News, Notices

Congratulations to Marjorie Orchiston on being awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for………Posted on: Friday, 8 June 2018

“Congratulations to MThNZ life member Marjorie Orchiston on

being awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to

Music Therapy and as a Pianist”.

Marjorie Orchiston is an important figure in the story of music therapy in Aotearoa New Zealand, and Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) are delighted to see Marjorie receive national recognition for her services to music therapy and as a pianist.

Before music therapy became a recognised profession in Aotearoa, Marjorie Orchiston was skilfully using music therapeutically in her work with children and older adults. Over the years, Marjorie worked closely with pioneer music therapist Mary Brooks, and together they produced “We used to sing and dance”, and “With music in mind”, two practical guides to the creative use of music with people living in rest homes and care facilities, and particularly those living with dementia. Marjorie has been an avid supporter of music therapy as a developing profession, including providing generous financial support to MThNZ. She has been an inspiration and a source of considerable encouragement for many emerging music therapists over the years. This has included giving lectures to students on the Masters of Music Therapy course at the New Zealand School of Music.

Marjorie is a highly skilled pianist, and has spent much of her life involved in theatre, radio, television, and the recording industry, as a performer, accompanist and musical director. This included many years as a familiar voice for children and their parents on national radio, collaborating with Kate Harcourt and preparing and presenting the music for the popular show, “Listen with Mother”.

In 2010, Marjorie was awarded MThNZ life membership in recognition of her valuable contribution to the profession, and the way in which her use of music has enriched the lives of so many New Zealanders over the years. It is with great pleasure that we see further recognition of this through her inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday honours list this year.

With thanks to Barbara Mabbett for much of the information provided above.

News, Upcoming Events

Attachment in Clinical PracticePosted on: Monday, 14 May 2018

Wallin flyer


Sing Up RodneyPosted on: Friday, 16 March 2018


sing it up Rodney Sing Up Rodney ended 2017 with two Christmas parties and started 2018 with our first birthday celebration – a year of singing, friendship and fun. This community music therapy group, mainly for people living with a neurological condition, is modelled on the CeleBRation Choir and was established in response to a community demand. Many couples participate together, and we have the support of a wonderful volunteer team.

Rodney is the northernmost part of the Auckland supercity, and we also draw some participants from the North Shore and beyond. An exciting new development for 2018 is our expansion to Warkworth. We will continue with weekly sessions, usually in Silverdale, once a month in Warkworth – with an evaluation of the pros and cons for people attending one or both groups.

As reported last year, a Lindgren Award from Music Therapy NZ provided our seed. Our participants pay a small weekly contribution and we have succeeded in attracting other grants and donations, including the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board (Auckland Council), Hibiscus Community House, and the North Shore Presbyterian Hospital Trust. Thanks also to our volunteer treasurer, Kevin Farrell, our venues (Rotary House Silverdale and Warkworth Methodist Church), and delicious morning teas from our volunteer bakers and Mahurangi Rotary. We are also fortunate to have the active support of Paddy Sullivan (Parkinson’s Auckland), Lorna Crawford (Stroke Foundation), Emily Siermans and Jo Niblett (Dementia Auckland), Melinda Dakin (Aphasia Auckland), Ruth Farrell and Lisa Fowlie (Rodney Aphasia Group), and Linda Wall (Dementia carer support group, Warkworth).

I am moved and encouraged by our participants’ feedback – for example:


“14 years ago my husband Gordon was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. […] When your group Sing Up Rodney started I felt this would be good for him. Upon attending he has found new confidence, you have him singing and even learning new songs. You have with music therapy given him confidence to sing, and confidence with life outside the home. […] You conduct the group giving our people normality which is so important for them My husband sees the group as choir practice and not “therapy”. This in turn gives me as the carer more confidence (and confidence to sing). I also bring two other couples along, who also find Thursday so positive and stimulating that Thursday has become a day that has top most importance. We all leave feeling so positive and happy. Which unfortunately today for dementia sufferers and their carers does not happen often.”

(Linda and Gordon)



Alison Talmage

February 2018


Only Connect: Poems and Stories from New Zealand Music Therapy – Book Review by Caroline MillerPosted on: Friday, 16 March 2018

Only Connect: Poems and Stories from New Zealand Music Therapy

This book, edited by Claire Molyneux, was published in 2017, and many of you will have attended the Wellington or Auckland launches. As a contributing author, it was a great pleasure to be part of this project, and I congratulate Claire on dreaming up, collating and editing this volume of writing – and on attracting the interest of Jessica Kingsley Publishers, who will reprint the book in 2018. With my editor’s hat, I am pleased to bring you this review, by Caroline Miller, which will also be included in the 2018 issue of the NZ Journal of Music Therapy.

Book Review by Caroline Miller – download the full Review here

Connect Only


IHC LibraryPosted on: Friday, 16 March 2018

IHC Library News

May Clulee, MThNZ IHC Library Liaison

May Clulee, MThNZ IHC Library Liaison

Here is the IHC Library Factsheet, which I hope will pique your interest in accessing the IHC Library. Apart from holding the Music Therapy NZ collection, the library also has a wide range of very useful resources about intellectual disability and ASD, and it is all free. Do visit the library in person if you are in Wellington, go to their website, browse the collection and borrow an item. The library produces resource guides and are now in the process of developing one for MThNZ members.


The IHC Library Team

The IHC Library Team

They have also produced a YouTube video introducing the IHC library and library staff and explaining what they do.


