Mrs Lynette Fahie has been part of our School Community for 24 years. Mrs Fahie reflects on how she turned her passion for music into a career and her highlights since being at our School.
Initially commencing a Communications degree, Mrs Fahie found her calling to teach music while completing her practical unit of her Diploma of Education in 1993.
“My supervisor at Corpus Christi College was working on setting up the music program there and that was when I saw how inspiring a Secondary Music Program can be. It was a moment of epiphany for me that I just went, ‘Yup, this is what I want to do’. As my own music education had been exceptionally rigorous – I was very well taught by excellent teachers – I did not find it that inspiring or exciting, and so 1993 was the big year that set me on the course for the rest of my career.”
“I started teaching in 1994 at Mater Dei College in Perth. I taught Music and English there for six years before I was able to drop English and focus on what I loved! I set up bands and choirs and taught TEE Music. At the end of 1999, my husband who grew up in Bunbury expressed a desire to return to the country. This job was advertised, and I was lucky enough to get it. We moved to Bunbury in January 2000, and I have been here ever since,” said Mrs Fahie.
Mrs Fahie started music lessons at age seven at a tiny Catholic primary school. What started out as a compulsory lesson, blossomed into a lifetime passion. A year into her piano lessons, her teacher pointed out to her mother that she had talent, and Mrs Fahie’s mother latched onto that and kept her playing music all the way through her teenage years.
“It probably was not until I was 16 or 17 that I really loved it. So, I am exceptionally grateful for my mum who kept me going all those years until music became a part of me! I cannot imagine not doing it anymore,” said Mrs Fahie.
Besides the piano, Mrs Fahie has learnt to play an array of instruments and loves being part of the School’s bands.
“I completed my music grades through the Australian Music Examinations Board. I got up to sixth grade piano, then switched to the pipe organ because my school had an organ in the chapel. I was taught by excellent teachers and completed fifth grade organ, which was was my instrument for TEE. I also took up the trumpet in Year 12, and since I have been teaching, I have learnt to play the saxophone, had a go at the French horn but finally found my instrument in the trombone, which I took up five years ago, and now just love playing in the band. I also love singing (I am not very good at it, but I enjoy it). Whenever anybody asks me ‘what is your instrument’, I would still say piano, as it is what I have played the longest, and feel most comfortable playing, but I love the social aspect of playing trombone and being part of a band.” she explained.
On top of her bachelor’s degree and diploma in Teaching, Mrs Fahie completed a Master’s in Education Leadership and Management in 2020.
“A Masters qualification was something I wanted to do for a long, long time. I started in 2016 as my children were at an age when they could look after themselves a bit more., I continued working full-time and studied part-time over four years. It was at University of Notre Dame again (it was where I did my Diploma of Education as well), so it was interesting to go back nearly 30 years later and see how the university had grown and developed. I learnt so much from that qualification.”
Completing her Masters has enriched her professional and teaching career, “I had spent 20 plus years in the classroom and I wanted to go back [to university] and have a look at new research to learn what has changed and how could I use new understandings to better inform what I am doing in the classroom.”
“It is really easy to get stuck in the classroom, doing the same thing year after year. Yes, the students change, and you tweak to suit, but you wonder what else is going on in the world. There has got to be some new good ideas out there! I also completed a national certification as a lead teacher, which put me in touch with other people around Australia and makes me feel less isolated. If I have a problem, I know that there are people I can go to and ask about their experience, and how other schools solved a similar problem,” she added.
When asked what she has really enjoyed about our school, she said, “In the 24 years that I have been here, there are three things that I have really enjoyed; that it is a Christian school, that it is Co-ed and that it offers Kindergarten to Year 12. Those three things meant that I was able to have my children with me for their schooling. My youngest child is in Year 12 this year, so this is my 17th year as a parent of the school, and it has just been such a joy to bring the kids with me to work and take them home at the end of the day.”
Being part of the School Band, Mrs Fahie has toured and performed at various regional country towns, something she admits being a highlight of hers every year.
“I have done 15 regional tours and two interstate tours and it is funny because they do not all merge into one big memory – I have very clear memories of each particular place. There are not many people who can say they have performed in venues like the Dumbleyung Town Hall or the Undercover Area at Mount Manypeaks Primary. I have visited so many country towns with the Music Tour and the audiences in these little places are always so grateful that you have made the effort to go and see them.”
“When we performed at Woodanilling Primary School, which had only 11 students at the time, (it is tiny!) all the parents came in from the farms and they put on afternoon tea for us! People are so generous and grateful and genuine in the country, that is what I love about going to these places. If you ask any student that has been on Music Tour, they just say what a wonderful time it is,” she remembers fondly.
Mrs Fahie believes teaching music has allowed her to form a special bond with her students through the camaraderie of cold early mornings and a shared commitment to their passion for music.
“I think teaching music is really special – you develop unique relationships with the students over a long time, and it is different to what students have with their other teachers because with music, you are coming in early mornings, and you are doing night and weekend events and sometimes it is really difficult. Starting at 7.30am on a Friday morning in the middle of winter – that is hard work,!. I know the students value what they get here because when they leave, they come back and visit, or they send emails or call out of the blue to share what they are doing, and to reminisce on their memories of their time here. So if I have been able to create a lifelong memory for them, then, that’s my job done.”
Looking forward, the big thing on Mrs Fahie’s radar is the upcoming whole school production, Shrek The Musical.
“We have been working on Shrek The Musical for two years, and we are now just weeks away from opening night! It is frightening, but also very exciting! The buzz you get from performance, there’s nothing like it.” said Mrs Fahie.
“Next year is going to be the start of something different for me, because I will not have any children here for the first time,! But we will start a new adventure next year, and I am sure it will be great!” she concluded.
Tickets for the whole school production, Shrek The Musical, go on sale in Term 3. Visit our event page for more information.