American songwriter helps out at Whitireia
Pat Pattison has taught John Mayor and Aorosmith, and last week he was teaching Porirua’s up-andcoming musicians. Whitireia Community Polytechnic music students were taught by the Berklee College of Music professor during his second visit to New Zealand.
Pattison, who has worked with some of the world’s best songwriters, first visited Whitireia two years ago.
‘‘I’m thrilled to be here again,’’ he said. ‘‘I enjoy working with the students and their teachers, who seem fresh and vital and focused on learning. That’s enough for me.’’
Whitireia music student Robert Kingi said he could not believe he was learning from someone he had long admired.
‘‘ I’ve got a completely different approach to writing songs. Music is powerful and can be used to portray a message. It’s an international language,’’ he said.
Pattison said there was a lot of talent in Porirua and he had heard some excellent songs while visiting.
‘‘Meeting people engaged in the pursuit of excellence is always the best part and we’ve taken some lovely drives through some beautiful countryside.’’
He said curiosity, an open mind and trying new ways to express ideas were the skills needed to be a good songwriter.
Pattison started working at Berklee in 1975. He has published four books on songwriting.