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Music Therapy NZ Celebrates Adaptability And Growth In 2020

Music Therapy New Zealand presents
October 19 – 25

In a year that has challenged the entire health sector, Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) are delighted to launch their annual awareness campaign, to proudly advocate for vital music therapy services and the highly qualified NZ Registered Music Therapists working across Aotearoa. Running from October 19 – 25, the week will celebrate the innovative ways therapists are practicing in an environment disrupted by COVID-19, with a renewed commitment to focus on Mental Health & Wellbeing within the industry.

The global pandemic has put further stress on individuals and communities – both for mental health and wellbeing – many of whom are still reeling from other recent crises in New Zealand. Registered music therapists (RMThs) like other professionals, had to adapt to new restrictions to continue to care for their clients as well as ensure their own personal development, and find creative ways of staying connected. From workshops by Zoom and tutorials by YouTube, to a caravan roaming the Wellington region to reach clients, therapists country-wide are embracing innovation in their commitment to their important work. This ingenuity will be celebrated by the 2020 Music Therapy Week campaign.

The campaign will also continue to highlight the growing role of music therapy in the mental health sector, highlighting the benefits that professional music therapy can have on the wellbeing of our communities. As a practice, music therapy is the planned use of music to assist the health and personal growth of people with identified needs, ranging from emotional, intellectual, physical, and social, with practitioners in New Zealand based in a range of medical, rehabilitation, and education settings. Within the field of mental health, registered music therapists are highly skilled to work with a diverse range of people, experiences, and conditions – including psychosis, schizophrenia, dementia, delirium, substance abuse, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. Due to the wide-ranging benefits of the practice, music therapy is also increasingly being used to assist in general wellbeing, mindfulness and stress relief, as well as providing support for those living through the challenges of trauma, separation, grief, and end-of-life care. In a year where mental health needs to be front and centre of all of our priorities, music therapy continues to be on the front lines of life changing – and sometimes lifesaving – work in our health care sector.

Linda Webb MNZM, President of Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) says “It is a privilege to support the valuable work registered music therapists carry out in Aotearoa. Music Therapy Week provides an exciting opportunity for the public to gain an understanding of music therapy practice across a range of contexts, and to appreciate its potential to contribute to building resilient individuals and cohesive communities throughout our country. Our aim is to progressively make a positive impact for a wider range of New Zealanders into the future.”

Music Therapy is a growing profession around the world with ever increasing numbers of qualified professionals registered with recognised organisations affiliated to the World Federation of Music Therapy. In New Zealand, there are currently 73 registered music therapists holding current annual practicing certificates. Every registered music therapist is highly trained to ensure best practice and safety for their clients. Despite the numbers and proven benefits of music therapy, a lack of awareness and understanding hinders the impact that this innovative treatment style can have for a diverse range of people and conditions. Music Therapy Week aims to draw in a wider range of public interest and support for this highly specialised and beneficial practice.

Music Therapy Week 2020 runs October 19-25.

Music Therapy New Zealand is proud to be a member of Allied Health Aotearoa NZ (AHANZ).
The development of video resources and the Music Therapy NZ website is made possible with thanks to the financial support of The Hugo Charitable Trust.

A schedule of public events as part of Music Therapy Week 2020 will be released in due course.

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