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Music Therapy New Zealand Celebrates Music Therapy Week 2024: ‘Looking Back Moving Forward’

Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) is delighted to announce the upcoming Music Therapy Week, aligning with the World Federation of Music Therapy's (WFMT) Music Therapy Week, from 10th – 15th April 2024. The 2024 theme ‘Looking Back Moving Forward’ serves as a poignant reflection on the rich history within the music therapy profession, honouring the dedicated individuals and co-collaborators working towards the growth of music therapy in New Zealand.

For Music Therapy Week 2024, MThNZ is excited to offer the opportunity to interview registered Music Therapists from across Aotearoa. These passionate clinicians will share their insights into why music therapy can support individuals and communities with areas of need.

MThNZ's purpose is to champion potential and wellbeing through the professional use of music therapy. As a therapeutic practice, music therapy is carefully planned to assist the health and personal growth of individuals with identified needs. Registered music therapists work with a diverse range of conditions, including physical and intellectual disabilities, neurological conditions, mental health and mood disorders, people with substance abuse issues and those from refugee backgrounds. The adaptability and versatility of music therapy can be applied in various contexts such as schools, community spaces, hospitals, aged care, supported living facilities and prisons.

Rachel Austin, Registered Music Therapist and Council Member of Music Therapy NZ, emphasizes,"In Aotearoa, music therapy is increasingly being used to assist in general wellbeing, providing support for those living through the challenges of trauma, relocation, separation, grief, and end-of-life care."

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The WFMT's initiative for a World Music Therapy Week (WMTW), celebrated annually from 10th – 15th of April, highlights the global connectedness of music therapy. This event encourages music therapists and supporters worldwide to engage in activities that raise awareness and advocate for the profession.

Pip Algie also a Registered Music Therapist notes, "Music therapy transcends borders, and the global recognition through World Music Therapy Week emphasizes the collective commitment to improving lives through the power of music."

"New Zealand contributes significantly to the worldwide trend of success for clients through music therapy. Our passionate and highly skilled therapists are dedicated to utilising music to enhance the lives of individuals facing diverse challenges. As a country, we strive to be at the forefront of promoting the global connectedness and therapeutic impact of music therapy."

This Music Therapy Week, MThNZ offers the opportunity to engage with registered Music Therapists from across Aotearoa. Registered Music Therapists has gone from 10 in 2000 to over 90 now in 2024. Here are some notable therapists and the first confirmed events for Music Therapy Week, with more events to be added in the weeks to come.

Liz Bolwell - A registered music therapist for almost ten years, Liz specalises in person-centered music therapy with a focus on rhythm. She passionately supports communication, emotional well-being, and cognitive functioning. Based in Canterbury, Liz's dedication is evident in her project ReSet ’24, a community music therapy group for former refugee and migrant children, fostering their connection to Aotearoa New Zealand.

ReSet ’24 Workshop:

Wednesday, 10th April, 4 – 5pm

80 Rattray Street, Riccarton, Christchurch

A community music therapy collaborative project for those integrating into life in Aotearoa New Zealand, to connect and participate in their communities through regular music workshops.

Sophie Sabri - A registered music therapist based in Wellington, Sophie is committed to making music accessible for self-expression, life skills, and community connections. With a background in Clinical Psychology, she brings a unique perspective to her work, actively fostering community well-being.

Inclusive Voices: Empowering Talents Open Mic Night

Friday, 12th April, 6 – 7.30pm

Evaro, Level 1, 65 Cuba Street, Wellington

A special event designed to showcase the diverse talents of adults with disabilities.This inclusive platform aims to break down barriers, promote diversity and amplify the voices of those who often go unheard.

Musicking Together, special edition

Wednesday, 10th April, 6 – 8pm

Evaro, Level 1, 65 Cuba Street, Wellington

Open to anyone who has a love for music and no musical experience is required.

Sinead Hegarty - A recipient of The Kate Edgar Educational Charitable Trust (KEECT) Master of Music Therapy Award, Sinead's journey has involved working with adults with intellectual disabilities and individuals facing complex mental health challenges. With a background in genetics and international experiences in Spain and Morocco, Sinead emphasizes the importance of inter-cultural dialogue in her music therapy practice.

Music Alley at ‘Lift Off” Children’s Festival

Saturday, 14th April, 10am – 12pm

Toi Toi Performing Arts & Events Centre, Hawkes Bay

A community music group for kids & whānau, open access to instruments & activities as part of the ' whānau day" happening at Toi Toi across the world music therapy week.

Mums & Bubs Music

Monday, 15th April, 9.30am – 12pm

Heretaunga Women Centre

Monday, 15th April, 9.30am – 12pm

In collaboration with the Heretaunga Women Centre, wāhine music therapists offering a community music group for mums & bubs with a board at the centre showing the events

Open day at Raukatauri Music Therapy

Saturday, 23rd March 2024, 12pm -6pm

Hawkes Bay centre

A glorious afternoon of music from a variety of local artists. From folk to blues to rock'n'roll, there will be something for everyone!

Emily Wills - Grew up immersed in bluegrass and folk music, learning the fiddle and clog dancing alongside her family. She graduated from Appalachian State University with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music Therapy, completing her internship at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her therapeutic focus includes songwriting and creative modalities.

Music Therapy Week Jam with Emily Wills & Cici Kong

Wednesday 10th April, 6pm-7pm

Oneonesix, Whangārei

Learn about music therapy and play music with the therapists in group making sessions. A Sensory friendly space and Kai will be provided. Plus, Q&A session with registered music therapists

Music Therapy Week Concert Fundraiser with Emily Wills & Madison Stuart

Wednesday 10th of April,7.30pm-8:30pm

Oneonesix, Whangārei

An evening with local musicians and Hawai’i-based musician, madison mccreary. Playing original and familiar covers for the community to enjoy to spread awareness of music therapy and as a fundraiser for Raukatauri. Kai provided.

These events offer a glimpse into the transformative power of music therapy in New Zealand, emphasising it’s contribution to the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

About Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ); Music Therapy New Zealand is dedicated to championing potential and wellbeing through the professional use of Music Therapy. With a focus on inclusivity, collaboration, and a rich history, MThNZ aims to enhance the impact of music therapy in New Zealand and contribute to the global success of this therapeutic practice

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