Around 100 students and their families gathered together to celebrate all of their learning as part of Aspiring Young Musicians last weekend in a fun end of year showcase. From as young as five years old to groups of teenagers, the concert was very varied and showcased a range of emerging local talents playing several different instruments.
AYM started in late 2015 at Wānaka Primary School and Mount Aspiring College as a not-for-profit organisation and are now offering classes in guitar, ukulele, piano, trumpet, violin, cello, introduction to music, and drama and music action. This is not without support from the community, however. In addition to their adult teaching staff, some senior students at MAC have gotten into teaching. “It’s great for them and great for the younger kids,” said Shona Brown, the school’s organiser, “they get to showcase their musical talents and mentor the younger students, and the younger students get to see what’s possible if they keep practising.”
Nine-year-old guitar student Liam Thomas really enjoys the opportunity to be able to learn their chosen instrument as they like, “playing rock songs.” They also found the concert inspiring, “I enjoyed everyone performing their hardest and it looked really awesome.”
Brown said that since the beginning of AYM, they have seen a huge amount of growth in the numbers of students and have been able to lower prices to just $15 per lesson for a student, “We’ve just grown exponentially, so we must be doing something right… we came up with the idea of group lessons for children because we believe it’s more fun to learn in a group setting and it’s also much more affordable for families,” they said.