UPCOMING country music artist and music teacher, Annabelle Johnson, attended her first Tamworth Country Music Festival this year.
Annabelle busked and formed some valuable industry connections. She performed alongside 300 other buskers in Peel Street, Tamworth over the ten days of the festival.
“Apart from the heat, and how much noise there was – good noise, because it was music, but a lot of noise – it was fun,” she said.
“The busking spots about half a metre apart, all down the same street. It was very overwhelming, but in a good way.”
One of Annabelle’s busking gigs was in the Tamworth Train Station, where she was met with an energetic audience.
“My session ended right as the train from Armidale pulled up, when everyone got off the train they were like, ‘wow, country music, this is so good!’,” Annabelle says.
“The PR guy from Destination Tamworth came and took photos of me busking as the train pulled in. That was cool.”
One of Annabelle’s highlights was meeting her idol, Amber Laurence.
“Amber is an Australia country music star. I said to her when I met her, ‘I’ve been listening to you since I was born and I’m 17’, and she buried her head in her hands,” says Annabelle.
Amber’s music has had a strong influence on Annabelle’s teaching style.
“Her music inspired my teaching,” she says. “Amber’s big thing is bringing country music to kids, that’s what I want to do too.”
Annabelle aims to integrate a love of music in her students before they engage with an instrument.
“I teach kids at GTM Music Studios – guitar, ukulele, singing and general music. I focus a lot on getting an appreciation of music into kids before we actually sit down and start learning an instrument.”
“Often when they’re younger they don’t understand why they are learning the instrument, or why it’s important and special. I really try and get them to have fun with music itself before putting them with an instrument.”
Annabelle is starting university this year at GMC Academy, studying song writing.