Thursday 16th May

Karawhiua! Let's Play! residency at Bamford School

On a rainy Friday afternoon, the students of Bamford School in Woolston gathered in their school library, where the shelves had been moved to create a concert hall. They had been working and practising with musicians from the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra all week in a Karawhiua! Let’s Play! school residency, and now they’re here to celebrate their achievements with their whanau and the wider school community.

From 1st to 5th April, five musicians from the CSO took up residence at Bamford School. They worked with all the classes on various music projects that included learning to play harps, trumpets, violins and recorders over the course of a week. They also learned and rehearsed a drumming ensemble piece about climate change, sang about Captain Cook’s voyages to New Zealand and wove together a minuet by Mozart and the Māori song E Papa to accompany Tī Rākau, a traditional stick game. Two students, who were learning to play the trumpet with CSO Principal Bass Trombone Pablo Ruiz Henao, created their own brass fanfare especially for the concert.

The day before the concert, a group of students went to a nearby preschool to perform for the children alongside the musicians from the orchestra.

“It was an amazing opportunity for the children to experience something they haven’t experienced before,” said Bamford School Principal Shona Hewlett.  “It was an amazing experience for the students to perform live and, during the whole week, they felt the joy of music.

“This programme was so hands-on. It wasn’t just learning about instruments or watching someone, but actually creating music and performing. The projects were so differentiated across the school and kids could have success at each level. I’m hoping that this will give them self-confidence and future opportunities to want to learn an instrument and make music a part of their life.

“It’s also specific to New Zealand, weaving in the story of Captain Cook, and it nicely integrates Māori and English.”

Hewlett said the programme had made some of the teachers at the school realise how easy it was to incorporate music into their classrooms. “They always thought it would be a great big thing but now they realise students could be making music with things around the school. It was really accessible.”

Karawhiua! Let’s Play! residencies are Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom and are supported by the Ministry of Education. The CSO would also like to acknowledge the generous sponsorship of Beca for our Community Engagement Programme.