Hi and welcome to the Boxties website.
The Boxties are a group of young singers and instrumentalists from Brisbane, Australia. We do folk, country, cabaret, music theatre, even a bit of tango – any music that appeals to us that we think we can do some sort of justice to.
Some of us are professional musicians, some are still studying, some have followed different paths altogether, but we all started out together in the Instrumental Music Program at high school. That’s where we learned the fundamentals of music making.
As these web pages go to air on the Amazing Electric Internet, we are starting our musical journey.
Here you will find news about the band, coming events and reflections on music, music education, cultural life and perhaps some other interesting topics.
We hope you enjoy sharing the journey with us.
Boxty: An Irish potato pancake with a characteristic smooth, fine-grained consistency – a logical namesake for a band delving into the Irish musical tradition and its many relatives and offshoots.
The Boxties are: Ben Burrows, Deanna Connelly, Ebony Cundy-Profke, Mitchell Dormer, Rachel Kelly, Bridget Matthews, Skylar Sansome, Annie Silva, Ashreya Ward.
Their Musical Director is Stephanie McCaw.
the Friends of HEAL Community Choir
“We’re in this dance together!” Come and join us next month at the Cremorne Theatre QPAC. We wanna see a full house every night! Link in bio to buy tickets. 🕴🕴🕴🕴🕴🕴🕴🕴🕴🕴🕴🕴🕴
“And whatever got said they’d be counted at least, when the last ship sails.” Link in bio for tickets to our show! 🌊🌊🌊🐡🐡🐡
Teaching Music the Boxties' way
Our musical director
The Boxties’ Musical Director, is music education pioneer Stephanie McCaw.
Steph has spent 25 years developing a music-teaching methodology recognized as outstanding by musicians and music educators both in Australia and overseas.
In 2008, Steph was a recipient of Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship, and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, which enabled her to visit community music programs in the UK, Finland and the USA.
She received a National Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010. In 2013 she received a State “Positive Teacher” award for her program’s contribution to nurturing students’ mental wellbeing, and was designated a Queensland Government “Culture Champion”.
Through a long association with Steph, both as students and colleagues, the Boxties have become expert at delivering her methods of teaching.
For the Boxties, teaching music is every bit as important as performing.
There’s an expression – “the glistening eye” – which describes that look in the eye of the young performer (or performer of any age) that speaks of enthusiasm, communication, imagination and joy in music.
It’s hard to define but easy to recognise. We believe that the glistening eye effect is as fundamental an indicator as you can get that good music making is taking place, and that all the other benefits of music education – social, artistic and intellectual – are also present.
We strive to nurture the glistening eye in all our students, not least by creating an environment in which they feel accepted and secure, and therefore prepared to express themselves emotionally through music and support each other in doing so.
We aim to create a “learning community”, where learning takes place not only in formal lessons and rehearsals, but amongst the students themselves as they share their discoveries and encourage each other.
Why learn music?
There is an ever-increasing body of research that suggests that music is massively beneficial to cognitive, intellectual and social development, and the “higher order” thinking skills.
It has significant flow-on effects supporting learning in other areas such as language and mathematics, to say nothing of being a sophisticated artistic and intellectual discipline in its own right.
Perhaps most of all, it can nurture the imagination, the ability to think creatively, a sense of empathy and awareness of the things that unite us as human beings – the things you need if you want to go out into the world and lead a good life.
Our teaching method
Our approach emphasizes group teaching, and the grounding of musicianship in the body as well as the brain.
We do a lot of physical movement, singing, memorizing, and repetition – not mindless repetition, but inventive repetition that gives students time to dig deeply into a piece of music and hear what’s really there, so that they don’t just let notes fly by without thinking about what they mean, or even noticing them at all.
We want our students to hear how musical elements relate to each other, to understand how their part fits into the bigger picture, and to communicate that to an audience.