Project strikes chord with musician

Six60 bassist and synth player Chris Mac with members of Kaikorai Valley College's Instant Crush (from left) 12-year-olds Lynley Durham, Hamish King, Amanda Fiveash and Edward Bernhardt during a mentoring session. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Six60 bassist and synth player Chris Mac with members of Kaikorai Valley College's Instant Crush (from left) 12-year-olds Lynley Durham, Hamish King, Amanda Fiveash and Edward Bernhardt during a mentoring session. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Don't forget your roots.

Not only is it a triple platinum-selling single from Dunedin band Six60, but a philosophy of band bassist and synth player Chris Mac.

So much so, he has been at Kaikorai Valley College for the past two days, mentoring music pupils in songwriting, performance and career options in the music industry - all as part of the New Zealand Music Commission musicians mentoring in schools programme.

''I love it. When I was a kid, I got to go to something like this. It taught me a lot about music and the industry.

''That's where I learnt to be in bands and write songs. I wouldn't be here without that.''

The musicians mentoring in schools programme is funded by the Ministry of Education and supports pupils and teachers with achievement in NCEA music.

For year 8 pupils at Kaikorai Valley College yesterday, it was an awe-inspiring experience.

The room was silent for the first few minutes but it did not take long for the pupils to get over their nerves and perform in front of the rock star.

Edward Bernhardt said it was an awesome experience.

''He's the best mentor.

''He's quite funny, but also quite rude.''

Mac's visit to Kaikorai Valley College was the first of what he hoped would be many to schools across Otago, Southland and Canterbury in the coming months.

However, the visits will have to be slotted in between touring engagements with Six60.

Next week, he is heading to Europe for a month-long tour.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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