This week I was fortunate enough to be a part of a great enterprise between Tauranga primary schools called Kidz Rock.
This year was the fifth year the event has taken place and involves ten schools across Tauranga that put together bands every year. Those bands then spend a day receiving mentoring from local musicians, hear professional musicians' advice and perform a concert in front of a healthy-sized local crowd in a small theatre.
I've been a part of mentoring schemes to schools in New Zealand before but these were the youngest kids I'd worked with - and it was scary how good they were.
When I went to primary school I was lucky to get my hands on anything more than a recorder or an out of tune acoustic guitar. These kids have electric guitars, electric and acoustic drum kits, bass and double-bass guitars, ukeleles for Africa...and basically anything else you'd ever want to play. These kids also have zero inhibition about picking one of these instruments up and learning the gist of it.
They were easily more proficient than kids I'd visited at high schools and also had none of that horrible mid-teen self-consciousness which can stop any kind of expression in its tracks. I believe a large reason for this is the Kidz Rock event.
By giving these kids something exciting to work towards and be a part of, they're driving themselves to achieve things that really are amazing for their age as well as things that are particularly exciting for music in this country. If these kids keep doing what they're doing now, for the next ten years, we are going to witness some extreme talent rise to prominence in New Zealand. And what this means for the industry is that artists with mediocre talent, but a bit of an image or corporate push, that currently find success, will be washed away.
It was awesome to be a part of the event and I'd encourage other schools out there to start something similar if they have the chance as it really adds an exciting element to a local community and our country's culture.
Here's one of the bands I remembered to film...so cool.
Also, another band has a website, music videos, endorsements and a song on iTunes....all things I have none of right now!! http://www.hopefailuremisery.com/HFMRecords/pu.html Incredible...