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Thursday 31 October 2013

'Music: Count Us In' - Harrison Craig interview

Hundreds of thousands of school children across Australia will today sing the same song at the same time on the same day in Australia’s biggest annual school music gig: ‘Music: Count Us In’.

Now in its sixth year, Music: Count Us In starts on Thursday October 31 at 12.30pm (AEDT).

The program highlights the value of music education in Australian schools. Research shows that music education has lost its place in many schools, despite its range of benefits to students’ development. This year's program involves a record-breaking 2150 schools.

Right across Australia, kids will sing the program song, ‘Keep On’, written by four high schools students with help from singer/songwriter Katie Noonan, and recorded by 'The Voice' runner-up Darren Percival.

More events for the day:

SYDNEY: 12.30pm - Singer, dancer and 'Australia's Got Talent' Judge Timomatic, will join seven students at the top of Sydney Tower’s SKYWALK, singing to over 300 children in Hyde Park, along with amazing singer Ngaiire, and a group of 60 ukulele playing students.

MELBOURNE: 12.30pm  - This year’s 'The Voice' winner Harrison Craig will join program ambassador John Foreman, student songwriter Abby Slattery, and 100 students on the Arts Centre Melbourne Upper Lawn.

I interviewed Harrison Craig to talk about his involvement in the project, as well as his current tour around Australia.

"Right now I am packing my bags for the start of the regional leg of my tour tomorrow, starting with Bendigo", he told Josie's Juice.

He has lined up 18 or so shows for the tour (go to: www.harrisoncraigofficial.com.au or call Ticketek or Ticketmaster), and he's very excited.

This young man represents exactly what a passion for music starting from school age can do to provide a solid foundation for music and signing for life. Harrison completely attibutes his school years to establishing his lifelong love of music.

"One of my fondest memories was my school Christmas concerts," says Harrison. "You prepped for two months and the whole shool was so pumped. We would sing carols and throughout my school years, it was one of those things where you had to be involved. You either sang the Christmas carols, or played the piaductiino, or was in the production somehow."

"I can remember that from prep school to year 12 music was a huge part of my life, and while at school I played the piano, guitar and saxophone and we had concerts and plays."

So, what is Harrison most excited about with this event?

"Being able to show kids how ethused you can be at school with something as small as a Christmas carol, or a tune you enjoy, because that can bring so much joy to you and everyone else around you. Kids need to know that school is a place to learn and grow

It has been quite the learning curve for Harrison this year, after his win on 'The Voice Australia.'

"For me, 'The Voice' has given me so much more confidence, and knowing who I am and who I want to be. For me, Seal was this huge… I don't even know how to describe it because he was just so incredible and totally supportive.

We're talking calling at 1am just to chat about everything; that’s pretty cool, and it’s not everyday you get that kind of confidence put in you."

Harrison, 19, loves what he sees when he looks out at the audience during performanes.

"During the metro leg of my tour it was nice to see the whole diverse groups of people there… from age 14 to 94," says Harrison, who was about to post up a photo on Instagram right before we were in touch for this interview.

"It's really nice to share what you’re up to with people who feel like they're in touch with you on social media.

Speaking of the medium, musical director John Foreman - who travels with Harrison - changes his voice and leaves voice to text messages which are quite funny to listen to, Harrison reveals.

Harrison travels with his devoted mum and brother Connor whenever he can, but being on the road all the time means he gets to travel with his music crew only.

The touring has given Harrison to opportunity to connect with people.

"With this school program it's so important for kids to take what they want out of it and try it, give it a go."

Harrison has had a huge impact on people, young and old.

"I've heard quite a few stories of hope during my time of on The Voice and in prepping for this album."

To hear those stories about people recovering from cancer or losing a family menber or going through difficult times is pretty damn rewarding.

"Today, I happened to re-watch my 'blind audition' on The Voce and it still hit me how incredible life is, and how incredible it is that you can suffer for so long (Harrison overcomes his stutter on a daily basis), and you get a helping hand from out of nowhere, and that helping hand helps you achieve anything. It does change your life. It’s just crazy

"I talked to Seal (his show coach) the other day for three hours…we are so in tune with each other, and I am so grateful that I have a person like that I can call my friend, and we can talk for hours about everything. It's so nice to have him in my life. I'm truly blessed.

Here is a clip on 'Music: Count Is In':

For more on 'Music: Count Us In' click here.

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