Trust in­stru­men­tal in mu­si­cal up­swing

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - SARA MEIJ

One hun­dred new Nelson stu­dents have taken on an or­ches­tral in­stru­ment in the past year with the help of the The Nay­land Mu­sic Trust.

Nay­land Col­lege prin­ci­pal Daniel Wil­son said the trust had been set up last year and it had been ‘‘more suc­cess­ful than we had thought in our wildest dreams’’.

‘‘If we had 40 or 50 stu­dents learn­ing by this stage we would have been in­cred­i­bly happy.

‘‘So to have 100 stu­dents that have picked up the op­por­tu­nity to learn a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment from the or­ches­tral fam­ily, we think is a great show of sup­port from our com­mu­nity around what we try to achieve with mu­sic around the dis­trict.’’

Wil­son said the fo­cus on specif­i­cally the or­ches­tral in­stru­ment fam­ily, in­clud­ing brass, wood­wind and string in­stru­ments, came from the de­sire to de­velop the mu­si­cal pro­gramme.

‘‘When I ar­rived at the school two-and-a-half years ago we didn’t have a lot of kids learn­ing or­ches­tral in­stru­ments, we had a lot of stu­dents that were iden­ti­fied as good singers or played gui­tar, drums or pi­ano but that op­por­tu­nity to sort of learn a flute or a vi­o­lin or clar­inet... there weren’t many stu­dents that had taken up that op­por­tu­nity.’’

He said play­ing mu­sic ‘‘uses ev­ery sin­gle as­pect of the brain, it’s a re­ally great skill to learn in terms of re­silience and per­se­ver­ance and creativ­ity’’.

‘‘The main rea­son for us is that we know that stu­dents get in­volved in ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties be that mu­sic or sport or drama or dance, all achieve aca­dem­i­cally bet­ter.

‘‘So hav­ing an in­ter­est that they can re­ally work on and de­velop at high school we feel is re­ally re­ally im­por­tant.’’

The Nay­land Mu­sic Trust had also set up a new Year 9 In­stru­men­tal Mu­sic Pro­gramme, again fo­cused on or­ches­tral in­stru­ments.

‘‘For the chil­dren com­ing into the high school there needed to be a pro­gramme for them to join if they had been learn­ing in­stru­ments.

‘‘Year 9 we think is not too late to pick up an in­stru­ment, so we wanted to con­tinue the mo­men­tum when they got to sec­ondary school.’’

Wil­son said the trust pro­vided free lessons and mu­si­cal in­stru­ments to the stu­dents want­ing to take on an or­ches­tral in­stru­ment.

‘‘At this stage the trust is pro­vid­ing pretty much all the in­stru­ments for all of the stu­dents.

‘‘We be­lieve in mu­sic as an or­gan­i­sa­tion and we’re re­ally keen on de­vel­op­ing that within the com­mu­nity as well.’’

MAR­ION VAN DIJK/ THE LEADER

Nay­land Col­lege mu­sic de­part­ment head Nigel Weeks with stu­dents in the In­stru­men­tal Mu­sic Pro­gramme.

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