However, the current Music Education New Zealand / Aotearoa (MENZA) chair knows his work place is one of the privileged few in NZ that are so well-resourced.
After finishing a music degree, Carson went to teachers’ college, after which he taught in the United Kingdom and at various NZ primary schools.
He did not teach music specifically until an opportunity arose at Dilworth Junior Campus and Dilworth Rural Campus 15 years ago to put his degree to use, as a performing arts specialist.
Carson took over the chair’s role at MENZA from Celia Stewart in September 2015.
“I recognised the plight of music education in New Zealand,” Carson says.
“I’m lucky enough to work at a school that is well-resourced, has a specialist teacher, offers tuition … we are one of the privileged few.”
By taking up the role, Carson has been able to support and extend a helping hand to his colleagues in state schools around the country, who do not have access to these sorts of resources.
MENZA believes every child deserves access to a well-balanced high quality music education as part of a holistic view of education.
For this to be the case, music education needs to be consistently delivered in all NZ primary schools, something MENZA strongly advocates.
Contributing factors to this “crisis in music education” include limited time being given to teacher training; there has been no Music Advisory Service since 2010; there are insufficient resources to support classroom music; and the move towards assessment based system is centred on numeracy and literacy.
With Carson at the helm, MENZA has begun working towards gaining Ministry of Education support of professional development and learning; getting music specialists in the performing arts in every primary school; a revised itinerant system; and quality resources in all schools.
Taking up the reins at MENZA has been a huge and enjoyable learning curve for Carson.
“So far I have learnt heaps from members, and I have met some fantastic colleagues,” he says.
“We’re making some progress and noise about what is happening in music education in New Zealand.”