Kool Skools Testimonials

“When students love what they’re learning, your job as a teacher becomes easier and more rewarding”

See what music teachers and students are saying about The Kool Skools Project.

All music schools should consider taking up the project, it’s so positive for young songwriters and musicians to have this complete experience in the recording studio and on stage.

“Thank you so much, we have had an absolute ball with your program this year and are so excited to do it again in 2020. KoolSkools gave our community of emerging young talent the opportunity to step into a state of the art recording studio.

Each sound technician made the young musicians feel comfortable no matter what level of experience the young person had, as they worked together to get the best out of each band/artist.

Each track on our Album sounds amazing, the final product looks so professional and we cannot wait to launch the Album and sign up for the program again next year.”  (*first time project in 2019)

Tabitha Rickard | Youth Engagement Officer
City of Ballarat

“Music is a subject that has the power to break boundaries, evoke emotion and unite groups of people, who may otherwise have never spoken or worked together if it weren’t for their shared interest in Music. Whether it be hip hop, rock, pop, classical or alternative, music can bring people together and that has been one of the greatest bi-products of being involved in the Kool Skools Recording Project at Studio 52/Empire Studios. Recording a CD is a great experience for students and teachers alike and the students love getting a copy of their music to share with family and friends.

I had heard about Kool Skools from colleagues at other schools over many years and decided that we were going to get involved. The students all pay a fee to be involved, so the more students you get involved, the cheaper it is. Our Music students had been playing in bands, at events and jamming both during lunchtimes and after school every day but when I mentioned the idea of recording an album, they thought this was the best idea they had heard and they were extremely excited about going to a real studio, with real engineers and producers and creating a CD of their own music.

The day finally came to head down to the city to record at Studio 52 and the kids were ridiculously excited to record a large number of original songs and a selection of covers. As previously stated, a bunch of mixed year level students (7-12) from a range of backgrounds and skill levels joined with a common purpose and worked together to record a dozen or more tracks over the two days and not only recorded their own music but sat in as session musicians for other students and groups to help them get their tracks completed. It was fantastic and after the two days of recording, listening, re-recording and editing, the students learned heaps. Funnily enough, the first group of students I took to Kool Skools have maintained their musical connection at school and many have gone back over subsequent years to record again at Kool Skools.

Paul and Trevor from Kool Skools (at Studio 52/Empire Music), as well as the other audio engineers, have been a wealth of knowledge and have provided great advice for both myself as the teacher and for the students during these recording sessions. These guys know their stuff and have been great with the students, helping them to record and giving them priceless tips and advice to help them learn and improve their sound, songwriting and playing.

After recently completing another year of recording at Kool Skools in September 2019 and after recording a record 22+ tracks; a mix of acoustic/vocal duos, solo piano/acoustic/ukulele/vocal pieces and a number of rock bands, with a huge group of students, both the students and myself are still just as excited about this project as we were the first time.

The day after our 2019 Kool Skools session was completed, the students were already back in the Music room discussing what they loved about the studio this year, how their songs sounded and what they want to record in 2020. The Kool Skools Recording Project is an annual music trip that the kids will be knocking down your music room door to get involved in… and it is totally worth it!

If you want to get involved and know more about it, give Paul and Trevor a call at Studio 52/ Kool Skools! If you want an honest teacher’s perspective, track me down at Trafalgar High School in Victoria and we can have a chat – Ben.”

Ben Smith – Music Coordinator Trafalgar High School 

“Victory has been involved in five Kool Skools projects and our students look forward to it every year. Some of our senior students have played on every CD we’ve recorded so far, and they can clearly see how their music has developed over the years. They love working with the recording engineers who are extremely helpful and encouraging with our young musicians and singers. The arrival of the final CD is always greatly anticipated, as in the notification of any nominations for the end-of-year awards. I certainly recommend the program to any schools interested in injecting enthusiasm and real-world experience into their Music Program.”
Ian Oglethorpe – Music Coordinator.  
Victory Christian College Strathdale


Wangaratta HS has recorded its 23rd album as part of Kool Skools in 2019, the only school to have been involved every year. This was the happy 19th album back in 2015!!!  Congratulations to Wangaratta High School & Thomastown SC, both schools are recording their 19th album with Kool Skools in 2015! They started the project in the first year 1997 and have been part of the project every year since!  

Thomastown SC also was awarded ‘Koolest Skool’ in 2013.

