Celebrating New Zealand music month: Great Kiwi albums…

My choice of 10 great Kiwi albums

May is New Zealand Music Month, a celebration of Kiwi music.  New Zealand has a rich, vibrant music scene which has led to the creation of many excellent musicians over the years. I thought I would highlight a few great albums from Kiwi artists.

Here is my personal pick of 10 great New Zealand albums in no particular order:

1. Traction, Supergroove, 1994


2. Big Canoe, Tim Finn, 1986


3. Based on a true story, Fat Freddys Drop, 2005


4. Crowded House, Crowded House, 1986


5. Revival, Katchafire, 2003


6. Loyal, Dave Dobbyn, 1986


7. What to do with fire, Brooke Fraser, 2003


8. Broadcast, Strawpeople, 1992


9. Six 60, Six60, 2011


10. Natures Best, Various artists, 2002



There are many excellent New Zealand music albums and this is simply a small fraction. All of these albums are worth listening to but if you want an overview of Kiwi musicians find a copy of Natures Own which is a compilation of New Zealand music from the 1960’s-2000’s.

What is your favorite Kiwi album?

May is New Zealand Music Month







May is New Zealand Music Month, and whilst we can’t get along to live concerts at the moment we can still enjoy music in other ways.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 6th May at 7pm is the Big Little Lockdown Kiwi Music Quiz. Sign up with your team, test your Kiwi music knowledge, and play the Big Little Lockdown Kiwi Music Quiz, live from your bubble! Donations are requested on registering your team to aid MusicHelps Lives,  a charity providing support to Kiwi music people affected by COVID-19.  Find out more at The Big Little Lockdown Kiwi Music Quiz.

Events on throughout New Zealand Music Month can be found here.


Video of our NZ Sign Language Week performance goes viral!

There was magic in the air as NASDA students performed a song for New Zealand Sign Language Week in May, alongside NZSL interpreter Phoebe Leyton.

Now a video of the performance, which was organised by Ara library, has gone viral with over 27,000 views on Facebook. It’s not surprising the moving performance by the talented NASDA chorus, brought to life by Leyton’s expressive interpretation, has found wide appeal. There has been overwhelming positive feedback for the video from the Deaf community, who enjoyed watching this accessible musical recital.

We want to thank Phoebe Leyton and the NASDA students again for sharing their skill and passion with us. Check it out for yourself here in this new youtube version:

Happy NZ Music Month

I’m Kaye Woodward and I am an English Language Tutor and Teacher Trainer at Ara.

I’m also in an ancient band called The Bats. New Zealand Music Month might be an appropriate time for a peek in to how this aspect of my life ticks along beside the teaching one.
Bats 1

Photo © Kaye Woodward

Late last year this quaintly wrapped and instantly recognizable package arrived in our letterbox. It was the first batch of songs for Bats album number 10 and signalled the start of a process the four of us have been following since Robert Scott, our prolific song-writing machine, moved back to Dunedin in 1983. The process is unhurried and all up takes around 3 years.

More songs arrived at intervals over the summer and we are currently up to about 15. We don’t read music; we listen and play, so over winter we’ll hunker down in our living rooms and do just that. Next Spring, we’ll get together somewhere to record and mix what we’ve cooked up and anything more that presents itself in the studio. At this stage, we’ll also decide on the artwork for the release. A lot of messing about with the record labels will ensue in order to achieve mastering, manufacture, distribution and marketing (of sorts), but eventually there will be vinyl and CDs to hold in your hands and a digital version. The cycle is completed by playing shows in New Zealand and Australia. Sometimes we even venture to the US or Europe.

The life of a part-time musician seems to complement the life of a teacher quite well. They have almost nothing in common but sometimes one will make me appreciate the other, and sometimes the two lives overlap. While I’m wandering from the carpark, striding to the classroom or shuffling home, there are often bits of songs and guitar parts floating round in my brain, looking for approval, morphing into different ideas or becoming victims of rejection. On the other hand, I hardly ever do marking on tour!

Bats 2

The Bats, Griffith Observatory, LA 1986. © Kaye Woodward.