Music education in New Zealand needs a reset, experts say
February 15, 2021
Nueva Zelanda/Por: Andre Chumko/Fuente: https://www.stuff.co.nz/
New Zealand’s music education system needs a reset to make sure budding musicians have access to proper training and to instruments, music experts say.
Orchestras are concerned about a lack of conductors within New Zealand and difficulties getting New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) players into the country could have “long-term negative impacts” on the sector, a Ministry for Culture and Heritage briefing concluded late last year.
“It remains hit-and-miss as to whether [talent] is discovered early enough and nurtured in the same way that many sporting codes have mastered,” said Euan Murdoch, former chief executive of Chamber Music New Zealand and former director of the New Zealand School of Music.
“Over the past few decades, private schools have led the way and under-investment by our ministry has meant that some of our most talented musicians are neither identified nor developed … This is the right time to reset.”
Peter Walls, a former chief executive of NZSO and Chamber Music, said there was an “abundance” of talent within New Zealand. But the availability of quality teaching was “just not where it should be”.
While certain schools encouraged and promoted a variety of music programmes for students to participate in alongside traditional classes, others offered very few opportunities, he said.
Walls said the education ministry needed to place more value on music altogether, citing research showing music education helps other forms of learning.
As a result of the “spotty” system – where a postcode could often make the difference between a quality grounding in music or not – private initiatives are established to help remove access barriers to instruments, which can often fall beyond household budgets.
One of these, the Michael Hill International Violin Competition Trust, has recently created a “bank” to pair young musicians with unused string instruments.
Its executive director, Anne Rodda, said private music education was expensive .
Young Kiwi musicians were of an “extraordinarily high calibre”, despite the country’s traditional school systems giving them a “holistic” training base in many areas, she said.
What the broad-brush approach results in is some teachers being “extremely narrowly focussed” on particular genres, while completely ignoring others,” said Michael Lawrence, head of music of St Andrew’s College in Christchurch for 25 years.
Schools also may struggle to supply students with a full range of instruments, which can discourage participation altogether. “How do we get music education covering everything?” he said.
Pauline Cleaver, an education ministry spokeswoman, said it provided support to schools and music teachers to encourage the uptake of music studies.
“We recognise the important and unique opportunities music and the arts offer young people,” she said. “We have heard the feedback from the sector that there is demand for improved arts provision in schools and will consider this as part of our planned refresh of the national curriculum.”
The NCEA level 1 music subject is being developed this year, and will be implemented in 2023.
The ministry didn’t have data on the number of music teachers in New Zealand.
Fuente de la noticia: https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/124210191/music-education-in-new-zealand-needs-a-reset-experts-say