Sounds of Waitakere

Linda Locke & Terry Locke (2011). Sounds of Waitakere. Using practitioner research to explore how Year 6 recorder plays compose responses to visual representations of a natural environment. British Journal of Music Education, 28(3), 263-284.


Geoff Tune. Looking West. 2003
Geoff Tune. Looking West. 2003

How might primary students utilise the stimulus of a painting in a collaborative composition drawing on a non-conventional sound palette of their own making? This practitioner research features 17 recorder players from a Year 6 class (10–11-year-olds) who attend a West Auckland primary school in New Zealand. These children were invited to experiment with the instrument to produce collectively an expanded ‘repertoire’ or ‘palette’ of sounds. In small groups, they then discussed a painting by an established New Zealand painter set in the Waitakere Ranges and attempted to formulate an interpretation in musical terms. On the basis of their interpretation, drawing on sounds from the collective palette (complemented with other sounds), they worked collaboratively to develop, refine and perform a structured composition named for their chosen painting. This case study is primarily descriptive (providing narrative accounts and rich vignettes of practice) and, secondarily, exploratory (description and analysis leading to the development of hypotheses). It has implications for a range of current educational issues, including curriculum integration and the place of composition and notation in the primary-school music programme.

Biographical notes:

Linda Locke has worked  in schools as a music teacher for many years. She is interested in issues related to music education in the primary school context, teacher expertise, the role of music (and the arts) in the life of children and schools, and the adaptation of the Orff Schulwerk approach in New Zealand  She is currently working on a doctoral project entitled:  A critical analysis of the Orff Schulwerk in the the professional lives and practice of teachers in the New Zealand state school settings.

Terry Locke has worked at the University of Waikato since 1997 and is Professor of English Language Education. He has written or edited a number of academic and text books, the most recent being Developing writing teachers (Routledge, 2015). He has also published books of poetry, the most recent being Ranging around the zero (Steele Roberts, 2014). His research interests, apart from music education, include the teaching of writing, fostering teacher professionalism, constructions of English as a subject and the teaching of literature. 

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