Sistema Whangārei – Toi Akorangi Musical Pathways Fund:

Posted on: 13/09/21

Article by Michelle Jones (Sistema Whangarei)

Sistema Whangārei – Toi Akorangi is grateful to have received $20,000 from The Tikipunga Children’s Home Trust to start the Musical Pathways Fund to support the budding musicians of Whangārei.

Since 2013, Sistema Whangārei – Toi Akorangi has been shattering barriers to be able to provide the children of Whangārei with opportunities to engage in a musical education. Music education is slowly fading from our schools and participation in the arts, especially music, has been shown to benefit a child’s development in so many positive ways. The joy it inspires is clear to see in the faces of the children who come through our doors!

Fiona Douglas and Samantha Winterton founded Sistema Whangārei, which is part of a global El Sistema network, with the vision of all children being able to engage in the joy of playing music together. We started with 25 children in 2013 and have had over 500 children come through our program since then. Our current role is 175 and growing! The Sistema program is completely free of charge and designed to the features of our own unique Northland community. We have a diverse, multi cultural population and this is reflected in the children who attend. Our policy is one of radical inclusion, meaning that we push the boundaries as far as possible to be able to include as many children as possible.

The children come from varying situations that might otherwise prevent them from being able to participate. Some children struggle with social anxiety, some have very limited resources and others just lack the confidence to try something new. We address all of these issues intentionally with research and planning to be able to best serve our children and provide them with experiences and tools that help build resilience, confidence and joy.