Gloria Viggiano has always loved singing, but it wasn’t until moving to Australia that she decided to turn her passion for music into a career. Now, Gloria has not only completed two TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) diplomas, but she has also performed at some of Perth’s coolest music venues.
We spoke to Gloria about her decision to pursue music at TIWA and how those courses helped her break into Perth’s music industry.
Moving to Australia
Gloria comes from the town of Genova in Northern Italy, and it was there that she began taking singing lessons at the age of 16. While Gloria loved the singing lessons, she decided to stop them to help out in her parents’ restaurants and save some money.
However, after high school, Gloria knew she wanted something different and hopped on a flight to Australia.
“After a bit of travelling, I started missing singing and I rediscovered my passion for it. I did my research and found out about the CUA50820 Diploma of Music [Performance] course TIWA offers.”
Gloria was excited to discover that she was eligible to apply for the course and quickly did so.
“I had a look at what the course was about and there were so many interesting topics I had never heard of before. I had never thought of writing my own songs or knowing how to record vocals.”
Studying at TAFE
Gloria loved studying at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Leederville campus and was very impressed by the education she received there.
“I had the opportunity of being taught by amazing musicians and mentors who are all working in the Perth music industry already,” she says. “I would always ask for advice, and they would just help you in any way they could.
“I gained more knowledge about how the music industry works, as well as the technical side of it, which is very hard to learn. All of this helped me realise how much I wanted to keep pursuing a career in music.”
Gloria also appreciated being part of TAFE’s supportive community of musicians, lecturers and music students.
“I really enjoyed how good all my lecturers were and how passionate they all are about what they teach. They were there to help you 24/7 and were able to create this beautiful community of musicians. Everyone would support each other,” Gloria adds.
“The music industry can be very tough and so competitive, but at TAFE, it was just like a big family – both in between the walls and out in the real world.”
Life after study
“I have been performing with my friend as a duo, which I was able to create thanks to one of my lecturers at TAFE, who kindly gave me some contacts in the Perth music industry. I’ve also been playing with a cover band in some of Perth’s most popular sports bars and clubs!”
When Gloria isn’t playing music, she enjoys heading to bars and clubs across Perth to hear other artists perform.
“There are so many festivals in Western Australia (WA) every year and it’s amazing to go and watch all these artists perform,” she says. “I also enjoy going to the beach – the beach is one of my favourite things about Perth.”
Gloria is enjoying the opportunity to play music around Perth and is hoping to continue doing so for many years to come.
“I want to keep pursuing a music career, writing original songs, releasing them, and promoting myself as an artist and as a brand,” she says.
Advice for other international students
Gloria encourages other international students to come and study in Australia, and offers a few pieces of advice:
“If you can find a course you get really interested in, do it and make the most out of it! Invest in yourself and get ready to meet amazing people along the way!”
If you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact TIWA for advice(opens in a new tab) on navigating your study and career journey.