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Spotlight on staff: Kelly Hayward

With three young daughters, three albums under the belt and an award-winning band that’s just won its second Tui, it’s fair to say ACG Tauranga music teacher Kelly Hayward keeps herself busy.

Why did you become a music teacher?

I’ve always loved being around and working with people and I’m passionate about music. As a teacher I want to impart my love of it and bring an appreciation of it to students.

Some people think music is just for creative people, but when they try it and see it’s something they can actually do, it’s pretty exciting.

What makes a good music teacher?

Because I teach music to all students, I deal with students who have never done music before to those who have had many years of private tuition. A good music teacher is someone who can pull music out of each student regardless of where they’re at.

At ACG Tauranga we have such an amazing group of songwriters, vocalists and instrumentalists – it’s so exciting to see what they do. It’s amazing to give students their first real taste of that – give them their first touch of a guitar, see their eyes light up when they realise they can do it and it’s not outside their sphere of ability.

A good teacher can also expose students to a wide range of music and guide them to appreciate all different types.

What do you get up to outside of school?

I have three little girls – 6, 4 and 20 months – so they keep me pretty busy. I also lead Curate Music with my husband and have done for ten or so years. We play at church on Sundays, write together and record songs. We’ve put out three albums, and won two Tuis.

What’s the highlight of your time teaching?

It’s all the events and shows and concerts and competitions you go to. You work so hard with the students, and sometimes it’s a real struggle and you don’t think you will get there, but you always do. It’s about seeing them perform, feeling the buzz afterwards, and hearing them rave about it for the next couple of days. The uniqueness of it is pretty amazing.

Curate Music featuring Mrs Hayward and itinerant vocal and guitar teacher Antony Jeffares won the Tui for best Worship Artist for 2017 at the recent NZ Vodafone Music Awards.