NZ - Te Kura’s young musicians programme wins industry approval

Two song-writing students at Te Aho o TeKura Pounamu have had their own songs released under a school initiative that has been given the thumbs up by industry heavyweights.

Ākonga (students) Aidan Ripley and Natalie Martin were chosen to take place in Te Kura’s inaugural song writing initiative.

Te Kura Central North kaiako (teacher)Trevor Faville, says the goal of the programme has been to take selected ākonga who have been writing and recording their own songs.

 “From there we walk them through the process of mastering, promoting, and releasing a song to streaming platforms like Spotify.” 

Along the way, the first group of ākonga have been guided through processes such as owning their master recordings, registering for royalty collection, setting up a digital presence, designing their own cover art and promotional material and managing their own digital distribution.

“Essentially each student has become their own record label,” Trevor says.

Aidan says the experience has been an important learning experience for him, both as a musician and content creator. A song by ākonga Sophie Turner will join Aidan and Natalie on the playlist.  

Industry heavyweights have given the initiative the thumbs-up.

Mike Chunn from Play it Strange has applauded the project, which he says is taking original songs and, with respect and an understanding of the power and creative energy of recorded music, bringing them to the front line.

“This is excellent. As well, and this is important - this is being carried out with support from Te Kura which is covering mastering and distribution costs."

Paul Martin from the band Devilskin says the songwriting initiative is a “stroke of absolute genius”.

“This exciting programme will give students an incredible opportunity to learn how to navigate their own path, confidently, in the modern New Zealand music landscape”.

Trevor says with the opportunities of the modern music industry, Aidan, Natalie, and Sophie are well placed to move into the world of professional music.

“Individually this has meant a great deal of work, which is why this first group is so small, but we are hoping to bring a lot more talented ākonga into the programme.”

For further information about Te Kura, please visit our website.

Listen to our Te Kura Spotify playlist

Photo of Aidan Ripley courtesy of Robert Knight