Interview with Accelerando Alumni Charlie Lodge
With applications for the 2023 Accelerando Program now open, we thought we’d chat with program alumni Charlie Lodge. Studying jazz drumming at Victoria College of the Arts, he is a musician with big dreams. As part of the Accelerando program, Charlie was involved in industry workshops, instrumental lessons, mentor sessions and a performance in the Primrose Potter Salon.
When were you part of the Accelerando program?
I was involved with Accelerando for my Year 11 and Year 12, from 2020-21. Throughout my entire VCE and through COVID as well!
What are you doing now?
I am currently in my first year studying a Bachelor of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts and majoring in Jazz and Improvisation!
Why did you choose the drums, and how long have you been playing?
I always knew I would play an instrument as a youngster. It was just about picking which one! My parents (for some reason and I can’t remember) bought me a junior Drum Kit for my birthday when I was 4 – and I was off and running! I started real lessons when I turned 8 and I’ve been playing ever since.
Who are your musical heroes?
The earliest musical heroes I remember were the artists my Dad listened to. I have vivid memories of heaps of Aussie rock – mostly Cold Chisel, and also bands like Dire Straits, Queen, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. I really looked up to the drummers on those records.
Later came a big obsession with Travis Barker from Blink 182, who I remember regarding as ‘the greatest drummer of all time’ when I was like 11!
But currently, I’d say my heroes are the artists that embody everything I want to be as a professional musician. I’m absolutely obsessed with drummers like Ash Soan and Aaron Sterling at the moment. I think they are the best at what they do and I really want to be like them someday.
What has been your performance highlight so far?
One of my favourite performances so far was in 2019, playing in my school’s Jazz Combo at the Victorian NEVR concert at Hamer Hall. The performance was in front of two thousand people and it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on stage!
How would you describe your overall experience in the Accelerando program?
Absolutely incredible! The amount of opportunities and experiences I’ve gained from the program has been so amazing.
What did you enjoy the most about the Accelerando program?
Probably the opportunity to learn from and watch some of the best musicians in the country! I loved that we could choose any musician we wanted to have a lesson with, and they would make it happen! If it wasn’t for the program I wouldn’t have met and learnt from incredible drummers such as David Jones, Gerry Pantazis and Darryn Farrugia.
What skills did you gain from having sessions with some of Australia’s top performers and educators?
I think the best thing I learned from the program was how to become a professional musician in 2022. The workshops and lessons we had from working musicians were so valuable and put us all on the right track to follow in their footsteps. Skills like networking, finance, branding, social media and marketing were some of the things that were covered. All of this has set me on a strong path towards my goals.
What is next for you in your music journey?
I want to develop my skills and musicianship over the next 2 years in my course at VCA – and hopefully be able to become the most accessible musician possible in order to start working and using my skills on multiple projects. I want to be a touring and session musician but also build a career in drum tuition (which I’ve already started on!). It’s going to take a lot of hard work and persistence, but I am so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had in the Accelerando program. They have helped me reach my goals so far!
Why should students apply for Accelerando in 2023?
The Accelerando Program is like a bridge between being a student, and a professional… The program recognises your talent and gives you new skills, opportunities and freedoms to achieve your career goals. It has been such an amazing journey and I’ve met many talented musicians and mentors who have taught me so much about becoming a musician and bettering my own playing.
Applications for the 2023 Accelerando are now open and will close on Friday 7 October 2022 at midnight.
Please read the Application & Audition Guidelines located in the Downloads section of this page.