The New Zealand Ukulele Trust delivers a ukulele and singing programme to children and runs a free community music festival annually.
We are making kiwi kids lives better with music. Learning to sing and play at a young age has so many long term benefits - but above all it makes kids feel happy!
We provide instruments, workshops and resources to schools and create performance opportunities to encourage children to learn to sing and play.
The ukulele is cheap, portable and easy. It is the perfect instrument for encouraging singing. What's more, kids love it and you can play any sort of music on it - our Kiwileles kids learn to play anything from their favourite pop tunes to 12 bar blues, reggae, waiata, Pasifika music and the classics. We also support them to write their own songs.
Our big event is the annual New Zealand Ukulele Festival, a free and inclusive one-day event that features the world’s largest children's ukulele orchestra – the KIWILELES. Children from all over Auckland and beyond come together to strum and sing in a variety of musical styles, backed by a professional band. They perform to an audience of thousands, overcoming their nerves and are justifiably very proud of themselves when they accomplish this goal. They mingle with professional national and international musicians on the day and they feel "like rock stars!"
The KIWILELES programme has enabled thousands of children to find their singing voice, learn skills in music and gain confidence. They have experienced the joy and satisfaction of performing with and to others. It is life experience they will never forget.
This year we are celebrating ten incredible years of putting instruments and songs in the hands and hearts of thousands of Kiwi kids. We now have a phenomenal 3,000 young musicians in the KIWILELES each year and at the end of 2016 we will have had 1000 engagements with schools across Auckland, Northland and the Waikato.
We have produced 10 happy, free, and joyful music festivals for children and their diverse communities. A small team of volunteers and the amazingly dedicated KIWILELES teachers go above and beyond to make music happen for our kids.
With your support we can look forward to enabling even more children to be able to say: “I can play! I can sing! I was a KIWILELE!”
More about us
We are a small volunteer run charity dedicated to enriching children's lives with music.
If you choose to "give a little", your donation will go directly towards buying instruments, producing instructional song books and recordings, running the Kiwileles Massed Ukulele Orchestra and funding the teen Youth Development Squad ukulele orchestra!
We are a very lean team with no overheads and just one part time administrator.
We invite you to come along to the New Zealand Ukulele Festival in December and witness the difference you have made. The children will reward you many times over with their songs, strumming and smiles!
One of the most rewarding things about teaching kids how to play and sing is that they will have these skills for life and will be able to teach their own children - it's the gift that keeps on giving.
Each ukulele we donate to a school will get used by many children, year after year. The songs we teach will be theirs forever and passed on to the next generation.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the work of The New Zealand Ukulele Trust. We are very passionate and excited about the difference we have been making so far - and with your support can make the magic happen for even more children in New Zealand!