A popular programme that teaches children from poor families to play orchestral music is expanding to Whangarei.
El Systema began in Venezuela 30 years ago.
The New Zealand version, Systema Aotearoa, has been running successfully in south Auckland since 2011.
Director Joe Harrop said 160 Otara children are learning to play violin and other instruments.
Dr Harrop says ensemble playing teaches children disciplines and skills that set them up for life.
Systema will start in four low decile schools in Whangarei in April.