Melbourne's best busker returns to Macquarie
Australian songsmith Jenny Biddle has travelled around the country and has played countless gigs, captivating audiences wherever she went. Today she faces a different yet familiar audience not only to play music but also to talk about it.
Jenny, a Macquarie University graduate, has returned to the university to mentor current music students. She ran workshops, lectures and individual mentoring sessions on songwriting and independent artist development for students.
Jenny says returning to Macquarie to be a mentor feels "bizarre."
She says, "A lot has changed in the university since I graduated so everything looks new to me. It feels weird - to attend a class as a 'teacher' and not a student anymore - but I'm very happy to be able to spend time with the students and exchange ideas with them. We learn from each other."
"I think the Artist in Residence project is a great idea because it's a good experience for the students. When I was studying, I didn't have the opportunity to talk to someone about music as a career. It's important for students to gain practical knowledge about the industry."
In one of her lectures about the singer/songwriter genre, Jenny encourages students to express themselves and stay true to their music.
"Keep it real. You don't have to be the best all the time, but always say what you truly feel and what's important to you."
Jenny writes songs to tell the story of her life and of the people and the world around her. She independently produced her albums, with the help of friends and supportive fans. Her 3rd album, Hero in Me, was funded by her fans and was produced by Thirsty Merc's former guitarist, and legendary producer, Sean Carey. Jenny has been awarded as Melbourne's Best Busker 2010-2012 and has received numerous awards from various music festivals and competitions around the country.
Music has always been Jenny's passion. At age 4, she learned to play ukulele and piano. At 9, she fell in love with the guitar. At Macquarie, she studied Bachelor of Arts which allowed her to take on music units including guitar, sound mixing, and production.
"I chose to study at Macquarie because I liked the course and the campus. I learned a lot of technical and practical stuff which proved to be very useful now that I'm recording and producing my own material. I also did a gig or two a week in the university bar throughout my uni days, which I enjoyed a lot," Jenny said.
After graduation, Jenny went on to live her lifelong dream – to play beautiful music. Being an independent singer/songwriter has its challenges but, according to Jenny, it is "doable."
"A lot of people think that making music a full-time career is not possible...but it is doable so I advise students to just go for it. Of course it will not be perfect and not everyone will like their music all the time, but they just have to work hard. Do not be afraid to try different things. Be it teaching music, singing at weddings, or busking, it doesn't matter as long as they're doing what they love."