The past year has seen the world adapt to keep connected. Now, as we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it's clear that these new ways of connecting are here to stay.
This includes the online platform SLOCOACH, which in recent months has launched its arts and entertainment arm to its Australian site.
SLOCOACH Arts gives up-and-coming artists the chance to digitally connect with the best in the business to receive personalised, one-on-one coaching.
Among the coaches is Kim Cunio, the head of music at the Australian National University, as well as cabaret icon Mark Trevorrow - best known for his character Bob Downe - comedian Tim Ferguson and Broadway dancer and choreographer Brendon Simson, who worked with Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep on Netflix's film The Prom.
But, despite the impressive list of coaches, Cunio says the platform is a chance for both the coach and the student to learn a thing or two. On one hand, the platform provides arts education to people who are unable to do a whole degree, and on the other, it is a way for coaches to develop new ways of teaching.
"The thing that's changed over the past year, is that, forevermore, viewing something online won't be the second-best," Cunio says.
"We've had that idea that the real way to see music was of course live. But if we look at the next generation, they're consuming the music for TikTok. So my generation, we've got to sort of catch up, so we can learn to help them when we teach music to them."
SLOCOACH is best known for its sports platform, which launched in 2020 in Australia with coaches such as Olympian Sally Pearson, Wallabies captain Michael Hooper and cricketer Michael Slate.
Now the platform is giving artists the same online coaching, allowing students to choose their specialist from a range of artistic fields including musical theatre, dance, singing, comedy and classical music.
Students then upload a video of themselves performing and will receive detailed analysis and personalised feedback from their coach, providing tips on how they can elevate their performance.
Cunio says he's expecting three different types of students to come through the program. The first being students who are looking at studying music at a tertiary level and want a taste of what it will be like.
He's also expecting people who are working on a specific project who are looking for mentorship to progress it.
"The last type of person is the sort of person who was good at [it] when they were young and then they had to do something else in their lives, and they've always wanted to go back," Cunio says.
"I get a lot of people calling me saying they'd like to do a music degree in their 40s and 50s, but few of them - when they realise what it entails - can do it.
"Generally for those sort of people, I think this SLOCOACH is a wonderful option because they can work at their own pace with a high level professional, the sort of professional that they might not be able to see otherwise, but I think it'd be a lot more pressure in the formal world."
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