Music teacher Ngaire Shand has been on a three-year mission to bring music to low decile Hawke's Bay schools.

Her dream has now been realised as yesterday 17 "gorgeous, wide-eyed" children eagerly awaited an instrument fitting and demonstration at a launch lunch in the Camberley School hall.

Many of the children may have been expecting to beat drums or slay a guitar, but instead they were fitted for violins and cellos.

Most needed a quarter or half-size.


Mrs Shand said she chose Camberley to launch the programme as she felt its students would benefit most from it. "There is just such a need for it, she said.

She said Hastings councillors Sandra Hazlehurst and Malcolm Dixon had been instrumental in bringing music to the primary.

"I told them they would make history by becoming the first Hawke's Bay primary school to have a full harmonic orchestra."

The children will be allowed to take their instruments home each night to practise.

She said the programme will help teach discipline, self-control, and success. "It will lift their aspirations and just generally improve their lives."

She said whanau would be encouraged to get as involved as possible.

The next step to ensure the future of the initiative was funding.

"We have created a board of trustees but our biggest hurdle is finance so we are currently applying for grants."

The cost per child is roughly $600 per year.

The programme will be tutored by Kate Holden, Hilary Baker and Suzie Weeks.