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Learning the virtues through music

Monday September 18, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Apii Arorangi students share love with visiting musicians. 17091502 Apii Arorangi students share love with visiting musicians. 17091502

Three visiting musicians from New Zealand are on Rarotonga visiting various schools and performing, and this week Apii Arorangi had a visit from them.


Cook Islands Virtues have been on the move promoting virtues throughout schools across the island and musicians Stephan Brown, Paul Bennett and Rochelle Vinsen (Brader) have been well involved with the Virtues Project for many years.

On Thursday, Arorangi school students gathered in the assembly hall with teachers and staff to be entertained by the three musicians.

The idea of singing songs of love, happiness, and joy was embraced by the school students.

Music teacher Brown said it was amazing how much the virtues were being used in schools and were having such a profound effect on the students’ behaviour.

“As a musician, I incorporate virtues a lot through music. It is a way to get the children involved and feel a part of the Virtues Project.”

Brown who lived in Rarotonga 15 years ago, said he started writing around the virtues back then.

“Now there are people on Rarotonga and Aitutaki that are well involved with teaching virtues within the schools.”

Bennett said children went all-out to practice the virtues.

“When they get these virtues while they are young, it makes a big difference growing up.”

Brown said he noticed children in Rarotonga were very open to the virtues and seem to embrace the positive attributes as a part of their daily lives.

Jolene Bosanquet who runs Virtues Cook Islands said music plays a big part in the Cook Islands community.

She said the trio’s visit was very timely after having New Zealand Virtues Project member Judy Dixon in Rarotonga last month running virtues workshops with teachers.

“It’s really like a gift for the three of them to come to Rarotonga and be welcomed into the schools to share their music and songs promoting virtues.”

The trip to Rarotonga was originally organised by Brown and Bennett who have worked together on many occasions.

Brown said they organised the trip to visit old time friends as well as bring fresh energy and love into the virtues project in schools here.

Vinsen who was a 1960's New Zealand pop star, said she tagged along on the trip when she discovered the two were planning to come to Rarotonga.

The three musicians have visited Black Rock Preschool, Titikaveka College, Apii Avarua, Rutaki School and will perform at the Punanga Nui Market today from 9.30-10am.