Conquer the Tyranny of Distance

We enjoy travel to distant places for conferences and another presentations, right? (But in chilly winter weather, even the airport might feel an effort, after packing leads, adapters and remote–and clothes for anticipated weather.) Exciting presentations next month take me back to my roots. And I relish the prospect of reaching wider audiences through webinars.

Present from the comfort of your home or office

So why didn’t I explore webinars sooner? Thank you to my savvy co-presenter Bev Ryan for prompting these. Our first foray is Monday 10.30am. Or listen later at a lime that suits.
Info and registration

Ruth Bonetti-Webinar-16 JuneWrite or tell it now–before memories are lost

Writers of life stories sift truths from myths and reveal the black sheep and white – and those in the middle. They open closet doors to skeletons and shine light in dark places. What more precious gift to future generations than to write a family history or memoir? Do it now, before stories and insights are lost to the world.

 

Tribute to a fellow memoir writer

Last week Dr Pamela Davenport launched her memoir Searchlights, Slate Pencils and Searchlights: A Child’s War 1939–1954
As she taught me both Ancient and Modern History long ago, I knew it would be riveting to read. Her lessons opened my eyes, mind and imagination to a wider world. It was an honour to express some of the impact she made on my life, as historian, researcher, and teacher.
(Often we THINK our gratitude; let’s also EXPRESS it to those who inspired us.)

Imagine the thrill on my first visit to Rome when my bus turned a corner to– the Colosseum. Little wonder I lived seven years in Europe!

So vivid were Pamela’s lessons, that we felt to the marrow the sheer desecration of the Dark Ages.

Aleppo in Syria warns that Western civilisation teeters on the brink of similar decline. Will the Classical education that enriched my own Dark Ages of childhood and adolescence still be available to future generations?

What Pamela taught me

Pamela taught me to look below the surface of events; to wonder at the personalities and motivations of those involved.
(Not surprising that she and I share writing of memoir.)

Modern history intrigued me to understand world events and to envision my forebears’ roles in them. What drove them to emigrate?
(Australians are a nation of emigrants. We all grow from roots elsewhere.)
Letters told of settler battles and sucesses. I imagine how family back home grieved their loss, while accepting they left for a brighter future.

What history taught me

In this centenary of WW1 battles and armistice, how did families divided at either end of the globe view history from opposing prisms?
In 1918, people with foreign accents risked internment as “aliens” so my grandfather and his brother made lavish displays of patriotism.
Back home, their Finnish brother welcomed arms and training from the German “Huns” to help save Finland from Russian overlords.

Whether we write our stories or record aural history
“Telling Life Stories” is my first session in my birthplace, Hughenden, Western Queensland on July 3.

head west after presenting for Music Teachers Association in Townsville at the Alan Lane Memorial Weekend

There’s that memory-memorial–memoir link. For Alan Lane taught shy young Ruth Theory of Music. As she wrote in her memoir…

Back to my outback roots

What a metamorphosis has been my own journey from shy “bush” child to one who now enjoys communicating in public. From hillbilly music to Mozart. Schooling was through correspondence lessons– a far cry from the present School of Distance Education. Last year at Mt Isa Eisteddfodwe adjudicated young musicians over the airwaves!

Journeys-Finland-snow-to Outback-dust crop

On our sheep station outside Hughenden I played recorder to the poddy lambs.  Read how I surmounted technical challenges and culture shock in Sounds and Souls and also in the second part of my memoir Midnight Sun to Southern Cross. There I paid tribute to Dr Davenport and also my English teacher Mrs Bridgwood.
On July 3 I’ll present two sessions as guest of Hughenden Flinders Library:

  • Telling Life Stories
  • Journeys–from Finland snow to Outback dust

 

These link my own circles around the globe with those of inspiring forebears.

Off your beaten track?

Catch my WEBINAR  Writing Life Stories  on Monday June 18 at 10.30am.

Nature, Nurture–or neither?

In both Sounds and Souls and Midnight Sun, I explored the culture shock of an outback childhood. But…
Life’s journeys can take us to horizons way beyond our expectations.

In later decades I evolved from that shy ‘bush’ child who hid in the toilet block rather than face fearsome peers. I became an adult who welcomes platforms to reach out with words and music. When I now help people to confident performance of their words and music, I can say ‘The person you are now is
not who you will be in a decade or two or five. If I can conquer such shyness and fears, even welcome public performance, so can you.’
The outback child would run a mile at the prospect of speaking in public. Now she enjoys such opportunities.

