Blues sessions restart

Shedding the Blues members Ian Zierk, John Matlen and Wayne Turnbridge got the hall rocking at the launch in February. (Supplied)

The retired, or soon-to-be-retired, men across the Bellarine are gearing up to restart their face-to-face music sessions after their successful launch in February.

Shedding the Blues was launched earlier this year, but was put on hold after the COVID-19 outbreak.

The initiative hopes to promote men’s mental health and wellbeing through music.

Shedding the Blues co-ordinator Des Gorman said the group targets “mature-aged” men who have completed full-time work or who are preparing for retirement.

“Between 15 and 30 guys who love their music have been meeting via Zoom since early March when the COVID-19 restrictions hit,” he said.

“Many of the men who attended the February launch of this new and innovative way of staying connected through music, have availed themselves of the opportunity to learn from each other, play along on a number of chosen songs, as well as discuss a range of men’s health issues along the way.”

Mr Gorman said Shedding the Blues organisers were delighted that Queenscliffe and District Neighbourhood House had, under strict safety protocols, offered to host the face-to-face restart on July 21, where a small number of men further explored the craft of playing blues and roots music together.

“The plan is to start small and progress from there,” he said.

“Depending on the demand and how our first session goes we plan to have other small groups operating as soon as possible in areas of rock music, folk and country.

“We also plan to gather together a small group interested in appreciating jazz music in the near future.”

Shedding the Blues group has a dual purpose – to strengthen connections through music and to foster men’s health and wellness.

“With this in mind and with generous support from the City of Greater Geelong, we have gained the services of The Thrive Movement, Australia to run a series of men’s health workshops starting in late July,” Mr Gorman said.

“These workshops will initially cover such topics as positivity, emotional intelligence, dealing with stress and anxiety and resilience.

“It is terrific to see that such a group that had gained a great deal of momentum prior to the Covid crisis has been able to maintain that momentum and can finally get back together to do what they love doing.”

Anyone interested in joining can check out the Shedding the Blues Facebook page or contact Des Gorman at

The group is not just for competent musicians but is open to all genders with a keen interest in all things music.


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