Christchurch School of Music

Soundbites: November 2022

Soundbites: November 2022

Nau mai! Welcome to CSM Soundbites, a bite-size look at some of the wonderful things happening in our CSM community.

Featured group:
Take Off With Music

This first edition features Take Off With Music, the class dedicated to CSM’s smallest, yet surely loudest, young musicians. On a typical Tuesday morning in November, a dozen pre-schoolers gather with their parents, caregivers and a smattering of tiny siblings to sing, stomp and wiggle around one of CSM’s Ferry Road classrooms. The adults grin and giggle as they get into the groove, encouraging their little learners and soothing the occasional minor meltdown.

So, what do they value most about Take Off With Music?
For Ngaire Button, the beauty is in seeing the positive impact of music on her whānau over multiple generations. She took her own children to music lessons and now brings her mokopuna to classes at the CSM. “It’s an intergenerational thing,” says Ngaire. She believes the early introduction to music has been important in the lives of her – now adult – children, one of whom is a professional in the performing arts.

“They all developed a love and understanding of music. Now, as a taua, I’m committed to taking my three mokopuna to classes at the CSM.” Jarrah Robertson’s favourite thing about Take Off With Music is seeing how much his son enjoys the class. “It’s very engaging,” he says. “It’s all about learning while having fun.”

Above: Celia Stewart teaches 4-year-old Bill Urmson about pitch with the help of playful, climbing squirrel.

On Tuesdays, the class is taught by Celia Stewart, the CSM’s tireless music director and a specialist in music for early childhood education. She is passionate about making high-quality musical education accessible for the children of Christchurch and Canterbury. At Take Off With Music, she teaches the children basic music concepts through playful activities.

“Music is so vital for children of all ages and to begin with these foundation classes is so important,” says Celia. “Quality music experiences help children develop their listening skills, concentration, co-ordination, socialisation and creativity.”

Exciting news: a new home for CSM

Tuesday’s Take Off With Music class is held in one of the CSM’s temporary classrooms on the site of the former Music Centre, which was destroyed by the 2011 earthquakes. For over a decade, the School has been scattered in temporary accommodation across different sites. In fact, in its almost 70-year history, CSM has never had a place to call home.

This is all set to change, as the City Council has offered CSM the chance to build in the central Arts Precinct. To create the inspiring, purpose-built centre we must raise $15 million, an enormous undertaking for a non-profit organisation whose focus has always been on keeping music education affordable. Follow our updates to find out more about this incredibly exciting project!

If you would like more information, or wish to support the CSM, please contact Leigh on (03) 366 1711

CSM Soundbites is a newsy little snack produced by volunteers for the CSM. Its purpose is to promote positivity and connectedness within the School’s community.

Want your ensemble or class to feature in a CSM Soundbite? Contact Dominica at dominica.finch@gmail.com

Art meets Music meets Fashion!

Bella Bean Vintage is proud to present Common Threads, a fundraiser for the Christchurch School of Music. Join us for a fantastic evening where Fashion meets Art meets Music. A colourful and unique fashion show from Bella Bean Vintage matched with the beautiful art of Louise Henderson and Reuben Paterson and accompanied by live music from the fabulous Jennine Bailey with Tom Rainey, Pandemonium Percussion and Cameron Sloan on guitar along with groups from the Christchurch School of Music, this will be an event not to be missed.

A VIP table of 6 entitles all guests to wine and canapes throughout the evening and a front row view of the catwalk.

For the seated and standing tickets there will be a complimentary bubbles on arrival and wine and nibbles to purchase throughout the evening.

Learn More and Purchase Tickets Here.

Join the Dawn Chorus!

Like our Christchurch School of Music musicians, New Zealand’s dawn-chorus birds
make beautiful music, with quirky rhythms and lovely melodies.

Now you can join the CSM Dawn Chorus and help us to fill the air with music!

Support us in building our nest as we continue to nurture and inspire our learners of all ages.

As a member of the CSM Dawn Chorus you will become part of our family,
and will be acknowledged on our website and in our programmes.
You will hear about our concerts, events and get updates on our students and our achievements.

Your generous gift will empower musicians from all backgrounds to experience the joy of
music making, learn teamwork, and gain self-confidence and a life-long love of music.


Choose which bird-member of the Dawn Chorus you want to be, make your donation, and you’ll receive a bunch of goodies from CSM including stunning art prints of our fantastical native bird illustrations we commissioned especially by Simon Shaw, and free tickets to CSM events throughout 2020.


We look forward to having you on board!