Concert to help children face the music

Natalie Mitchell, 7, left, and Rowan McFadden, 7, with Bob Bickerton at last year's Adam Chamber kids concert at Old St ...
Alden Williams/Fairfax NZ

Natalie Mitchell, 7, left, and Rowan McFadden, 7, with Bob Bickerton at last year's Adam Chamber kids concert at Old St Johns.

Where does music come from? 

It comes from the stereo, earphones, the car radio and even your mobile phone…but for many kids today, how music is actually made is a mystery. 

"It's a bit like children thinking that milk comes from the supermarket rather than from a cow!" says local music maestro Bob Bickerton. 

During this year's Adam Chamber Music Festival Bickerton takes a break from the hectic role of Festival Manager to deliver one of his popular kids' concerts. 

These have been his bread and butter for the last couple of decades as he has toured New Zealand schools, and he has plenty of tricks up his sleeve (or instruments in his box) to keep the 2-12 year old set entertained in an hour-long interactive show. 

"The idea is to let kids see that music is actually made by real people who have decided to learn to play an instrument and can sit down and produce a tune," he says. "These concerts present music in a fun and engaging way that I hope might inspire children to get involved in music themselves. There is interaction and even the odd role for volunteers from the audience." 

At the free Kids' Concert at the Suter Theatre Bickerton will produce a range of instruments that literally spans the globe, creating what he calls 'a tapestry of sounds'. 

"They're mainly folk instruments ranging from Maori Taonga Puoro to the Irish harp," he says. "Then there is the Breton bombarde, a short loud instrument that produces a sound that's louder than the Scottish bagpipes, the kudu made from an African antelope horn and the hulusi, which is the Chinese equivalent of our mouth organ. 

Appropriately enough, Bob Bickerton describes himself as a multi-instrumentalist, specialising in Celtic music. He has performed at most major

concert venues and folk festivals around New Zealand in the past 30 years; and has been the manager of the last three Adam Chamber Music Festivals. 

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The free Kids' Concert is at the Suter Theatre in Bridge St , at 11am on  Saturday February 4.  The Adam Festival runs from February 2-11, details at 


 - Stuff


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