Happy NZ Music Month

I’m Kaye Woodward and I am an English Language Tutor and Teacher Trainer at Ara.

I’m also in an ancient band called The Bats. New Zealand Music Month might be an appropriate time for a peek in to how this aspect of my life ticks along beside the teaching one.
Bats 1

Photo © Kaye Woodward

Late last year this quaintly wrapped and instantly recognizable package arrived in our letterbox. It was the first batch of songs for Bats album number 10 and signalled the start of a process the four of us have been following since Robert Scott, our prolific song-writing machine, moved back to Dunedin in 1983. The process is unhurried and all up takes around 3 years.

More songs arrived at intervals over the summer and we are currently up to about 15. We don’t read music; we listen and play, so over winter we’ll hunker down in our living rooms and do just that. Next Spring, we’ll get together somewhere to record and mix what we’ve cooked up and anything more that presents itself in the studio. At this stage, we’ll also decide on the artwork for the release. A lot of messing about with the record labels will ensue in order to achieve mastering, manufacture, distribution and marketing (of sorts), but eventually there will be vinyl and CDs to hold in your hands and a digital version. The cycle is completed by playing shows in New Zealand and Australia. Sometimes we even venture to the US or Europe.

The life of a part-time musician seems to complement the life of a teacher quite well. They have almost nothing in common but sometimes one will make me appreciate the other, and sometimes the two lives overlap. While I’m wandering from the carpark, striding to the classroom or shuffling home, there are often bits of songs and guitar parts floating round in my brain, looking for approval, morphing into different ideas or becoming victims of rejection. On the other hand, I hardly ever do marking on tour!

Bats 2

The Bats, Griffith Observatory, LA 1986. © Kaye Woodward.