Jodie Blackshaw was born and raised in the Riverina with the majority of my years spent in and around Griffith, New South Wales. It was a beautiful place to grow and change, affording her a great deal of freedom and exploration. Music was not prominent however; she had very supportive parents and there was a town youth band that provided the opportunity to learn the clarinet. This lead to other opportunities such as music camps and the chance to play in regional school ensembles.
After completing her Bachelor of Music in Composition with Larry Sitskyat the Australian National University, she ventured back into the country to provide music opportunities for young students in remote communities. It was 9 years later that she studied a post-graduate teaching qualification and commenced classroom music teaching, alongside wind band instruction. In those 9 years she taught clarinet, saxophone and keyboard to a wide range of students from varying backgrounds. She also directed a variety of music ensembles and composed 'custom-made' music due to the diversification in instrumentation and ability.
It was this experience that shaped her 'student-first' approach and allowed her to experiment with alternate orchestration techniques. When she studied Education through New England University she was tremendously inspired by Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory and the Orff-Schulwerk approach. Since then she has further developed the compositional skills she acquired at the 'coal-face' and combined them with learned educational practice to create innovative works for symphonic wind bands at all levels.