Good times take cen­tre stage

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - SVEN HERSELMAN

A free mu­sic pro­gramme is set to un­lock hidden mu­si­cal tal­ent by let­ting chil­dren bang on rub­bish bins, strum ukule­les and play glock­en­spiels be­fore putting them all on stage to­gether.

On pa­per it may sound like a recipe for a ca­coph­ony, but the mu­sic teach­ers from the Good­time Mu­sic Academy are con­fi­dent af­ter three days they will have the young mu­sos on song ahead of a performance at the Pic­ton Maritime Fes­ti­val.

The pro­gramme, which is be­ing funded by Pic­ton busi­nesses and the Pelorus Trust and run by Welling­ton’s Good­time Mu­sic Academy, is open to Marl­bor­ough chil­dren aged 5 to 12-years-old. No mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ence is re­quired and all the in­stru­ments are pro­vided. There is space for 60 chil­dren, and regis­tra­tion is a must.

Drum teacher Caleb Rior­dan, who is lead­ing the pro­gramme, says it might sound like a daunt­ing chal­lenge but mak­ing the lessons fun and break­ing the songs into easy sec­tions is the key.

‘‘We use songs that are sim­ple, like Black Eyed Pea’s I Got a Feel­ing is just three chords so we teach them those chords and get them strum­ming them on ukule­les. If some of the chil­dren know how to play we use them as teach­ers too.’’

The fi­nale will see them per­form the Katy Perry hit song Roar all to­gether, Caleb says.

‘‘For the big fi­nal song we put the kids into groups of 10 to 15 to play the dif­fer­ent in­stru­ments. We get a pretty good idea which kids have picked up in­stru­ments the best.’’

The pro­gramme was run as part of the Pic­ton Maritime Fes­ti­val in 2016, where 35 chil­dren took to the stage.

It was so suc­cess­ful or­gan­is­ers with de­cided to up the num­ber of chil­dren and tu­tors.

Pic­ton Maritime Fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Beryl Bow­ers says she is look­ing for­ward to their performance, sched­uled for 5pm at the fes­ti­val on Jan­uary 21.

‘‘I had par­ents stop me in the street af­ter­wards [last year] and tell me how fab­u­lous it was for their kids to be part of it.’’

The Good­time Mu­sic Academy teaches mu­sic to more than 800 chil­dren and reaches a fur­ther 40,000 each year through mu­sic mis­sions and dig­i­tal pro­grammes.

To find out more about the Pic­ton pro­gramme call the academy on 04 570 2730 or email of­fice@good­time­dru­macademy .co.nz

PHOTO: DAVID JAMES/FAIR­FAX NZ

Pic­ton chil­dren, from left, Mana Collins, Aki Collins, Mari Jame­son and Cor­ban Jame­son are look­ing for­ward to tak­ing part in a free three-day mu­sic pro­gramme for Marl­bor­ough kids.

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