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Throwing light on music therapy

October 19, 2012

Throwing light on music therapy

New Zealand’s sole music therapy centre is opening its doors so New Zealanders can gain a better understanding of the work the centre does in achieving sustainable, permanent growth and development for children and young adults with special needs.

The Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre open day on October 31 will include presentations from music therapists and parents of children the centre is currently working with.

The centre is a non-profit charitable trust primarily financed through fundraising efforts.

It is keen to demonstrate how music therapy can reduce the sense of isolation, improve communication, build self-esteem and self-confidence and help develop life skills for people with special needs.

Clients of the centre include children and young people with emotional, physical, intellectual, developmental or behavioural issues.

Director Carol White says more than 800 children and young people have accessed music therapy via the centre and its outreach programme since it opened in 2004.

“The Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre changes lives through music,” Ms White says. “We currently offer services to more than 200 children and young adults with special needs each month. Services are provided by a team of nine registered music therapists – all of whom have masters degrees in addition to being passionate and practising musicians.

“We have capacity for new clients so via the open day we hope to spread the word about the services we provide and encourage parents and caregivers with special needs children to come and see the work we do.”

Parent Anna Featherstone highlights the growth and development her son Kori has achieved with music therapy this year.

“Kori was diagnosed with hypotonic cerebral palsy when he was about one and a half. Now at nearly three, he still cannot stand unaided. However since he began music therapy in February this year we have seen great improvements in Kori’s physical abilities.

“Kori has spent 45 minutes a week with his therapist Yair for just two months and he is sitting up for the first time.

“Now after two terms of music therapy he is much more stable right through his body, and is able to sit unaided playing with both hands for long periods of time. You cannot imagine how exciting this development had been for us.”

Patrons of the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre include noted Kiwi musicians Hayley Westenra, Boh Runga and most recently Dame Rosie Horton.

The Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre open day details are:
Date: Wednesday 31st October 2012
Time: 2.00 – 6.00pm
Venue: Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre, 15 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Theme: “Changing Lives through Music”

About the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre
Music therapy helps build bridges of communication with special needs children, assisting them to develop new skills and reducing their sense of isolation. Work at the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre is based on the internationally-acclaimed Nordoff-Robbins approach emphasising improvisation and other creative techniques. Located in the inner Auckland suburb of Newton, the centre is the brainchild of a dedicated group of local music industry people, including Hinewehi Mohi and Boh Runga. The centre has received funding and support from a number of organisations including the Lion Foundation, music industry groups RIANZ and APRA, the New Zealand Centre for Music Therapy and numerous private donations. For more on the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre go to


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