Joel Shadbolt plays it forward

Joel Shadbolt working with Papamoa College band OCD, made up of students Adam Sheehan, Daniel McRae and Maysen Mitchell. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford.

When music students at Papamoa College spent time focusing on performance this week, one of NZ’s leading musicians Joel Shadbolt came along too.

As well as being the frontman for L.A.B., Joel also works as an itinerant music teacher, teaching guitar at Otumoetai College and Bethlehem College, and working for the NZ Music Commission visiting colleges from Coromandel to Taupo.

“Our focus this week with Joel is on song writing, being a member of a band and performance techniques,” says Papamoa College’s Music Curriculum Leader Katrina Daniela. “Joel has been working with option music students, songwriters and our school bands.”

Guitar tutor Kurt Somervell, who teaches guitar, drums and bass at Papamoa College, established and mentored the bands, working towards events such as Smokefree Rockquest, gigs and recording of original songs at local studios.

“Kurt does a lot of mentoring and songwriting with our students. He’s fantastic and such an asset for our school. He’s already provided a lot of opportunities through Smokefree Rockquest.”

Katrina says they are very fortunate to have tutors come through the NZ Music Commission, particularly this month being NZ Music Month. She applied to the commission on behalf of the college and was delighted that Joel was selected to come and support the students who are busy writing and performing songs.

“It’s a good gig as you get to go into the schools, help them work towards Rockquest, and help with their songwriting and music arrangements,” says Joel.

Katrina says Joel’s mentoring this week has been timely.

“The bands are competing at Smokefree Rockquest this weekend. Papamoa College placed first and second in the finals last year, so we are looking forward to challenging the title.”

Joel worked with the three bands OCD, Canvas, and Venus on Monday, returning on Thursday to work with Year 10-13 Option Music classes and songwriters. He then spent time with three more bands – Eclipse, Protocol and Simple Creatures. A lunch time concert on Friday in the college piazza will provide opportunity for the bands to showcase what they have worked on with Joel.

“This has worked out perfectly with both Music Month and also the Smokefree Rockquest heats this weekend,” says Katrina. 

“Joel has been able to work with all the bands, giving feedback on their original songs.”

As well as lunch time concerts, Katrina says the college has a busy term ahead.

“We have also just secured $2000 for recording of originals and a performance at Totara Street.”

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