Creative ID: 094
Art form(s): Music.
Based in: Christchurch.
When I'm available: I currently CRT so that I am flexible for opportunities such as this one.
Where I'm available: Christchurch and surrounding areas.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
Primarily I am a composer. However, I am also a woodwind (bassoon, clarinet, saxophone and flute) and piano player as well as a tutor. My strengths lie in composition and education. I believe that every student is capable of learning music. Music education is incredibly important to a child’s development, not only cognitively but also physically, socially, and psychologically. The skills learnt through music contribute to the development of confident and creative individuals. I believe that the role of the teacher is to provide a safe, nurturing and supportive environment, where the individualised needs and culture of every child is recognised and celebrated.
I have high expectations of myself and for my learners as we learn together on a journey of discovery. I believe that every child can contribute to the learning environment and succeed in their own personal learning goals. My classroom is student-centred and all students are shown respect and understanding of their individualism. One of my strengths is in building strong and positive relationships with my students, their whānau and the wider community based on the values of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga. I believe in lifelong learning and want to provide the same passion I have in learning for my students.
My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with
I have been working as a freelance musician and music teacher for the last 5 years. I studied a Masters of Music in Composition at the NZSM. I have won the Jenny McLeod Prize and the David Farquar Prize for Excellence in Composition as well as having a number of pieces played by the NZSO, NZSQ, and APO. I am currently working on a project with a Wellington soprano and a Brisbane-based project for their Arts Festival. I also write indie songs and am working on producing an EP.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I have taught instrumental music and run woodwind programmes at various primary schools for 5 years including rehearsal for massed concerts involving over 70 students. Last year I completed a Masters in Teaching and Learning (Primary). Recently I have been CRTing at a primary school as well as teaching instrumental music after school at a Music Academy. I recently attended the MENZA conference. Next year I will be working with a symphony orchestra and a kapa haka group facilitating a resulting composition. Currently, I organise a composers' workshop, an annual 4-day event for tertiary-level composers to be mentored by leading NZ composers and performed by professional musicians. I am a believer that students' out-of-school experience of music should be represented in music education and am flexible and willing to try any genre and any idea. Students are more engaged in lessons that they can relate to and that they are interested in.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
During my degree last year I connected with local primary schools and saw the lack of music education, especially compared to the schools I was working at in Australia. I feel students need a specialised educator for subjects such as music as there is not enough teaching training to allow our teachers to properly teach the subject. As the role of music specialist teacher is limited to schools that can afford it, I am looking for ways to encourage music-making in schools so that students can take an interest in music (both performance and composition) in their formative years. This would allow our high school music programmes to grow and for more students to take advantage of the wonderful itinerant music system we have at our secondary schools. I find that the best way to stay inspired is to stay excited. Working with students and sharing their musical journeys has helped fuel my passion for music and music-making.