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Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa - NZ Music Month

If you've been wanting to introduce or add more waiata and kanikani to your classroom, there is no better opportunity than now! 

Firstly, the science...

It’s one of those things we know instinctively - that music is somehow good for us. And luckily the evidence between positive wellbeing and music exists!  

Here's what we know... 

Listening to our favourite tunes can boost our mood, relieve stress, and even improve our physical health. When we listen to music, our brain releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical that makes us happy. It also helps to reduce cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress. Additionally, music can lower our heart rate and blood pressure, making us feel more relaxed. Whether we're jamming out to some classic kiwi tunes or belting out our favourite songs in the shower or car, music has a way of lifting our spirits and improving our hauora. Yay for that!

Why this activity?

So many reasons! But whether you're blasting your favorite kanikani tunes, using music to calm the room and settle emotions and energy or teaching your tamariki to play the guitar, music is an incredible way to improve our mental health and brain development. So keep on rockin’!

You'll need

Your tamariki, speaker and Spotify

What to do

Now we know  Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa - NZ Music Month will have gotten your creative and musical hearts a pumpin! So here’s our top 10 ways we think Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa can come alive in your classroom, or across your school…


  1. Check out who’s in your hall of fame! If you have any former students from your school or kura, invite them in to play, kōrero and inspire your tamariki.

  2. Take it to inquiry - research waiata from your rohe or that connect to your kura. Learn this/these throughout the year for an explosive, aroha-filled end of year assembly!

  3. Take on the Aotearoa waiata your tamariki love in te Reo Māori! Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori regularly release translated waiata - Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, Crowded House - Here's the link to Waiata Anthems on Spotify

  4. Ask tamariki to research 1 or 2 NZ songs to showcase through the month of May - pātai might include:

    1. Who’s waiata is it? When was it released? What is its whakapapa?

    2. What does this waiata remind you of?

    3. What emotions do you feel when you listen to this waiata?

  5. Finish each week (or day!) with a dance party filled with Aotearoa beats.

  6. Ask whānau if they have any connections to music and get them along to play or kōrero - surely there’ll be some half decent parent bands in the neighbourhood!

  7. If you haven’t investigated the value and importance of kapa haka for your tamariki yet, get this underway - our challenge for you is to get the first practice started by the end of May!

  8. Learn an instrument this month - give it a whirl with the tamariki. They will LOVE seeing you trying something new, AND it’s great role modelling. Start with a kiwi classic!

  9. Use music for calm times - while tamariki are needing to concentrate or during some puku breathing or mindfulness practice. The NZ Symphony Orchestra might have some goodies. A quick google search on “Calming NZ music playlist” brought up heaps!

  10. Make music part of your day. Start the day with waiata as part of your whanaungatanga, end your day with waiata together. This way your tamariki get a dose of dopamine and a reduction in cortisol to start and end their day, how good is that!



Whānau engagement

Here’s a wee Seesaw, Class Dojo or social media post to support your Aotearoa music mission -

Kia ora whānau - May is Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa - NZ Music Month and you will know how great music is for our wellbeing and supports us all to feel good! So we really encourage you to introduce some of your favourite tunes to your tamariki, especially any from NZ artists. If they love them, write them down and we’ll try to introduce them to all their buddies too! Better still have a wild kanikani with your tamariki too - show them your dance moves!

And to add to this...

Another fun filled activity that can bring music into your learning is Emotional kanikani which is a blend of music, kanikani (dancing), and emotional literacy

Curriculum links

Health and PE Curriculum  

Personal Health and physical development: A4 - Personal identity,

The arts

Music – Sound arts

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