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    WELL REHEARSED: Nhill flautist Eliza Creek, 17, was awarded a major Victorian music award without ever taking a face-to-face lesson. Picture: Meredith O’Shea

Flute award is music to Eliza Creek’s ears

Learning a new skill online was already commonplace for Nhill flautist Eliza Creek before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia earlier this year.

The young instrumentalist, 17, has taken out a Victorian music award without ever taking a face-to-face lesson to learn the flute. 

Melbourne Recital Centre presented Eliza with Newsboys Foundation Regional Music Award for her award-winning audition, a video submission of her playing her favourite piece of music, Mozart’s Andante in C.

“When I got the email to say I had won I was so excited. I just started crying because I was so happy,” Eliza said.

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She said a come-and-try day in the music room at Nhill P-12 College about five years ago ignited her desire to learn the instrument at age 12.

“We were given the opportunity at school to try some instruments and I was interested in the flute. I had a go and managed to get a sound out of it,” she said.

“I was so happy about that I went home and told mum and she found me lessons.”

However, there was no one in her hometown to teach Eliza to play the flute, so she was forced to seek online lessons from a Melbourne-based teacher.

Eliza now studies music performance as part of her Victorian Certificate of Education and is a member of the senior school band. 

Performance opportunities were also scarce in Nhill this year, but she did compete in the Wimmera Eisteddfod in 2019 and won a ‘Woodwind – four years and over’ category. 

For the past two years, Queensland-based music teacher Kate Lawson, who is a principal with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, has taught Eliza.

“It’s definitely been helpful being able to access teachers online, because we don’t have many teachers out this way,” Eliza said. 

She said she planned to travel to Queensland to meet her flute teacher for the first time, just before Christmas. 

“She’s amazing. She’s a really great teacher and really helped me this year with all my technique,” she said.

Eliza said after she finished her final year of school, she was eager to pursue a career in music. 

“I definitely will continue with the flute. I really love it,” she said. 

“And I would definitely love to teach the flute to people. 

“I think it would be a really great thing to share this instrument with other people.”

The entire December 16, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!