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Julia Deans of Fur Patrol was at Thames High School in June to impart her musical knowledge to the school’s music students. From left: Jacob Wenhold, Jacob Rush, Julia Deans, Dr Nichola Voice, and Kayla Speed. Photos: SUPPLIED

Fur Patrol’s Julia Deans hits the right note

Music students at Thames High School were treated to mentoring from former Fur Patrol member Julia Deans, thanks to a mentorship programme run by the NZ Music Commission.
Julia spent two days with the school, talking to classes about her music career, and working closely with students on composition and performance skills.
Thirteen students in year 10 created a band with Julia and learned to play Three Little Birds, by Bob Marley. Meanwhile, three of the school’s senior bands received dedicated time with her, and 15 senior students, from beginners through to experienced composers, picked her brain on writing music.

“I asked for Julia again as she really made my department sparkle last year,” Thames High music department head Dr Nichola Voice said.
“Because most of the students she saw this time she had worked with last year, we had a headstart as the rapport and trust was there – the taiohi [youth] loved that she remembered them and was able to comment on their increased knowledge and ability.”
Nichola said the experience was invaluable.
“One of the things that I love as I watch Julia work with the taiohi is that she makes comments and asks questions without taking any sort of creative control – she enables them to explore directions they could take their music without telling them what to do, thereby nurturing them as they find their own pathway and expression.”