Youthtown & MUSIC

Music plays a pivotal role in the lives of young people, providing a creative outlet for expression, emotional connection, and identity formation. It fosters cognitive development, emotional intelligence, and social skills, serving as a powerful tool for stress relief and mental well-being in their formative years. As such, music continues to remain a key focus for Youthtown programmes as well as supporting key partnerships that enable our rangatahi to engage with music in a variety of ways and musical genres. 


Our programme uses well-established Charanga music programme to support primary schools to deliver music in their classrooms. 

Music is part of the school curriculum, but over 40% of primary teachers don't feel confident teaching music and so this programme supports those teachers to better deliver music to their students. 

Jazz Band-it 

The Young Jazz Band-it intitative is a partnership between Youthtown and the Aotearoa Jazz Education & performance Charitable Trading Trust, led by renowned jazz trombonist and bandleader Rodger Fox (CNZM). The Young Jazz Band-it competition creates a prestigous school jazz competition, elevating musicianship, broadening musical perspecties and inspiring the performance of young jazz musicians. 

Rodger Fox & King Kapisi

​​​​​​​We are very proud to bring together a unique musical collaboration between two of Youthtown's musical supporters. King Kapisi and Rodger Fox and his Jazz Big Band took to the stage in the Grand Hall of Parliament for a special showcase event which markef the beginning od the Brotherman Project - a reimagining of 10 hip hop songs by King Kapisi as jazz standards. 

Songwriting is a valuable creative outlet for young people, enabling self-expression, storytelling, and emotional release. It fosters critical thinking, communication skills, and boosts confidence through the exploration of personal narratives and ideas. Youthtown is proud to support two songwriting and performing opportunities for young people. 


SongCatcher is an incredible songwriting experience that has been developed with renowned singer/songwriter Jackie Bristow. The programme, which runs over two years, equips young people with the tools to build their creative identity through music. The intial focus is on teaching small groups how to write a song and learning how to express themselvesthrough singing and songwriting. Participants are mentored in both writing and performance skills. 

Play it Strange

Over the last few years we have seen the partnership with Play it Strange develop as the Youthtown Songwriting Competition grows. The competition focuses on secondary school-aged songwriters, years 9-11. 

As Play it Strange Mike Chunn, 'Listening to the hundreds of songs that we recieve is like opening a window into the hearts and minds of our youth. And there is so much to learn.'