Helping rangatahi navigate their waka

CTOA HAS A VISION OF Empowered NZ Youth with a strong sense of self and the courage to make positive decisions for the future

Who We Are

The Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa (CTOA) is a visionary, unique and professional organisation that grows young people between the ages of 12-24 across various  satellite hubs in the Auckland region. 

Our point of difference is that through our mentoring programmes in music, film and photography young people get to directly engage and connect with people working in the creative industries. This enables them to learn about a wide range of industry relationships, knowledge and skills. 

They benefit from exposure to real-world industry experience and training, including employment opportunities and access to further education pathways.  

The focus is slightly different with each individual, but the goal remains the same; to empower the young person to make positive changes in his/her life.



— Aroha

Means love but it also means respect. Treating people with respect means allowing them control: where to meet and on their own terms, and when to meet. Aroha also relates to the information collected.  As a participant in the Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa programme, you decide what information will become public and what will stay confidential.


— Mana

Relates to power, dignity and respect. Kaua e takahia te mono o te tangata “Do not trample on the mana or dignity of a person”. People are the experts on their own lives, including their problems, needs and aspirations. Look for ways to work together.


— Titiro. Whakarongo. Korero.

Means to look, listen and then speak. When working with our mentors/engineers and producers it’s important to look and listen to develop understanding and find a place to speak from You need to take time to understand people’s day-to-day realities. priorities and aspirations. This will make your questions relevant


— Whaka Whanaungatanga

Refers to the building and maintenance of relationships. It’s the process of establishing meaningful, reciprocal and whanau or family-like relationships through cultural respect, connectedness and engagement


— Manaakitanga

Describes sharing, hosting and being generous. It supports collaboration and evaluation and helps knowledge flow both ways between mentor/engineer and participant


— Mahaki

Is about showing humility when sharing knowledge. Mahaki reminds us to share knowledge and experiences to understand each other better and to foster trust in the mentor relationship.

Impact Stories

Point Research Evaluation

The young artists mentored by CTOA said the CTOA approach and environment is unique. At CTOA, they felt valued, loved, trusted and supported to express themselves, create what they want to create and develop as both artists and people. Young people reported that they found CTOA’s mentors to be inspirational and encouraging and that the mentors boosted their confidence and nurtured their creativity. Community partners, mentors and artists all spoke of seeing improved psychological and emotional wellbeing in young people due to involvement with the Trust.

Janice Spearitt - Teacher

The experience my students had with the trust created a high level of confidence and a willingness to experiment with music that I had previously not seen with my students. Some have continued to work with the Crescendo Trust outside of school hours! I have students who are actively seeking opportunities in the music industry because of the inspiration, encouragement and the relationship that the trust built with them.