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Education & Participation

Inspiring the next generation of talented young New Zealand musicians.

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Dedicated teachers as well as performers, the NZSQ are committed to inspiring and nurturing the next generation of New Zealand musicians and introducing chamber music to young New Zealanders. Our mission is to serve our community by enriching lives through music. Our education sessions provide a wonderful opportunity to spark and deepen musical connections that can last a lifetime.

The NZSQ education programmes align with our touring to reach young people across Aotearoa of all ages and musical backgrounds. We partner with schools, El Sistema programmes, and music education groups. Each year we run a multi-day course in Wellington at the New Zealand School of Music for secondary school ensembles. The annual Adam Summer School gives New Zealand’s talented string and piano students the chance to hone their skills and reach beyond their expectations.


We’d love to hear from teachers and students interested in arranging groups sessions or concerts. We are based in Wellington, but our touring schedule means we can offer sessions around New Zealand. Please get in touch to find out more.


A workshop or concert with the NZSQ is the perfect way to inspire and introduce students to chamber music.

In a school concert, The NZSQ will present short pieces and examples by composers from New Zealand and around the world. Join the NZSQ for a trip through time and hear music from the last three centuries of all different styles and moods. Sit close to the musicians and watch their leaping bows and super-fast fingers create wonderful sounds…and weird sounds.

In our workshops, there’s also the chance to meet the instruments and hear their different voices. Learn how the musicians each plays their own separate part, then fits this together with the others to create a complete piece of music.

We can work with you to continue or broaden students’ other learning outcomes and align students’ musical experiences with other topics studied.


A coaching session, workshop, or masterclass with the NZSQ is the perfect way to extend and enhance music understanding and skills.

During an ensemble coaching session, student groups working towards performance credits or recitals have a chance to work closely on ensemble playing and technique. Whether you’re a string player or not, the quartet have all the tips and tricks to share on how to get the best out of your group and your performance.

Masterclasses for string students working towards individual performance credits or recitals are also available.

Our workshops not only benefit performers, but also budding composers and musicologists. Through contrasting examples of music from New Zealand and around the globe, the quartet delve into musical context and compositional techniques, and describe how these elements come together, along with the performers’ interpretation, to communicate ideas and emotions with your audience.


The NZSQ’s flagship education programme is a residential course for talented secondary and tertiary students, supported by the Adam Foundation. Since the Adam Summer School began in 1994, many alumni have gone on to professional careers in music in New Zealand and internationally. Held across eight days in Nelson each February, the NZSQ and a leading guest piano tutor offer around 30 students the intensive ensemble coaching leading to two public finale concerts. The challenges are huge, and so are the rewards.

Entry to the programme is by audition and applications open in September each year.


Each year in June the NZSQ run the Queen’s Birthday Chamber Music Weekend, in partnership with the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. This three-day programme focusses on preparing pre-established secondary student ensembles for their performance in Chamber Music New Zealand’s NZCT Chamber Music Contest. Ensembles attending the Queen’s Birthday Chamber Music Weekend have gone on to both regional and national finals and, in 2019, were NZCT Contest overall winners.  Applications usually open in April via the New Zealand School of Music's website. Find out more about our students’ success here.

High-level music students participating in the New Zealand School of Music’s Young Musicians Programme also have the chance to work with the NZSQ, among other professional musicians from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the NZSM. More information is available on the NZSM YMP's website.

We regularly work with music education programmes for students at all levels around New Zealand, including Virtuoso Strings, Arohanui Strings, Tironui Strings, Sistema Whangarei, and Sistema Waikato. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a workshop or coaching session.

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