Porowhita Songs: Exploring Whakataukī through Waiata
with Sean O’Connor
PLUS   Sing Around the World with Lala Simpson.



DATE: Saturday 10 September, 9.30 a.m – 4.00 p.m.
VENUE:  Eastern Hutt School, 53 Kings Crescent, Lower Hutt, Wellington

Come and sing the day away with two amazing clinicians. In the first part of the day, Sean will share songs created from the wisdom of whakatauki – Maori proverbs. Sean’s beautiful songs are perfect for those beginning their journey in te reo, but are equally enjoyed by competent Māori speakers. Suitable for all ages these songs are simple enough for young children yet as each has been carefully crafted so it can be sung as a round, they provide challenge and enjoyment for older children and adults. With many of his songs including English translations, these songs are positively powerful. Come and join us as we show you just how fun and versatile these songs can be! 

In Lala’s portion of the day, you will learn tried and true songs from around the world that kids love, learn game songs and rhymes and fun warm-ups for use in the classroom or with children’s choirs. Some songs will be age-specific and others can be used with different extensions from preschool to primary. We will clap, tap, sing and move around.


Sean O’Connor is of Ngāti Porou and Irish-Scottish pākeha descent. He grew up in Palmerston North and Te Tairawhiti, in a mixed milieu of Māori and pākeha cultures, then spent his early adulthood in Canterbury where he was educated as a teacher, performer and singer/songwriter, diving into Celtic music to add to his early Western pop influences. He immersed himself in harmony singing as a performer, arranger and choir leader, and brought round singing and whakataukī together in his Waldorf teacher education, perceiving a powerful synergy of language, culture, community singing and music education in this unique combination. This work has recently been finding its way into schools via music education and his school production “Waiata the Taniwha”

Madagascar-born Lala Simpson is a Wellington-based community music educator and song leader who delights young and old alike with her playful and joyful approach to singing and music-making.
She has an innate rhythm, a natural singing voice, and a deep passion for empowering individuals and communities through singing. Having grown up immersed in music from her homeland, France, Africa, and the Indian Ocean, Lala is a strong believer in the power of singing to help us navigate our world, bring joy, and connect with one another.

She brings with her a wicked sense of humor, a taste of Madagascar, patience, and compassion for the learner, and a canvas for everyone to paint their voice on.

Over the past 15 years, Lala has worked with Playcentres, schools, children’s choirs such as the Wellington Young Voices, and community groups including Arohanui strings and adult community choirs. She ran Kodàly-based music classes for preschools and primary children, lead a children’s choir at Karori West Normal School, led Music Magic preschool music sessions at Capital E for 4 years, directed the Wellington Children Community Choir, and founded the Manawa Ora Children Community Choir. 

Currently, she is the artistic director of the Wellington Community Choir and Kotaba Voices, performs French songs including the songs of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel with her 3-piece band and children’s world music with Claudio Escutia. She acts as guest director for Community choirs around the Wellington Region, leads workshops nationally, and is a regular guest tutor for Village Harmony in the USA.

To register for this workshop:

Register your name and details online HERE. Then, use your own internet banking facility to make a direct deposit into the ONZA account at BNZ 02 0248 0073940 097     Reference: Your surname; Code: Well22Sep  Entering your surname means you will be registered. Payment by credit card is also available.

Cost includes morning and afternoon tea. 

    • Registration Fee $20

For inquiries email: Suzanne Thom