything”. It definitely has done so. Even before starting his course Jets has given Chris some fantastic opportunities, ones which he will never forget and that have given him knowledge and experience that he will continue to use in his future career. “Jets has lead me on to several paths; it’s led me to working with them on different events in both sound and lighting, and also organising the Banyule Youth Festival last year.” Just like when Jay was asked, Chris could not say enough about recommending this to others in all creative fields “It’s a perfect opportunity if you’re interested in photography, sound, just music in general and even different creative things like animation, there’s different art things around.”

So if you like music, sound engineering or any other creative field then maybe Jets is for you. You can find out more information about Jets and learn how to apply here.

– Elysha Ringin


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