© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Monster Music kids showcase rock'n'roll skills

Georgie Hanafin
Monster Music
Emily Grins, 12, Austin Grins, 9, and Connor McIntosh, 9, from Harewood School  Georgie Hanafin

Paparoa Street School's gymnasium rocked with the sounds of Monster Music musicians at a student concerts this weekend.

Kids from Harewood Primary, Paparoa Street School, and Emmanuel Christian School came together for the massive concert showcasing their talents in drums, guitar, ukulele, piano, and vocals.

Emily Grins, 12, Austin Grins, 9, and Connor McIntosh, 9, from Harewood School, were among the 90-plus kids performing, playing the 90s classic Exponents hit, Why Does Love Do This To Me.

"I was super nervous at the start, but then it was fun," Austin said.

"Yeah it was really scary with everyone watching, but now I'm pleased I did it," Emily said.

Monster Music is the brain child of Daniel Hitchens, 28, who started the business four years ago with just a couple of students, before quickly expanding and hiring two more teachers. 

Hitchens said he had always enjoyed performing and being able to express himself through music. He believed  learning an instrument was a great way for kids to build confidence and "earn a bit of street cred on the playground".

He said the best feedback he got was from parents who had noticed an improvement in their children's confidence  after performing at one of the concerts.

The concerts helped with social skills too, Hitchens said.

"The kids get to interact with kids from other schools and we've started seeing inter-school bands being set up which is really cool," he said.

Hitchens has played guitar since he was six years old, and also plays ukelele and drums. "I can play other instruments, somewhat poorly, but don't ask me to play piano or sing for you," he quipped.