The Tironui Music Trust was set up by Peter Hubscher, a New Zealand String Quartet Trust board member and his wife Pam, to encourage the development of music education for young children in low-decile schools. The Trust has devised a programme that provides children with free tuition and instruments for four years, from Year 5 to 8. The key objective is for them to learn the basics of reading and making music and to enjoy playing as part of a group.
The programme started in 2006 as a pilot project with 25 children learning Band instruments at Papatoetoe West Primary School. In 2014 approximately 250 students will be enrolled in the program with seven teachers working with them at a cluster of six Papatoetoe Primary and Intermediate schools. Programmes now cover both String and Band ensembles.
The success achieved by the children is such that more schools are seeking to be involved than the Trust has the current ability to fund. The costs of expanding are a considerable hurdle with instruments costing around $600 each and tuition costs of $350 per child per year.
The Trust is extremely grateful for the voluntary support it receives from organisations such as New Zealand String Quartet. When they visit and both play with and perform for the budding musicians the children are inspired with the magic that flows and redouble their own efforts and achievements. The reverse benefits of course include the development of future audiences from a group of youth who would otherwise never have come in contact with classical repertoire, or have had the chance to perform it.
The Tironui Trust Board is made up of people with a wide knowledge of music and education including Euan Murdoch from Chamber Music New Zealand, Barbara Glaser- CEO of the Auckland Philhamonic Orchestra, and Belinda Kusabs – a specialist in Resource teaching. They are complemented by the Hubschers who provide administrative support and Rae Fehl who champions student needs.
The Tironui Music Trust is a Registered Charity (CC10934) and welcomes any offers of support that would contribute to expanding the availability of music to less privileged children. You are welcome to contact the Trust if you would like to help by donation of money, instruments or expertise – or you are interested in starting a Tironui Trust programme in your area.
More information about the Trust is available on its website tironui.org.nz