How I got here (introduction)
The year was 1987, and the breeze was warm
Hello, my name is Michael. I’m an accredited secondary music teacher, with a music production degree who makes websites for a living. I'm also a musician, writer and poet.
If that intro seems weird, well I'm kind of a weird person. That’s what this post is all about.
A short bit about growing up
I was born in Newcastle, NSW, Australia - happily raised in the Lake Macquarie area until the age of 6 or 7 before my parents were divorced and things got really weird for a while.
I was a pretty unhappy kid, and missed a bunch of schooling due to moving around a bunch and some unexplained absences due to bullying and harassment. My schooling didn't really feel consistent or healthy until about 1999 as I moved into my high school years. I graduated Year 12 in 2005, and at age 18 I moved North, to Lismore, NSW with my then-partner, to start my first degree.
Throughout my entire childhood I was infatuated with computers, video games, drawing and music. I was bad at maths and sports (all of which still applies).
Gettin' moar education'd
Despite some pretty unimpressive high school grades, I was very fortunate to enrol and ultimately complete a Bachelor of Contemporary Music in 2009. The course was very hands-on, and I majored in studio and live music production. I really fell in love with learning at University and wished it wouldn't end. When it was time to move back home, I fell into another deep depression. I had bad anxiety during this time, and stalled on starting my career - instead, I started a band, and pursued another degree: Master of Teaching (secondary). I thought “I’ll pass my music skills on to the next generation”.
I completed my masters at the end of 2012, and taught music in secondary schools for 2.5 years.
Singing with régresser - photo by Joe Andersons Photography
Between 2009 and 2015 I lead several musical ensembles, spanning genres like Metal/Post-Metal, Post-Hardcore, and Blues/Rock. These were deeply personal, creative and emotional outlets that I am very proud to have been a part of. Together my friends and I played somewhere close to 100 gigs, and became close-knit with the Newcastle music scene. I also started a DIY production team with my friend Daniel and began producing music for friends. We got into doing live sound at various Newcastle venues, and eventually curated mini-festivals with eclectic line-ups.
I've now retired from raucous live performances, but I do have a solo music/poetry project called Whalebones.
You are here 📍
I first learned HTML in a year 10 computer science class. I have been honing those skills ever since. I supported both of my degrees by freelancing and working through casual contracts; designing and developing websites. I have no formal qualification in design, web development or programming (besides a short stint studying a first year BIT course) but I consider myself a life-long learner, and I'm experienced. I left my teaching career in 2014, to work full-time making websites and rich-media interactive experiences for an advertising agency in Newcastle - a polarising shift in day-to-day work! I've worked on websites (front-end, back-end, full-stack) of all shapes and sizes.
Probably not doing homework, but playing Sim City 3000
I’ve started this blog for myself. But also to show myself to others. The side of myself that would feel too weird and difficult to explain in person. I want to show off the me that would otherwise take years of close friendship for someone to discover.
I also need a new, more healthy outlet for my creativity, and I want that outlet to match closely with my career. I've lived several lives already - and now I'm gonna live my best one!
If you'd like to learn more about me, what I do, and why I'm doing it - please follow along :)