It is important to have interests, hobbies and passions. They feed the soul and enrich life. It is also important to mix with people and feel we are part of a larger group or community. Humans are social creatures and there is great joy to be had in mixing with like-minded individuals. If you are artistic you can join an arts group or a craft club, if you are sporty there are hundreds of amateur sports leagues to join, if you like reading you can join a book club…. but what if you are musical? If you are not in a band and you do not have musical friends. What are your options? Practise alone? Jam in your lounge room?
This was the reason Catch Music came about. Catch Music is a not-for-profit organisation which was founded in 2007 by Tim Roberton and provides a space and platform for musically minded individuals to get together and experience the fun and joy that comes from playing music with other people. Playing in a group gives a reason to practise and something to work towards; participants can learn from each other and hear different instruments working together in a warm, supportive environment.
The main philosophy of Catch Music is inclusion. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcomed regardless of musical talent or ability. Some participants play a shaker or maracas and others play guitar or the drums.
We spoke to Julie Fedele, the Catch Music Program Coordinator, who told us that there are 9 sessions every week scattered around the Perth metro area. Each session goes for an hour and a half and is run by a facilitator who is an experienced musician, along with one or more volunteers who help coordinate the group. Each group has its own set list of songs and they practise 6 or 7 of those songs in the 90 minute time period. A new song is learnt every 2 or 3 weeks and requests from the group are taken into account. Sometimes the groups perform within the community and they rehearse for those gigs during the sessions. At the end of the year all the groups come together at the Catch Music Superjam, held at a public venue, where the groups perform for each other and an audience, connect with friends both old and new and celebrate another year of music making.
Because of the ethos of inclusion, Catch Music has quite a few attendees who are disabled, have a mental illness or are otherwise socially-isolated or marginalised. Catch Music is bridging social gaps and connecting people through friendship and music. Sessions give participants the chance to practise their instrument in a non-judgemental environment and gain confidence while being part of something bigger.
The first session is free for people to attend and after that there is a suggested fee of $7 per session or $50 for the term. Sessions are always free for carers or support workers. Regular attendance is preferred but not required and people are welcome to attend more than one weekly session if they so desire. Session costs are discounted in this case.
I was fortunate enough to attend the Leederville session recently which is run by facilitator Michael Lane and I was immediately impressed with how smoothly the session was run and how friendly it felt. People from all walks of life were laughing, smiling and connecting. Tunes like “Dancing Queen,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and even Elvis’ “Don’t Be Cruel” were enthusiastically played. Some people on drums, keyboards and guitars kept the tune and a few people with microphones sang, others shook maracas or just strummed along. It didn’t really matter if people could play well or not, the main thing was that they were included and they were having a good time. One gentleman, Dale, even got up and had a dance in the middle of the circle. Another man who was playing keyboard is blind. I listened to the group and couldn’t help but smile.
The gentleman next to me, James, was rigorously shaking two maracas, working up a sweat. He turned to me with a big grin and said “We’re pretty good aren’t we? We’re pretty awesome!”
“Yes James,” I said to him with a smile, “you guys are very awesome.”
The Catch Music website link is: http://www.catchmusic.org.au/
The most up to date news, gig announcements, photos and videos are posted on the facebook page www.facebook.com/catchmusic
The weekly sessions are listed below:
- Bayswater – Wednesday 7pm to 8:30pm
- Clarkson – Thursday 6pm to 7:30pm
- Fremantle – Wednesday 7pm to 8:30pm
- Gosnells – Monday 4:30pm to 6pm
- Leederville – Tuesday 7pm to 8:30pm
- Melville – Wednesday 7pm to 8:30pm
- Midland – Tuesday 7pm to 8:30pm
- Shenton Park – Saturday 10am to 11:30am
- Subiaco – Wednesday 7pm to 8:30pm
If you are musical, Catch Music is especially looking for experienced musicians and volunteers to join these sessions:
- Shenton Park
Please get in touch by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or sending a message via the facebook page.
The Catch Music Youtube link is https://www.youtube.com/user/catchmusiccommunity
Here are 2 short videos of the Leederville group doing their thing:
And a photo gallery of my evening with The Leederville session:
Catch Music would like to thank their sponsors:
- Healthway and Act-Belong-Commit.
- Disability Services Commission
- City of Subiaco
- City of Fremantle
- City of Bayswater
- City of Vincent
- City of Wanneroo
- City of Swan
- City of Gosnells
- Fairholme Disability Support Group
- Sound Lab
- Uniting Care West & Warehouse Café
Have you heard of Catch Music?
Do you know of any musical people that would be interested in Catch Music and the things they are doing in the community?