Spirit Of Collaboration Alive In Music Therapy Week 2021


Sophie Sabri, RMTh,
working with a group at Evaro, a disability service in

Advocating for vital therapeutic
services and the highly skilled professionals providing
them, Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) is
proud to confirm their annual awareness campaign will be
going ahead this year in a hybrid model. An opportunity to
celebrate and showcase the innovative successes of this
unique practice in communities right across Aotearoa,
Music Therapy Week is running from
November 15-19.

As a practice, music
therapy is the planned use of music to assist the health and
personal growth of people with identified needs. Registered
music therapists are highly skilled to work with a diverse
range of people, experiences, and conditions – including
people with physical and intellectual disabilities,
neurological conditions, mental health and mood disorders,
and substance abuse issues. The adaptability and versatility
of music therapy allows the practice to be applied in a
variety of contexts such as schools, community spaces,
hospitals, care and supported living facilities, prisons,
and within private practices, to support the treatment of a
huge range of conditions such as psychosis, schizophrenia,
dementia, delirium, depression, and anxiety. In Aotearoa,
music therapy is also increasingly being used to assist in
general wellbeing, as well as providing support for those
living through the challenges of trauma, separation, grief,
and end-of-life care.

Experienced NZ RMTh May
, who is based in Christchurch, says the
spirit of collaboration and celebrating the diversity of the
field is vital to the future of the practice. “This
year we focus on whiria ngā tangata – weaving the people
together. We come together as many diverse voices with one
purpose: to champion potential and wellbeing through the
professional practice of music therapy.”
In this vein,
Music Therapy NZ has embraced Kotahitanga – Many Voices,
One Purpose as the theme for this year’s Music Therapy
Week. Reaching out around the country, therapists in smaller
communities across the motu are being encouraged to host
events and open days during the week-long campaign, while
those limited by elevated alert level restrictions can
engage with the various digital events.

In person
events that are open to media

Exploring Musical activities in
Music Therapy
– led by RMTh Neil
Prior to the official start of MTW2021, RMThs,
music teachers working in early childhood education, and
musicians working with young children with special needs are
invited to a professional development workshop. The workshop
will utilise movement and sensory songs, sensory activities,
and ‘non-musical’ apparatus such as bubbles, play
parachutes, and fabric.
Saturday 13 November,
Exact location TBC, Johnsonville,
Taking place at Alert Level 1 or 2

– led by RMTh Sophie Sabri, in
collaboration with the Wellington
Musicking Together is a free community
music circle run by Sabri from the Evaro community service
centre for adults with intellectual disabilities. Each month
she collaborates with different musicians or music
therapists from the Wellington region. For Music Therapy
Week 2021, the community-based Wellington Batucada
percussion group brings the flamboyant world of samba
drumming from Brazil to Wellington in this public
interactive workshop – no musical experience is required,
instruments provided
Monday 15 November, 6-7pm.
Level 1, James Smith Building, 65 Cuba Street, Wellington –
wheelchair accessible.
Taking place at Alert Level 1

Music Therapy In Nelson
led by RMThs Colette Jansen & Alvaro Saura Moreno
informative public session to grow knowledge of what Music
Therapy is, how it benefits people, and advocate for Music
Therapy in the Nelson region, followed by a morning
Thursday 18 November, 9-10.30am
NCMA (Nelson
Centre of Musical Arts), 48 Nile Street,
Taking place at Alert Level 1 or 2

Kids Disco Party – led by
RMTh Ella Polczyk
A disco open to the public, for all –
babies right through to young adults – to dance, sing, and
have fun! 
Saturday 20 November, 10am –
Albert Square, 100 Karamu Road South, Hastings
Taking place at Alert Level 1 only 
events and assets with spokespeople available for interview

Gordon’s Music Therapy
– with RMTh Liz Bolwell
Gordon was
referred to a music therapist when care staff discovered he
used to play the harmonica. Gordon has dementia, but through
using a person-centred approach working with his RMTh, Liz,
he is happily recalling his musical memories and enjoying
making music with others. Liz and Gordon share their journey
together in this webinar.
Monday 15 November, 2pm via

So You Want to be a Music
– led by the team at Raukatauri
Music Therapy Trust
An Introduction to Music Therapy,
this webinar for people interested in MT as a career path
including high school and university students as well as
working musicians looking to make a career shift.
Raukatauri’s therapists will give a virtual tour of their
Auckland centre, provide background information on how and
where music therapists work, show video and photo examples
of music therapy in action, outline the process for training
and registration in Aotearoa New Zealand, and answer any
questions participants might have.
Thursday 18 November,
6-6.45pm via Facebook Live

of Tea with RMThs
– webinar series led by
RMTh Shari Storie
To follow the official Music Therapy
week, a series of casual Q&A opportunities about
specific music therapy practices in a variety of settings
will be hosted online. Attendees will be able to ask
questions of the expert panellists regarding their personal
circumstances, and panellists will be connecting attendees
with the best services and therapies for their

  • People living with disabilities – Monday
    22 November, 7pm
  • Mental health and wellbeing –
    Monday 22 November, 8pm
  • People living in aged care
    and with dementia – Tuesday 23 November,
  • People living in palliative care and at end
    of life – Tuesday 23 November, 8.15pm
  • People living
    in neuro-rehabilitation – Wednesday 24 November,


– with RMTh Alvaro Saura

Launch of an instructional YouTube video of
techniques and uses of body percussion in music therapy,
focused on handclaps inspired by flamenco music of
Alvaro’s native Spain

Trauma and

– with RMTh Ella

Ella presents a series of short videos about
music therapy and how it can help children with trauma and
young people with autism from her experience based in the
Hawke’s Bay.

Due to the wide-ranging benefits of the
practice, music therapy is a growing field around the world
with approximately 17,000 qualified music therapists
practicing globally, and over 70 people holding current
practicing certificates in New Zealand. Music Therapy New
Zealand continues to welcome new graduates every year, with
experienced international therapists also migrating to
Aotearoa from Australia, the UK, Europe, and Asia to
strengthen the profession here. Practitioners in Aotearoa
are guided by four key values – Life/Ora,
Reciprocity/Whanaungatanga, Creativity/Awhatanga, and
Professionalism/Te Taumata, promoting overall wellbeing for
clients through the use of the highest quality
evidence-based ethical practice with integrity and
confidence, to foster reciprocal relationships and celebrate

Linda Webb

MNZM, President of the
Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) says

therapy is a relatively new profession in Aotearoa, often
seen as the best kept secret. This year’s Music Therapy
Week campaign celebrates the positive impact that
individuals, groups, and communities experience, especially
on health and wellbeing. We hope to share experiences
through collaborating with others, and exchange knowledge
with the wider community.”

Despite the growing
numbers and proven benefits of music therapy, a lack of
awareness and understanding limits 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

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