Voice contestant John Lingard tells Bendigo students to “let their ears be the judge”. EMMA SCHENK reports...
STRUMMING a red ukulele and wearing her favourite pyjamas, Bronte Flanagan stands in her lounge room ready for her nightly performance.
The Bendigo girl doesn’t know why she connected to The Voice’s John Lingard - but his performance of Vance Joy’s Riptide captured her attention immediately.
Now, she spends every night miming his performance while her sister pretends to be a judge on The Voice.
And on Friday, she sat amazed and in shock as John Lingard visited her school for a surprise performance.
“I felt a bit nervous ,” she said.
“It felt like I was at The Voice.
“I just like him because he’s nice and has a good voice. I think he’ll win.”
Lingard said it was humbling to see how music could move people.
“I’ve seen the video of her performing and I think it’s just so cute,” Lingard said.
“Only because, for me, I don't see myself as an established artist yet, so to get that sort of attention is great and it’s even more than that.
“It’s her passion for the song - for music. I’m happy to surprise her.”
Lingard squished onto the Girton Grammar library couch with a group of excited students after the performance, telling them to “be best friends with their music teacher”, Mrs D.
He spoke of his first gig at the Golden Vine and said it was important to follow your passion when it came to music - and life itself.
“I didn’t play an instrument at school but I really regret that,” he said.
“You can learn so much from a young age and it’s so much fun to write songs and have that knowledge.”
It’s not important what music you like, Lingard told the students, as long as you let your ears be the judge.
“People try and tell you you’re uncool for liking certain music, but you shouldn’t let them say that,” he said. “Just feel what you feel.”
Bronte worked up the courage to play her version of Riptide for the other students, to which Lingard said “maybe we can work together on my album”.
And when asked who his biggest inspiration is?
“Well today that was you, Bronte, because you were my fan,” he said.
“And everyone was enthusiastic so that inspires me to keep playing and sharing music.
“Music is for everyone. It changes lives.”