Indigenous | Taonga Puoro

NZ Music Month: Teachers learn the tikanga behind taonga pūoro

Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa is running free NCEA workshops during NZ Music month to encourage kaiako and tauira to learn about taonga pūoro and tikanga.

The organisation is the national body representing those interested in music education.

Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa chair Ben Lau said the kaupapa was about empowering music teachers and tauira to be comfortable in Te Ao Māori spaces.

“It is based on understanding matauranga Māori, understanding tikanga, and ensuring that our teachers around New Zealand understand the different aspects of Te Ao Māori.

Lau said the workshops were for music teachers to upskill their professional learning and their knowledge of te ao Māori.

“It’s also understanding waiata and when it’s appropriate to use them and what the different waiata are. Understanding kapa haka and understanding proper etiquette... it allows teachers not to feel whakamā in regard to entering the world of te ao Māori.”

He hopes Māori students can feel seen and empowered when learning about taonga pūoro and their history.

“They love when they look at taonga puoro and we look at waiata especially when it transfers to what they do in kapa haka. It uplifts them, it mana-enhances them and it makes them feel proud of who they are and where they come from.”

Lau said these workshops would ensure tauira were getting the best out of te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā for their music education.

The organisation also runs noho marae throughout the North Island and is planning to expand to the rest of the country.

“We do have plans to come to the South Island to upskill teachers in understanding taonga puoro and how to create them, how to play them.”

The online zoom workshops can be found on their website and are being held throughout May and June.