To Scott McDade, â€œliving the dreamâ€ is more than just a clichÃ©.
Scott McDade in the McGregor Summer Song-writing Class
This talented singer/songwriter has faced hurdles, doubts and demons while following his passion, but has no doubts he is doing exactly what Fate intended for him. â€œI was a high-school drop-out working as a tradie in Melbourne when one night it just came to me that I had to pursue music.â€
Scott, aged 26, says â€œMusic had always been my Plan A in life, but then music classes were cancelled at school, and people kept telling me that you must have a Plan B, so it was Plan B that happened. But it just hit me that life is supposed to be spent doing something that is actually important to me, so I moved to Toowoomba, auditioned for USQ, and am now living the dream.â€
Scott has just completed his first year of tertiary study â€“ despite having no formal qualifications in music upon arrival â€“ and is currently doing the contemporary song-writing class at the McGregor Summer School under tutor Mark Sholtez.
His skills have improved enormously during the intensive retreat, but more importantly perhaps, Scott has learned the value of what he does. â€œIâ€™ve always had this battle going on with myself about the value of music,â€ he said. â€œPart of me thinks I was more valuable to society working as a plasterer, but I am now realising that music has its value in helping people heal and come together.
â€œI know that if I write good songs, I can change the world in some way. That is enough of a motivation for me to do this.â€
While he knows he might be ribbed for this, Scott chooses â€œZebraâ€ by John Butler as the song which changed his own life. â€œThe message in that song is that we can be anything if we just give ourselves the chance,â€ he said. â€œGod plants desires in our heart not to tease us, but to inspire us to grow into the person we need to be.â€
The McGregor Summer School was able to offer Scott a full scholarship to the School to help him achieve his goal of being a touring musician and song-writer; perhaps one day even being regarded as one of the most proficient guitarists, singers and song-writers in the world. Itâ€™s a big dream, but one which Scott is prepared to work for.
â€œI donâ€™t rate myself as particularly naturally talented, but I do work very hard, because that is the only way to improve your skills â€“ last year I logged 3000 hours of practice,â€ he said. â€It is passion for what you do that helps you keep working at it â€“ and it is passion that makes sure you simply canâ€™t give it up. The McGregor Summer School simply reinforces that passion â€“ it is a community of amazing tutors, great students and fabulous environment.â€
The McGregor Summer School music, vocal and songwriting students will stage a free public concert this Saturday, January 17 beginning at 11.30am. They will perform in the USQ Refectory and the Arts Theatre, with the vocalistsâ€™ showcase in the theatre at 1.05pm and the songwritersâ€™ showcase from 2.05pm -3pm.
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