Workshop Page Links

On Saturday, 23rd of February, 2019, Julie Wylie of Julie Wylie Musical Play facilitated two fabulous, free, workshops focusing on Sensory Music Sessions.  Hosted in the divine new Christchurch Public Library, Tūranga, the workshops were limited to 100 people per session, allowing for 25 active participants and clear viewing for those seated, watching.  Julie was able to share highlights from a lifetime of teaching and musical play sessions and the response, form those who participated, has been wonderful.

Workshop One – Julie Wylie’s Musical Play Workshop Part I

 Workshop Two – Julie Wylie’s Musical Play Workshop Part II

Readings, Film Clips & Podcasts – This page from Julie’s website includes a wide range of information relating to music and the brain, musical play, and different areas of child development.

The Neuroscience of Musical Play – This includes Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model which underpins Julie’s philosophy.

Why Adults Can’t Develop Perfect Pitch by Rick Beato

Professor Colwyn Trevarthen, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh – Relating and Communicating: “The Love of Special Companions and the Importance of Play: What is Being Human and How Can It Thrive?”

Neuroscientist and Musician Daniel Levitin – This is Your Brain on Music

Levitin’s book This is Your Brain on Music, in which he explores the connection between music and its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it – and the human brain, is available as an ebook at

The Power of Musical Play and Mindfulness Techniques to Calm and Regulate Children and Families who Experience Stress and Anxiety – Julie Wylie

Ten Reasons Why our Ministry of Education Should Develop a Curriculum Underpinned by Music – Julie Wylie

As part of NZ Music Month, we’re taking a retrospective look back at some of New Zealand’s early children’s music producers!

Born in Gore, prolific children’s TV composer Doug Wright eventually got his big break performing music on PLAY SCHOOL in 1984 after initially being turned down for the job. ‘My composing friends, Graeme Perkins, Neville Copland and I all applied to be musical directors on the show,’ says Wright. ‘Those two got the jobs and I didn’t!’

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It wasn’t until the Dunedin-based producers of the show wanted Copland to appear in an on-screen segment that Wright finally got a call. ‘Neville never wanted to be on TV, but they were very keen to have someone to go on camera and show Big Ted how a piano worked. Neville called me in to do the bit, and that’s where my career in writing children’s music began … playing a piano duet on TV with Big Ted.’

After proving a capable ring-in for Play School’s live studio work, his next appointment was writing and performing songs for Suzy Cato on the beloved children’s TV show YOU & ME. Wright remembers: ‘Graeme Perkins was also the lead musical director for that show. He actually wrote the famous ‘It’s our time, kia ora, talofa’ song, but he hired me to do all the live studio work with Suzy. It was my first big TV gig.’

When asked how he got his ideas for songs in that show, Wright admits his son was a constant source of inspiration. ‘He was two-and-a-half when we began making You & Me. I could play him song ideas at home and he would show me what worked. If it didn’t register with him, it never made it into the show.’

You & Me was one of the first children’s TV shows to use songs that addressed ‘tricky subjects’ like why our bodies need to go to the toilet. One of Wright’s most memorable moments was when he performed songs about loss and grief. ‘We decided to do an episode where Suzy’s pet goldfish died. It was a challenging episode because Suzy had recently lost a special family member in real life. We never shied away from that sort of thing. I was proud of that.’

For almost three decades Wright produced and performed hundreds of hours of the fun, educational and interactive music that always accompanied some of New Zealand’s most beloved children’s TV shows, including PLAY SCHOOL, YOU & ME, THE GO SHOW, ACTION CENTRAL, THE SHELLY T. TURTLE SHOW, BOBBY THE BUS, STICKY TV, and TIKI TOUR.

When asked why he retired from the genre, Wright admits, ‘It was difficult work with very tight deadlines … usually only half a day to produce a fully finished song which meant most of the time I’d just have to take my first idea and run with it. Sometimes the brief would say “a four line song about this, please” and it would end up feeling a bit like writing greeting messages in Hallmark cards!’

Over the years Wright had to keep developing his style to stay current with what children were listening to. Musical arrangements had to become bigger and more produced. He says, ‘The songs I’m really proud of were the ones I did for The Shelly T. Turtle Show. I had a good amount of time to really develop the songs in that one. After my time with Tiki Tour I felt like I had really done everything I wanted to with the genre. That was my last TV gig and wrapped around 2012.’

Getting away from the confinement of a recording studio has been a welcome change for Wright. He continues to live in Dunedin, he teaches contemporary keyboard part-time at the University of Otago, and regularly performs in various bands, the main one being The Oxo Cubans NZ.

❤️ From all the tamariki that grew up with your music but never knew your name, thank you for your wonderful musical mahi, Doug Wright. ❤️


📺 Watch kids TV episodes containing Doug’s music for children:
You & Me 👉
Action Central 👉
Tiki Tour 👉