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Reply To: I am giving music lessons online as I cannot travel to the schools. About half of my students cannot take lessons because of the poor internet services in rural New Zealand (Central North Island). Some are doing phone lessons. My business is called MusicRoom – and my website is musicroom.org.nz. It is very basic. I do not have the knowledge nor time to put into creating an online portal for my students and their families.  Having a website that works for the students will help with lessons and give me more time to reach more families by other means.My skills are in helping children develop their learning skills through music, and if I am spending all my time on administration because I don’t have the tools to do the job then I am not giving the lessons the best I can. I write bespoke activity sheets for my children to nuture the learning style of the individual  and develop their skills until they find the place where they can confidently match their needs with the mainstream educational opportunities.  These take time.  A more confident online presence that is less labour intensive would go a long way to making music more affordable and accessible to the students from Taihape up to National Park and all the small communities in between.Thank you for listening.Kathy ClarkCan you help?

Hi Janet
You know I had a conversation with Dame Adrienne Stweart, one of the leading patrons of the arts and she said the same thing. I had forgotten about her advice until you reminded me. Thank you.

A bit about MusicRoom.

MusicRoom creates opportunities for students to develop their ‘learning toolbox’ through music-based activities.

My vision is to make music accessible and affordable for families in rural locations. My ‘patch’ is the Ruapehu and Rangitikei regions. I travel to schools to give lessons, often driving for more than 500 kilometres over a week.

The business was started in 2010 in the outer southern region of Auckland by a musician who wanted her children to learn music at school. I joined her in 2012, built up the business and the bought it in 2015. My ‘patch’ in Auckland moved to the rural north-west region and last year I sold that ‘hub’ to my tutor up there. It was her dream to be a music teacher and I am humbled by the knowledge I helped her get there.

I moved to the Central North Island in 2017 and started again there. I have an amazing young tutor working with me and I have started a community band programme through Ruapehu College.

There are four learning principles behind everything we do.

1. Be there. Learning to turn up on time with what you need having done the practice to achieve your goals is a big win for any situation.
2. Solve the problem. Breaking down tasks to find what we know so we can allocate resources to what we need to learn and identify the work required.
3. Where do I fit in? Read the situation, work out where you fit in the plan and support your team-mates. Not everyone is the focus all the time.
4. Have fun. Music is more than notes on a page. It’s a story you can tell your way.

If you would like to know more about MusicRoom, I have some basic information on my very basic website http://www.musicroom.org.nz.

My work is a way to say thank you to all those wonderful people who helped create opportunities for my son, who is now one of New Zealand’s leading military musicians.

Thank you for listening,

Kathy