How did that evolve? Midnight Sun to Southern Cross tells the story…And those of my inspiring forebears.

Time to write YOUR book?

Tributes to teachers

Why does Finland’s education system shine on the world stage? Many reasons: yes, kids are encouraged to play, indoors and outdoors, whatever the temperature. And a major factor is that teachers are well-paid, highly trained–and valued. 

Let’s express our value for exceptional teachers who changed our lives. I’m grateful to those who saw potential in me that I could not envision. Who encouraged, nurtured and inspired me onto my paths as teacher, musician, author and historian. 

A few words of thanks can mean so much!

Often we THINK our gratitude. How much more valued if we EXPRESS it!
Even better with a dedication.soundsandsoulsmedium

In  Sounds and Souls: How music teachers change lives (as they do!) I wrote:

For two beacons who lit my voyage into music, teaching and indeed, life:
John Curro, for opportunities, vision and the challenge of ‘Why not?’
David Shephard, who listened, encouraged, and whose sounds warmed my soul.

As did pianist Anna Goldsworthy

Her book Piano Lessons describes a decade’s relationship between student and piano teacher Eleonora Sivan. It is honest and often moving.

Imagine if someone wrote about their experiences of learning with you…

I look forward to co-presenting with Anna Goldsworthy 29 June–1July.

Townsville MTAQ Alan Lane Memorial Weekend

My topics will be:

  • How to prepare for a confident performance
  • Excel in Exams, Recitals and Auditions
  • Masterclass
  • Performance at the cocktail concert.

Nature, Nurture–or neither?

In Sounds and Souls I pose and answer questions of how I would teach child Ruth, with her various technical, rhythmic and foundational insecurities. Nonplussed in theory lessons with Alan Lane:

I had suffered cultural and social shock when catapulted into a large city high school, Somerville House. When baffled, I couldn’t find the words to ask for any explanation. I sat mute when my theory teacher wrote ant–track marks on manuscript paper. I was mystified by chords called IIc–V–I or V–VI.My painful fog matched his chain–smoking haze. I was too tongue–tied to ask for clarification. 

Back to my outback roots – to present in Hughenden July 3

What a metamorphosis has been my own journey from Slim Dusty to Mozart! Schooling was through correspondence lessons– a far cry from the present School of Distance Education. Last year at Mt Isa Eisteddfod we adjudicated young musicians over the airwaves!

On our sheep station outside Hughenden I played recorder to the poddy lambs.  How did I surmount technical challenges and culture shock?  I discuss this in Sounds and Souls and also in the second part of my memoir Midnight Sun to Southern Cross.
On July 3 I’ll present two sessions as guest of Hughenden Flinders Library:

  • Writing Life Stories
  • Journeys–from Finland snow to Outback dust

These link my own circles around the globe with those of inspiring forebears.

Off your beaten track?

Catch my WEBINAR  Writing Life Stories  on June 16 at 10.30am.Ruth Bonetti-Webinar-16 June

Nature, Nurture–or neither?

In both Sounds and Souls and Midnight Sun, I explored the culture shock of an outback childhood. Apart from a grandmother’s musical family, Classical music was foreign territory. But…
Life’s journeys can take us way beyond our expectations.

The impact and inspiration of two teachers shone rays of light into my own culture-shocked adolescent life. Dr Pamela Davenport and Gill Bridgwood recognised potentials in an insecure, shy outback girl catapulted from a dusty flat horizon into a big city school.

They took me under their wings; Mrs Bridgwood slipped to me the sort of books that evangelical Christians burned, like Catcher in the Rye.

Seated at my desk I read poetry and play characters with relish. But when I  was given a lead part in the school play, I froze. Eagle eyes pierced me!

I was relegated to the back of the Greek chorus.

In later decades I evolved from that shy ‘bush’ child who hid in the toilet block rather than face fearsome peers. I became an adult who welcomes platforms to reach out with words and music. When I now help people to confident performance of their words and music, I can say ‘The person you are now is not who you will be in a decade or two or five. If I can conquer such shyness and fears, even welcome public performance, so can you.’

The outback child would run a mile at the prospect of speaking in public. Now she enjoys such opportunities.

How did that evolve? Midnight Sun to Southern Cross tells the story…