THEY are country music stars in the making.
The students from Valkyrie State School were given the chance to learn the art of songwriting with singer and X Factor contestant Justin Standley last week.
Mr Standley will travel to rural schools in the region while embarking on his own national tour later in the year.
Valkyrie State School principal Darren Reid said the songwriting workshops were about giving students access to opportunities that they would not normally have access to.
My life philosophy is that music can enhance people's lives and find their own expression.
Mr Reid said because the school and many of the students were isolated in rural areas it was difficult for students to take part in activities such as these.
"Because we don't have access to many opportunities, we do miss out and when it comes to travel it can be a long way."
Part of the workshop included learning to write a song, recording it on a CD and even making a flim clip.
Mr Reid said the workshops have been organised with other rural schools in the region including Nebo State School, Clarke Creek State School, Coppabella State School and Mackenzie River State School.
He said the workshops were part of the national curriculum and lifted the profile of isolated students and schools, and enhanced learning opportunities.
Mr Standley said what he loved about the experience was being able to foster an appreciation for music with the students.
"When they have those skills, my life philosophy is that music can enhance people's lives and find their own expression."
Mr Standley said many of the students' original songs reflected rural life and the remote lifestyle.
"I was blown away by the kids and their use of words and what they came up with - it was brilliant.
"Some of the poetry the Year 4 students wrote about were from Akubra hats to cattle and bush bashing," he said.
Mr Standley said the workshop went very fast.
"The prep students went two hours without a break which was a good sign; the students really appreciated doing something different."
Mr Standley said he and students had a barrel of laughs while at Nebo State School.
"Many of the kids are chatter boxes and when I walked in they were very silent," he joked.
Mr Reid said the isolated schools had come together to provide a network to raise their public profile.
He said the students got to listen to their music on their CDs with many of them listening to their song over and over.
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