If Year 12 student, Roman Martin, could have a conversation with anyone, he’d love a chat with legendary musician and ex-Beatle, Paul McCartney.
“I’d ask how he made the music he made, and how he feels about all he’s contributed and created,” Roman says.
“McCartney once walked into a practice session and said, ‘let’s play’. He meant not only the instruments, but also how good music relies on the imaginative play inherent in children but often lost by adults.”
Music is an incredibly important part of Roman’s life too.
After VCE he plans to head to a tertiary institution offering bachelor degrees in music, and ultimately earn a living as a drummer.
Drums have been on the scene for Roman since he was quite young.
“We had a cheap set of drums at home from when I was about eight or nine,” he remembers.
In Year 7, soon after Roman started at Weeroona College, he went to a ‘come and try’ music evening.
“Although I’d been playing guitar for a while, I remember sitting at the drums and thinking, yep, this is it. Drumming felt easy,” Roman says.
“Or maybe that’s just hindsight because it feels easy now!”
Roman says he was ‘rude and cocky’ during his early years at Weeroona College. However, something gradually changed and by the middle of Year 10 he noticed he was able to be more kind.
“I think there were many positive role models influencing me during those years,” Roman says. “I started really seeing others.”
These days Roman’s enjoying BSSC and describes his teachers as ‘pretty cool’.
“All my teachers are fantastic people,” he says. “They’re probably what I like best about the college.”
The biggest challenge for Roman has been the amount of work expected in VCE.
“It’s important not to over-think things,” he says, “to be able to self-talk yourself out of worries or negativity.
“One of my favourite sayings is, ‘it is what it is’ and to me that’s about taking things one day at a time.”
Roman has found many standard study tips don’t work for him—so he applies the same approach he uses to develop his drum skills, to his other classwork.
“I just go over what I’m trying to learn until it’s engraved into my brain and I know I know it,” he says. “Drumming is the same—you just keep doing it till it’s right.”
Alongside English, Art and Food Studies, Roman is enjoying Music Performance and Music Composition and having external music lessons incorporated into his VCE program.
Unsurprisingly, he names Music Performance his favourite subject.
He’s one of the BSSC musicians whose lunchtime ‘Open Mic’ performances in the Ulumbarra Plaza have been much enjoyed by the college community.
Initially into punk and metal, which he still enjoys, Roman has been learning about jazz and funk and his present personal favourite is jazz fusion.
“I think drumming is part muscle memory and part intuition,” he says. “Your body learns to keep a beat and the drums become like an extension of you.”
Roman writes some of his own material, and although he finds lyrics challenging, loves composing music. He’s also a visual artist who loves working in ink.
Looking back, Roman is incredibly grateful for the people in his life.
“My upbringing taught me to be a reasonable person and gave me opportunities to grow and shape myself,” he says. “I’m proud I came to see the value of this.”
If Roman could go back and have a conversation with his 12-year-old self, his message would be a simple one.
“Stop being a dick. Calm down!”