Save the Waikato Music Conservatorium
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The Conservatorium of Music at the University of Waikato is under threat from a proposal to cut 3 out of the 8 full-time staff members/lecturers.
We do not want the proposal to go ahead so this petition is one of the many actions the music students at the University of Waikato are taking in an effort to stop the proposal from being initiated. We have until the 21st of April to raise our voices and make some noise.
This proposal will affect all the music students at the University of Waikato, the university as a whole and the wider community.
It would be detrimental to the quality of education that currently enrolled and future music students would receive at this university. Shrinking the department would mean that the university has less to offer to its music students because staff would not be able to cover all the necessary areas of learning that go towards a Bachelor of Music. The music department also needs all 8 lecturers to manage the current workload of the department. Each of the staff offers highly specialised knowledge and experience in their fields. All of their different areas of knowledge are required in order to keep the department alive and to be able to offer a music degree. Including the degree as part of a Bachelor of Arts is not a suitable alternative because no other tertiary institution or professional group in the world will recognise a Bachelor of Arts as a specialised enough qualification for a musician.
Because of these staff cuts, the university would be influenced as a whole. It would no longer be as varied and the proposal could ultimately minimise the number of students who apply to the University of Waikato. The university understandably wants to cut down on staff and costs for subject areas in which student numbers are falling with the goal of increasing class sizes. Yet, the university cannot compromise on its education standards for the sake of profit, because ultimately it will end in students choosing another place of study because their qualification would not be comprehensive enough.
The wider community would also be affected by this proposal. The Waikato Conservatorium of Music is very involved in the community. Students perform at rest homes, the Waikato Museum and at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at student lunchtime concerts which are part of the weekly Lunchtime Recital Series concerts at which renowned and acclaimed musicians also perform. In 2016, the opera Flowing Water, a collaboration with writer Witi Ihimaera, composer and music lecturer at the university Janet Jennings and senior lecturer Tom Roa, brought together the community to watch the university kapa haka group, choir, orchestra and theatre students perform. This is only one example of how interconnected the arts are with the surrounding community.
It is important that a university connects with the public and isn't a separate entity on its own and this is something the music department has a large role in.
These are just some of the reasons why we are against the proposal to cut almost 40% of the staff of the music department and why we need your help.
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