Scholarship helps local hit right notes

노영례 0 817 2017.11.28 01:26

Applications open for Manurewa Lifelong Learning Fund39144e870a3df1a02b90d6dcd8635f42_1511784

Wattle Downs resident Simon James is using a scholarship from the Manurewa Local Board's Lifelong Learning Fund to learn new musical skills. 

It’s been several decades since Simon James first picked up a recorder, but his love for the much-maligned instrument is as strong as ever.

“Like most people, I started to learn the recorder at school. I was about seven and really fell in love with it and played for about two years before changing to a trumpet,” says the Wattle Downs resident and recipient of a scholarship from the Manurewa Local Board through its Lifelong Learning Fund.

“I picked it up again in about 1980 and have never looked back. I have dabbled since with the trumpet, cornet, flute and bassoon but have stuck with the recorder for the long haul.”

Under his expertise, the music that comes out of the recorder is a far cry from the high-pitched screech many of us remember from primary school and he’s the first to admit it’s got a bit of an image problem. 

“Most people learn recorder at school, pick up a few tunes but don’t do much more than that, or know how to read music so - what you end up with is just a whole lot of noise.”

The array of different types of recorder is also mindboggling – from standard size right through to the sub-contrabass, which stands at more than 1.8 metres (six foot) tall. 

Heading back to university

After many years of playing, Simon is keen to continue to learn some new skills so he's heading to university next year to take on music composition classes as he works towards a musicology degree. 

He’s able to do that thanks to funding from the local board’s Lifelong Learning Fund.

“I am very grateful for the funding as these courses are quite expensive so I am delighted to have the support," he says.

“I think it’s wonderful the local board supports its older residents in this way because it shows it values us, the experience and skills we have to offer and the importance of keeping the mind and body active.” 

Manurewa Local Board member Stella Cattle says the local board recognises the importance of lifelong learning.

“Not only is it great for the individual but the knowledge they gather is something they can pass on to others and we wanted to find a way to support that thirst for knowledge – just as we do for our young people through the Rangatahi youth scholarships we offer.”  

The local board is partnering with Age Concern Counties Manukau on the Lifelong Learning Fund initiative.

2018 applications open 

Pick up a form from the Manurewa Local Board office or Manurewa Library, 7 Hill Rd, Manurewa or from Age Concern. If you need help with an application phone Age Concern on 09 297 4331 ext 817, email LucyP@accm.org.nz 

Applications close 28 February 2018.

About the Manurewa Local Board Lifelong Learning Fund

Manurewa Local Board wants to provide opportunities for people over 55 to engage in learning activities for their own wellbeing.

The fund has up to $2,000 available for people over 55 who live in the Manurewa Local Board area and plan to participate in learning activities in the next 12 months. This can be a course, training, participation in a wānanga or a conference, or event in New Zealand or overseas. 

Applicants must live in the local board area and be a New Zealand citizen or resident. 

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