Rotorua Girls' High School music students were given two days out of class this week to focus solely on writing songs and getting their creative juices flowing.

But the girls were not without help. Talented singer/songwriter Majic Paora was there to offer advice about composing and writing.

The Schools Programme, formerly the Musicians Mentoring in Schools Programme, is led by the New Zealand Music Commission and supported by the Ministry of Education.

It helps students with achievement in NCEA music by inviting home grown musicians to go into schools and provide real-world expertise.


More than 150 artists have shared their expertise in song writing, instrumental and vocal technique, recording technology, and music industry insight since the programme started in 2011.

This is the first mentoring placement Paora has done with the New Zealand Music Commission but said it would definitely not be her last.

"I was really honoured to help these girls because they are a really 'heads down' concentrated group.

"After the two days I was just in awe of the work these girls did. It was also a good opportunity for me to do something with our rangatahi."

At the end of the workshops Paora told the group of students she was not just their mentor and would be available to help out, even after hours.

New Zealand Music Commission education manager Michelle Ladwig Williams said they were thrilled to have Paora as a mentor.

"When we approached her for the programme we were struck by her maturity and how articulate she was. She's a natural with the students and is really precocious for someone so young."

Rotorua Girls' High School music teacher Donna McHugh said the workshops were an amazing opportunity for the girls.

"Majic is such an inspiration so to have her come to our school to give advice and tips to our girls has been amazing.

"We are so lucky as music doesn't always get the recognition it deserves. I think this will definitely be a highlight of the year for us."

Year 11 student Teina Cassidy said the workshops had been a fun learning experience.

"Probably the hardest part of the whole process is finding something to write about."

Teina said she enjoyed being mentored by Majic because "she's very skilled and knows a lot".