en-us Inspired by Yarra

Loren Brealey

YOG 2012

Saxophonist and Music Teacher

“Try different things - you might surprise yourself with where your passions lie.”

Through her years at Yarra, Loren Brealey had her future clearly mapped out. Above all else, she wanted to be a veterinarian and so Loren studied Science and was a high achiever.

But, a last-minute decision at the end of Year 12 changed Loren’s journey – and she has no regrets. Instead of applying for a degree in Veterinary Medicine, she instead opted to study Jazz and Music Performance.

Loren began learning to play the piano when she was very young and went on to learn the saxophone at Yarra.

“Around Year 9 I started playing in the jazz bands at School. I can remember performing one particular solo, the stage fright was real, but something changed in that moment – I felt, “I could do this”…The relationship with an instrument is challenging and that is what attracted me to it because when you make that connection, it is unlike anything else.”

Loren’s switch to a career in music was encouraged by a teacher at Yarra who, while they were on the school bus travelling home from a music tour, asked her why she was so sure she wanted to become a vet when she was coming early to school every morning to practice her music and not to study her other subjects.

“I hadn’t realised that music was something I could pursue as a career. Within a few weeks of my music degree, everything clicked and the plan to study veterinary medicine flew out the window. Now I get paid to do what I love!”

But while she discovered her musical career path, Loren faced an unexpected challenge when she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME). Loren still lives with CFS/ME but is learning to manage it.

“In Year 12, I had my head on the desk during periods 1 and 2 every day. I wasn’t well, but I kept pushing myself to get the perfect ATAR. Now I know the importance of pacing myself and am redefining ‘100%’. Balance, self-care and listening to your body’s warning signs is so much more important than you can understand when you’re in school.”

Loren remembers Yarra’s motto and says it inspired her to understand that there was a world beyond the School grounds.

"Music was a huge part of my life in School, and so the opportunities afforded to me, as well as the support I felt from my teachers, enabled me to go on to build a career doing what I love."


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