Bachelor of Education (Music) Edith Cowan University
Bachelor of Science (Applied Chemistry)
Associate Degree of Performing Arts (Jazz and Contemporary Music) Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
Certificate IV in Music (Jazz) Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
I’m Dean Blanchard.
I’m the Founder and Director of Music Rocks Australia and what a wonderful life I get to live with amazing people every day.
This is all about our people of all abilities, young and old, elite musicians looking to making a career in the industry, school students, littlies, people with special needs including those with high needs, people who are at risk in our community and the most talented WAAPA trained staff and musicians in Australia. The mission and the outcomes are just the same for everyone, "you guys are Rock Stars!"
We see almost three thousand musicians in Western Australia each week and I'm getting to go to places around Australia where Music Rocks is taking off too. To know each and every musician, their names, their parent's names, their carers and everyone around them and to see what this means in the context of their lives has been life-changing.
After a successful career developing contemporary music programs for the public school system in WA, it became apparent to me that the elite and academic approach school systems employ could not reach the bulk of young people who would most benefit from music participation. It's the doing of it, the hands on and the performance that is the POWER of music.
Music is so much about identity and for so many of our musicians we really do get to see who they are when making music. My identity too! and such a big part of who I get be.
Our concerts every term at the biggest and most famous live music venues are the highlight of our year, where the trust and connection built by my world-class ensemble directors and teachers is showcased, seeing our musicians achieve unbelievably, doing things even they thought might not be possible.
The WAAPA infused teaching system promoting an ethos of 'music is for everybody' guarantees success for elite young musicians, to entry level beginners, to young people at educational or personal risk, to those with disabilities – many times these levels occur concurrently in the same band. Just a triumph! ..and it is the opposite of traditional methods - usually starting in band with all the social benefits without experience and being on stage after only 9 weeks/lessons!.
Above all else, Music Rocks uses music as a tool to for social and personal development in our communities - our musicians coming off stage 10ft tall, crowd ringing in their ears, having achieved in front of family and friends (and always proud grandparents!) taking that confidence into everything they do!
This is Music Rocks Australia!