Strings Fiesta!, a premier educational music event especially for schools, is a presentation of world music cultures including classical, folk, gypsy, blues, jazz, flamenco and contemporary compositions.

This entertaining and informative concert has been developed to compliment the schools music curriculum principles and demonstrates the versatility and extraordinary possibilities of the violin and classical guitar.  The performance includes explanations and demonstrations on the production of sound on both violin, viola, castanets and guitar along with commonly employed musical techniques.  Students are encouraged to ask questions as a means to developing their understanding of musical ideas and expression

Miles and Margaret (Duo) Jackson are international artists who have established themselves amongst the very finest of New Zealand musicians.  In over thirty years as concert performers and musical educators Duo Jackson have given thousands of concerts, from private homes to international embassies.  Their special educational programme, Strings Fiesta!, has been highly valued and proved to be of great benefit to both music and non-music students throughout schools in many countries.

The presentation includes the Duo Jackson composition ‘Amaryllis’ Dream’ – a musical sound story especially created to show how a story can be illustrated with sound.  Using only the violin and guitar the imaginative and highly original sound effects portray a frog, blackbird, water droplets, wind chimes, knocking on a door, creaking hinges, a toy soldier, jet plane, barbie doll, bumble bee, fire engine, mechanical monkey, cackling witch, teddy bear, clucking hen, rocking horse, grandfather clock, walking down stairs and even a train!


Another of the Duo’s compositions, ‘Destruction’ from their work ‘Tarariki’, uses unusual and creative sound effects to evoke emotions and to describe a particular event, in this case the destruction of a forest.

Strings Fiesta! is the opportunity for students to reflect upon and experience how sound and music can be structured, expressed and represented in an accessible way.  Strings Fiesta! is suitable for all school ages and is carefully adapted in content and presentation to suit primary, intermediate or secondary levels.

The cost is $3.50 per student with a minimum charge per show of $475. In special circumstances, or where there may be several shows at the same school, an appropriate figure can be negotiated.

WORKSHOPS: Miles and Margaret are very experienced teachers and are available to give group instrumental workshops on violin technique, improvisation, ensemble playing, and classical and flamenco guitar techniques.

For more information and to hear excerpts of Duo Jackson’s music visit our website or contact Miles Jackson (Ph) 03 545 2137, (email)


Adding to the variety and excitement of Strings Fiesta are the many special instrumental effects employed by Miles and Margaret in their music.

Pizzicato, tremelo, sul tasto, ponticello, harmonics, rasgueados, drum and fingernail induced sounds are among the effects to be heard on the guitar, with pizzicato, glissando, double stopping, muting, harmonics, tremelo, col legno, ponticello, vibrato and other effects on the violin.


“A first class musical presentation. Warmly presented with an understanding of children’s levels of comprehension. One of the best cultural visits to come to the school…”
– Broadgreen Intermediate

” The programme was superbly presented… very lively and informatively pitched at good levels… held the children’s interest and attention… distinctive and superbly sensitive… it was a deeply evocative experience…”
– Motueka school

” The girls returned to school glowing about the interest and quality of the programme.. the best they’d had…”
-New Plymouth Girls High

Singapore American School

Miles and Margaret Jackson performed for students aged 8 -10 at the Singapore American School in september 2002. their professionalism and creativity came through in their music and students enjoyed every moment. As a music department, we are often hesitant to bring in groups if we haven’t heard them before. We have experienced groups who come and speak / perform above or below the level of the students. The Jackson’s had a wonderful rapport with the students and used language that was easy for this age to understand. we would highly recommend Duo jackson for any school music assemblies, especially for the ages 4 -12. Singapore American School Elementary Music Department

Overseas Family School

Duo Jackson came to Overseas Family School in September 2002 and gave a series of recital / demonstrations that the kids are still talking about. Whether in front of an audience of 400 11 -16 year olds or before more intimate groups of around 100 primary students, they demonstrated a natural ease of communication, total professionalism and, above all, a love and absolute command of their instruments.

A variety of musical styles, an ideal mix of dazzling display and practical information, a relaxed and warm podium manner: all these elements added up to a thoroughly enjoyable and instructive experience for the kids and their teachers. It was also a nice touch to have their teenage daughter perform some items with them….this too helped create the bond with the audience.

These concerts by Duo Jackson were amongst the most enriching and memorable events we have been able to arrange for our students here. Being a multi – cultural, multi – ethnic school it is sometimes difficult to find a common denominator and find material that strikes a common chord : Duo Jackson, with their versatility and all-embracing music tastes, certainly acheived this.

Tim Bridgewater Dean of Performing Arts Overseas Family School


hiraschool2” I didn’t want to hear it, but boy oh boy, was I wrong ! They really put heart and soul into it. I felt like the music was saying things to me…”

” I’ve never been a fan of classical music but I’m sure you’ve changed my mind… some of the notes send shivers down your spine…”

” It’s all so wonderful ! I never knew music could talk… I wanted to clap forever…”


hiraschool3Miles started in music with the violin, changing to classic guitar in 1965. Intensive studies with the great Czech guitarist Vladimir Mikulka, study and concert performances with the English master guitarist John Mills and periods of Flamenco guitar study in Spain have equipped Miles with a formidable technique and an inspired passion for the music.

Margaret began her violin studies in Dunedin at the age of seven. In the early 1970’s she studied with Glynne Adams at Auckland University and the renowned Czech teacher Jan Sedivka at the Tasmanian Conservatory of Music . Later followed four years of intensive study at Canterbury University under Polish Master Jan Tawroszewicz.

As adept with the subtleties of the classics as she is with gypsy music, Margaret has an astonishingly creative flair for Jazz improvisation as well.


The programmes are tailored to suit primary, intermediate, or secondary grades and last approximately 50 minutes.

Information And Conditions
A warm venue, one office chair, a small table and access to a power point . Combined classrooms, libraries or halls make the best venues.

Programme Costs The cost of each programme is $3 50 per student. Minimum fee $475.
We are happy to negotiate special fees when necessary.

Discounts Families only pay for a maximum of two children, extra siblings are free of charge. Special fees may be arranged by negotiation. Teachers and adults are free.

Payment Conditions Payment is to be made by cheque to M Jackson at the completion of the performance. Payment must be based on a head count of students in attendance, not on monies collected. A GST tax invoice will be issued to schools on receipt of payment.


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