Koolest Skool for 2013 Jimy Lundy and his students pictured with Paul Higgins from Kool Skools

Koolest Skool for 2013
Jimy Lundy and his students pictured with Paul Higgins from Kool Skools

“All the staff created an incredibly positive vibe for our students to work in. Brilliant facilities, sound guidance and an awesome result!”                                                         Rowville Secondary College (*first time project in 2015)

“This was an amazing experience for our young people. They will be talking about this for a long time. What a fantastic environment the Studio 52 team have created and a great opportunity they have provided for young artists. Well Done!”                                                     Strathbogie & Murrindindi Shire Councils (*first time project in 2014)

“I’m a HUGE fan of the project, Real recording experiences you wouldn’t normally get the chance to be part of. This years’ students (2011) said it was the coolest thing they have ever done!”                                                                                                                                                  Ben Salvador . Music Co-ordinator -Heathdale Christian College

“I was involved with Kool Skools from the start and thought it was a winner of an idea as soon as I heard  the concept many years ago when it was first pitched to a handful of teachers in 1996. Over the last 15 years I have seen first hand what an amazing impact the ‘Kool Skools’ project had on our school and its community. It is not an understatement to say it has changed the lives of many of its participants and always for the better. Before we got involved with the ‘kool Skools’ project our school had an almost non existent music program . Thomastown SC now boasts its own music recording studio and an extensive music program and a strong musical culture that owes its existence to the ongoing success and participation within the ‘Kool Skools’ project.  (Thomastown has participated in every single year of Kool Skools since its inception and it has become an integral part of the school, its curriculum and its community.) There has never been, in my 25 years of teaching, a better program that teaches, motivates and instills such pride in achievement to students who take part in it.”
Jim Sismanes . Music Co-ordinator -Thomastown Sec. College- 1996-2007

#18 CD for Wangaratta High School! Kool Skools has influenced and changed the lives of many of our students. it has allowed the music department to grow and prosper”.
david ashfield (wangaratta high school)

“(Re Kool Skools Awards 2013) Congratulations on another great event. As ever, I was blown away by the artist performances and especially Bonney Ranch and Tash Eloise who proved to be worthy winners of the JB HI FI prize.”       mike glynn (music manager JB HiFi)

“(Re Kool Skools Awards 2013) Just wanted to commend you for last nights Awards Night Just brilliant guys! The standard was so high this year – what amazing talent we are blessed to see. On behalf of Heathdale, Thank-you!”    ben salvadore (Heathdale Christian College)

“A big thank you to you and all the team at Studio 52 for continuing to run such a marvellous program.” caroline servadei (Korowa Anglican Girls School)

“(On receiving the Award for Koolest Skool 2012) Wow – thanks so much for Saturday night. What a brilliant night! Thankyou so much for your support to our students over the years.”     ryan black (Notre Dame College)  

“for the past 11 years, kool skools has launched the careers of many of our music students including missy higgins and axle whitehead”.
paul retke (geelong grammar school)

“with the challenge of the lack of transport and remoteness of the community, it’s given our young people the chance to meet and collaborate with different musos from other towns. they’ve worked remotely in the past so kool skools has been a great way to really push them into getting together, getting creative and writing their own music”.
dion griffin (north central llen/buloke shire)

“we discovered there was a necessity for an outlet to support more student driven musical projects. after being accepted into the kool skools project, students began working overtime to produce original material. students from both campuses were inspired to collaborate with students they may not have worked with before”. michael davis (caulfield grammar school)

“the project has provided a unique opportunity for young bands in hobsons bay to experience a recording experience first hand. the young people are very excited at the opportunity to record their music and showcase it to friends, family and their local community”.
daniel taylor (hobsons bay youth services)

“kool skools was incredible experience. it created teamwork musically but also pulled everything together across campuses, year levels, ethnicities and backgrounds. from year to year the ‘legend’ of the experience of doing kool skools keeps the students focused and creative.”
helen jensen (copperfield college)

“it’s amazing to work alongside professional engineers with access to state of the art equipment. kool skools has been a fantastic learning experience. it has had a positive impact on all students from the very young year 8’s through to our vce students. it’s our schools first involvement in kool skools and has been a very positive and rewarding experience”.
scott solimo (benalla college)

“kool skools has been a great project for our youth council members to be involved in. it has given members the opportunity to be involved in a collaborative project with other youth council members who they might not otherwise usually work with. they all talked about how much they enjoyed coming to the recording studio and seeing how everything came together. they are all asking about whether we can do it again next year”.
kate munro (manly council)

“kool skools has given students an insight to the recording and sound engineering side of the industry. students have a feeling of ownership on the cd and a sense of pride about their school”.
lynn liu (cranbourne secondary college)

“kool skools has provided an outstanding opportunity for our young people to develop themselves creatively and professionally by having industry experts take them and their work seriously. all the feedback from both bands and our fresh crew is very positive. kool skools allows us to offer young local bands an opportunity to get recognition and community support for their talents”.
heather padden (frankston youth resource centre)

“our students have experienced the realities of the music industry which has taught the students the necessities of recording which include: adequate rehearsal time, ‘polished’ pieces, techniques to record in time, how to work as a team, how to work effectively in a small time frame, how to cooperate in a team environment under stress, fine tuning their listening skills and the importance of the whole recording procedure at every phase (i.e. rehearsal, record, overdubs, mixing). the multimedia students have learnt the importance of time management and new skills in design and multimedia. also, friendships are formed and some students have learnt how to adapt to different environments and improve their communication skills on a personal level”.
kris garner (brisbane water secondary college)

Kool Skools scream

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *