The Music Program Changing Lives And Dropping Tracks With Major Label

Jasmine Privitera couldn’t escape the bullies at school or online and became severely depressed at 14, but she did find a way out: music.

Three years ago, the now 17-year-old found Musicians Making A Difference, a charity organisation that changes the lives of young people by mentoring them and helping them become musicians.

“I was in a really low state, I didn’t have a lot of friend support around me and I was having a lot of issues at school,” she told 10 daily.

“Then I heard about this place running music courses.”

Jasmine Privitera
Jasmine Privitera used music to overcome intense bullying. Image: Taylor Denny

Since then, she said, her life has been transformed.

“It's something that still plays in my mind a lot and I still think about, why me, why me..." she said.

"To be honest I didn’t really believe I was capable of the dreams I had because it was such a far reach."

“Now MMAD has started pushing me forward in those hopes and those dreams and they’re helping me achieve them.”

On Friday, Musicians Making A Difference will launch a single made by young people through Rise Up, a music and mentoring program.

The program gives opportunities to young people between 16 and 24 to work with artists at Universal Music.

Lillith Gutmanis is another young artist who has been through the Rise Up program and contributed to the making of the single.

The 19-year-old says connecting with MMAD has helped her find her self-belief.

Lillith Gutmanis, 19, jams with the MMAD crew. Image: Taylor Denny
Lillith Gutmanis, 19, jams with the MMAD crew. Image: Taylor Denny

“I get anxious when I get up on stage and there’s always a point where it hits me that I do want to be up here and I have to be confident,” she told 10 daily.

“It’s really an unreal feeling because I never thought I’d be able to get the opportunity to do the performances that I have.”

MMAD helped her discover a passion for music and the way it connects people.

“MMAD has inspired me so much and given me a lot of passion to keep doing what I’m doing and give back to everyone around me,” she said.

Musicians Making A Difference jamming at Universal Music Australia. Image: Taylor Denny
Musicians Making A Difference jamming at Universal Music Australia. Image: Taylor Denny

MMAD CEO Dominic Brook said the charity’s goal is to inspire young people to reach their full potential.

“It helps them express their trauma, and also helps them rewrite their lives and make them remarkable,” he told 10 daily.

That's exactly what Jasmine is doing.

With the opportunities MMAD has given her to make industry connections, Jasmine will study sound engineering.

“It’s really humbling to go into these big companies and be treated like you’re one of them and you’re just as worthy of having your voice heard, and that ability to have our voices heard is absolutely incredible,” she said.

Musicians Making A Difference Day is Friday, December 7. Use #musiciansmakingadifference to share how music has inspired you.

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

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Featured image: Taylor Denny