Country music star Travis Collins mentors youth at Tamworth CMAA Junior Country Music Academy

YOUNG STARS: Tamworth CMAA Junior Country Music Academy mentor Travis Collins. Photo: Peter Hardin
YOUNG STARS: Tamworth CMAA Junior Country Music Academy mentor Travis Collins. Photo: Peter Hardin

YOUNG musicians are learning from the best of the best at the CMAA Junior Country Music Academy.

Six-time Golden Guitar winner Travis Collins is running songwriting workshops with students.

“A lot of these kids know that songwriting is an important part of their career, but a lot have never done it,” he said.

“One of the kids didn’t see themselves as a writer, just through talking and cracking the shell you get into conversation – next thing you know there’s a sequence of words that stick.”

The highly selective academy aims to kick start country music careers for young artists.

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This year, famous faces like Lyn Bowtell, Allan Caswell, Jayne Denham, Simon Johnson, David Carter and Aleyce Simmonds are helping students in everything from stage presence to marketing.

Just 23 students have been chosen from across Australia and New Zealand to take part.

Mr Collins said each student will get a one-on-one songwriting workshop with either himself or another star.

“If we’re all honest, any singer-songwriter that says they know where a good song is, is a liar,” he said.

“If we knew how to write hits every time we’d do that, it’s hit and miss like any art form.”

Working with one of the students, Georgia, the pair came up with a song in a just more than an hour.

Without years of life experience, some of the younger students can struggle for songwriting ideas.

“I asked her what she wants to do and she said she felt stressed she didn’t have the answers, I said, ‘You’re 15, you’re not supposed to have all the answers’,” Mr Collins said.

“So we wrote a song about not knowing what you want to do, but rest assured you've got the time to make those calls.

“The goal isn’t to have a finished song, it’s to teach the kids to write and give them the craft to know how to make their music more relatable, more real.”

In his own career, Mr Collins plans to release a new album in the next month.

He’s been playing the festival circuit and focusing on larger stage performances.