JMI Alumni Stories: Kerri Buchanan

We asked some of our alumni what they have been up to since they graduated!
Here’s what Kerri Buchanan had to say. Graduated 2016.


Tell us a bit about yourself. What do you play?

Hi everyone, I’m Kerri and I’m a proud alumnus of JMI! I play saxophone and clarinet and have recently started learning the trumpet.

What musicians/bands have you been listening to at the moment?

A band that I have been listening to lately is Nicolas Gardel and The Headbangers and their album ‘The Iron Age’. I really like their song ‘What Is This Thing Called Jazz’ which is a contrafact of ‘What Is This Thing Called Love?’ Very cool stuff! I highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t heard them before.

What have you been doing since graduating from JMI?

I have been working as an Instrumental Music teacher for the Queensland Department of Education. Last year, I was predominantly in Far North Queensland teaching in Tully and Cairns and this year I have been teaching in Mackay.

What are your future goals in music?

I am working towards doing my Masters in Performance within the next 3-5 years. I’m also keen to start my own jazz combo in Mackay and do regular performances with them around town and in Airlie Beach.

How has studying at JMI helped you to get where you are and towards your future goals?

How hasn’t it?! JMI has taught me a lot about actually playing music, if you get what I mean? To be able to play and improvise music with other musicians is a very unique and wholesome experience. I also learned a lot more about music theory despite studying it quite extensively when I was doing AMEB. Now as a teacher, it has reinforced the importance of playing for enjoyment but also being able to teach students to really make sure they understand what they are playing and why.

What advice would you have for someone thinking about studying music and especially jazz?

Do it. Embrace it. At times it will be the hardest thing you do but the outcome is definitely worth the blood, sweat, tears and time that you put into it. Listen to music; like, really listen. Go out and see your friends, mentors and the masters perform and make sure you put yourself out there to perform as well. It’s a wonderful, close-knit community and I’ve always felt at home whenever I come back to visit JMI. You don’t get that kind of experience with a lot of bigger universities which is part of what makes JMI so special and unique.

Leave a Reply