24 Oct 2016

Scenes from Childhood - 1 to 4

From Upbeat, 1:00 pm on 24 October 2016

Cynthia Morahan and Clarissa Dunn look at some of the ways children experience classical music in Aotearoa

A story in four scenes:

Scene 1: What makes a child persevere with an instrument?

Clara Van der Zee and her violin

Clara Van der Zee and her violin Photo: Anna Van der Zee

Four year-old Clara Van der Zee is learning the violin through the Suzuki method.

Cynthia Morahan – a failed pianist who never practiced – spoke to Clara and her parents Anna and Christian Van der Zee (both musicians themselves) about discipline, parental encouragement and practice, practice, practice.

Scene 2: Discovering Music Through Dance

Wellington Ballet extension class

Wellington Ballet extension class Photo: RNZ/Clarissa Dunn

Clarissa Dunn puts her own ballet experiences behind her and enters the studio at Wellington Ballet to see how the students there are embracing Classical music through dance.

She speaks to some of the students and their teacher Monique Koorey.

Scene 3: Figaro, Figaro, Figaro - introducing children to opera

Child's response to opera

A child's response to opera Photo: Yaya Alley, 5 years old

Clarissa Dunn talks to Joanne Cole, Head of Education at NZ Opera about introducing children and teenagers to the wonderful world of opera.

We also hear from some younger opera converts.

Scene 4: Is a love of music passed down through the family?

Nick Tipping as a baby with his Dad playing bass

Nick Tipping as a baby with his Dad playing bass Photo: Supplied

Nick Tipping and his bass

Nick Tipping and his bass Photo: Supplied



Jazz musician Nick Tipping grew up in very musical surroundings – his parents Simon and Rachel were both musicians and music teachers and his grandfather Peter Godfrey is known to many as the father of choral music in New Zealand.

Cynthia Morahan spoke to Nick about whether his musical pedigree led to him choosing a life in music.