Patrick Bartlett - 2010 VCAL Student Achievement Award winner
Music means a lot to Patrick Bartlett.
In 2010 he won the annual VCAL Student Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements as part of his Certificate II in Music Industry, which he studied when he did his Victorian Certificate of Applied Education (VCAL).
Patrick plays a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, but he wasn’t a focussed student and he dropped out of school before the end of Year 10 because he felt that his school education wasn’t setting him up for a career in the music industry.
Patrick's family were concerned that he needed to complete his schooling and, with help from the Victorian Government's Learn Local initiative (new window), they encouraged him to enrol in the VCAL program at The Centre (new window) in Wangaratta.
Patrick discovered that many of his activities in the music scene, like band rehearsals and playing at community events, actually met his program’s learning outcomes. He arranged his own VCAL work placement at a local music store, gaining confidence and earning high praise from his supervisor.
Through VCAL, Patrick created opportunities for local musicians, organised fund-raising events for those affected by the Black Saturday bushfires and volunteered as a guitar tutor.
Patrick also produced the music for a film made by another VCAL student at The Centre for Continuing Education. He completed his VCAL in 2010 and is now studying for an Advanced Diploma in Performance Music at Box Hill TAFE.
I spoke to Patrick about his VCAL studies, the award, and his plans for the future.
How did VCAL enable you to develop skills for the music industry?
I was able to study Certificate II in Music Industry as part of my VCAL course, so I had the opportunity to learn a lot, mainly organisation for music events, music performance, and music theory. It gave me a good feel of what some parts of the industry are like.
What was the most rewarding feature of VCAL?
The flexibility of the VCAL course was great. It enabled me to have more control over what I wanted to learn and to study what I thought would benefit me the most.
What was your favourite subject?
Music Industry was my favourite subject. I was able to spend time studying what I was most interested in as a part of my VCAL course.
What did receiving the VCAL Student Achievement Award mean for you?
It was a great surprise and good motivation.
As part of VCAL, you organised fundraising events for the Black Saturday bushfires and volunteered as a guitar tutor. How did this help you develop your own skills?
It mainly gave me experience in working with others and in being organised. Fundraising events and musical events in general were always something to think about and get excited about. Teaching guitar was a learning experience for myself as well as the students.
What advice would you give to students considering choosing VCAL for their final years of study rather than VCE?
Get what you can out of it, and ask questions.
How has studying VCAL helped you today?
I guess I'd probably be a little less confident and a little less educated without VCAL. To put it simply, the course filled my time with something beneficial that I could do for myself.
What are you up to now?
I'm living in Melbourne studying an Advanced Diploma in Music Performance at the Box Hill Institute of TAFE.
What would you like to see yourself doing in the future?
I'm not sure. I think nearly anything in the music industry would be interesting for me. There is an endless amount to learn so I am still undecided. Perhaps I'll keep studying for a few years.
For more information about opportunities in your local community to take advantage of applied learning and alternative paths to education, check out Learn Local (new window).With over 300 education and training organizations across Victoria, you are bound to find a course that suits your needs.
Articles Written by Laura L
Reviews written by Laura L
The content of these stories and articles are provided for information and entertainment purposes only. The views expressed are those of our roving reporters/editorial team members and do not necessarily reflect those of the Victorian Government. While every endeavour is made to ensure the currency, accuracy and authenticity of content, it can not be guaranteed. The Victorian Government does not accept any liabilities for any loss, damage, cost or expense you or others might incur as a result of the information or advice (or the use of it) on this website or in the articles. People using the site should undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content.