SPARKLERS / Identity and culture

Musical Emotions

Extending the connection between music and emotions.
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Why we love it

Music, mood and identity often go hand in hand, whether we’re playing an instrument, performing a waiata, hearing lyrics we can relate to or simply enjoying our favourite songs, genres and artists.

When performed, music can also connect us to others – promoting teamwork, friendship and a sense of accomplishment.


Listening to music can change our mood, and be an easy way to relax, get a quick pick-me-up or feel good.

  • How do we feel when we listen to music we enjoy? Happy, ka pai, calm, creative, thoughtful, tired, moved, sleepy, energised, motivated etc.
  • What about music we don’t enjoy? Distracted, stressed, sad, anxious, on edge, angry, overwhelmed etc.

Things to try

Younger tamariki
Might enjoy listening and singing along with:

Older tamariki

  • Ask students to choose a song they like and to create a poster that features some of the lyrics. Ask them to include words and pictures showing how they feel when they hear this song.
  • Another option is to invite tamariki to choose an emotion and write their own song or rap about it.

Learn a new song or waiata
Try a new waiata. Two simple ones to start with include:

  1. A Hakama; and
  2. Tūtira mai ngā iwi.

Or you could have a class sing-along to Happy by Pharrell Williams, ensuring students who don’t like singing or being front and centre can be an important part of the whole, either with musical instruments, or by providing percussion beats.

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