New school hits right note

North Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - AMY BAKER

Bring­ing mu­si­cians to­gether is just one of the hopes Grace Liu has for her new mu­sic school in north Auck­land.

Based in cen­tral Al­bany, the Al­bany School of Mu­sic was of­fi­cially opened on May 21.

Head of school, Liu, who also founded the Re­muera Mu­sic Acad­emy in 2014, said she took a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion.

‘‘Learn­ing mu­sic is more about shar­ing with other peo­ple,’’ she said.

‘‘We want all the stu­dents to have a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties to share this mu­sic with the pub­lic not just with your fam­ily but with your friends.’’

An ac­com­plished flautist her­self, Liu said mu­sic is also about learn­ing to com­mu­ni­cate through mu­sic with strangers.

Orig­i­nally from Bei­jing, Liu be­gan her mu­si­cal ca­reer on the vi­olin as a 6-year-old, but switched to the flute when she was 9. She com­pleted her bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Zurich, Switzer­land and then her mas­ter’s based at a con­ser­va­tory in Lugano.

The school of­fers in­di­vid­ual lessons, along with mu­sic lan­guage, where stu­dents learn more about the­ory, mu­sic his­tory and com­posers.

It has 80 stu­dents so far. Real­is­ing there was a need for such a cen­tre on the North Shore, Liu and her hus­band, Tony, be­gan prepa­ra­tions for another school in Al­bany in 2016.

The build­ing, which was pur­pose-built, con­tains a record­ing stu­dio and salon for con­certs. Per­for­mance work­shops are also of­fered fort­nightly.

The school also plans to of­fer many con­certs dur­ing the year.

For­mer di­rec­tor of the How­ick School of Mu­sic and ad­vi­sor Terry Spragg said she be­lieved Liu and her hus­band had ‘‘great fore­sight’’ to open the school.

AMY BAKER/FAIR­FAX NZ

Head of school Grace Liu said her vi­sion is for both stu­dents and teach­ers to grow their knowl­edge.

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