The Excitement of Research and Study Leave!Posted on: Friday, 16 March 2018

The Excitement of Research and Study Leave! 

I am writing from Edinburgh Scotland, where I am ‘snowed in’, and ‘cut off from the rest of the world’ as a result of the ‘beast from the east’ striking these shores.  I am here as part of my research and study leave (RSL) from Victoria University of Wellington, which runs from December 2017 to June 2018.  This leave, also known as ‘sabbatical’, enables staff to work on research tasks away from the university.

Daphne Rickson (1)Mar-18    Daphne Rickson (2) Mar-18         Daphne Rickson (3) Mar-18

Being awarded RSL meant I could travel to London to attend and present at the British Association for Music Therapy conference.  This was, as anticipated, a rich event incorporating a full range of academic and practice papers, roundtables and workshops – and an appropriate level of collegial fun and frolicking. It was great to be joined by Sarah Hoskyns and Alison Talmage; I think some of the international community were amazed that three of us were there from New Zealand!  I felt enriched after the conference both by critical debate, and by examples of beautiful clinical work which reminded me just why we do what we do.  I particularly enjoyed working alongside colleagues – Sarah Hoskyns, Claire Molyneaux and Eleanor Richards at a roundtable to discuss and explore music therapists’ learning with and from indigenous practitioners about different worldviews of health. From the feedback we received, it seems as if the New Zealand music therapy community has a valuable contribution to make to this discussion.

Being awarded RSL meant I was also able to respond positively to an invitation to present a keynote address at the International Symposium of Music Therapy for Adults with Learning Disabilities to be held at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh on Friday 2nd March.  Unfortunately the weather has been so severe, that transport has been stopped, the university has been closed, and the symposium was unable to go ahead.  We are still considering how all the hard work that has been done can be utilised, perhaps by rescheduling and with some of us presenting online. This was a big disappointment but all is not lost! We got quite a lot of work (and socialising) in before the big snow, and hope to do more together before I leave Edinburgh at the end of the week.

I have enjoyed working with Philippa Derrington and Giorgos Tsiris, staff on the music therapy programme at QM. Giorgos and I have begun new research exploring therapeutic songwriting with young adults living with a life-limiting illness. The music therapy project facilitated by Jo Edgar, music therapist, was designed in response to the need for appropriate psychosocial care of young people as they transition from child to adult palliative care services, as well as to young adults’ own wish to continue accessing music after their discharge from children hospice services. The practice project is led by Nordoff Robbins Scotland (NRS) in collaboration with Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS). The young adults attend short-term (usually 8-week long) music therapy individual or group programmes and the focus is on technology-based therapeutic songwriting. The research that Giorgos and I have initiated will generate understanding of the practices, processes and meanings embedded within the practice; by exploring the songwriting process and use of technology, and the young adults’ experiences of participating in the project.

RSL is also about sharing expertise and learning from other programmes. My work in the UK for example, includes teaching two music therapy classes at Queen Margaret (involving mutual sharing of music examples situated in clinical work), and one at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London (on ecological practice and participatory action research). While in Edinburgh, I have also been able to hear Laurel Young (Associate Professor of music therapy at Concordia University, Canada) present at a Scottish Music Therapy Trust event on the importance of music for persons living with dementia. Laurel has a passion for ensuring that music therapists have access to research that can make a difference in their practice, and placed particular emphasis on the need for journals to publish good quality research.

During the period of my leave, I have also been working on two other projects that readers may already be aware of. One, which is due to finish in March is ‘Singing for Wellbeing’ which has involved action research with staff and learners Waitākiri School in Christchurch. Members of the Waitākiri community have been singing daily since their new school was formed in 2014 as a result of the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. Our findings suggest that in addition to fight, flight or freeze responses to disaster, people also naturally ‘flock’ together to support each other. Singing is one of the few activities where people can flock together to experience feelings of connectivity and safety in large groups. When I finish my work in Edinburgh, after a brief period of annual leave in the UK, I will be travelling to Kumamoto University in Japan to share this work and to learn about music therapists’ response to the earthquake they experienced in 2014.

The other project I am continuing to work on is the Autism and Music Therapy project.  An important event in this project calendar was the workshop meeting of ten music therapists who will each be providing up to fifty sessions of music therapy to a child who has not had music therapy before.  The music therapists will provide case studies of their work, with informed consent from families, which will then be examined as research data.  It is very exciting to think that most of the dyads will have begun their work together already!

I have heard from family that New Zealand is continuing to experience warm weather!  While it feels weird for my husband and I to have been swimming in the sea a week before we left, and now to be enjoying our walks in the snow, but we do feel as if we are “just where we need to be”, for now.  I look forward to catching up with many of your on my return.

Daphne Rickson, March 2018

News, Notices

New Administrator Lisa StanleyPosted on: Tuesday, 13 March 2018

We would like to announce a new Administrator has joined Music Therapy NZ.  Introducing Lisa Stanley who is taking over the reigns from Jenny on this week.

Jenny is leaving to dedicate more time to her study and will support Lisa through the transition.    Welcome aboard Lisa!

News, Notices

International Training in Montpellier FrancePosted on: Tuesday, 27 February 2018

International Training in Montpellier France

July 16 – 19, 2018 “ Neurologic Music Therapy ”

                    The training is in English language (Translation in French)


News, Notices

Practising Certificate Renewals Due NowPosted on: Friday, 16 February 2018

A reminder that practising certificate renewal applications are due no later than 5pm on Thursday 1st March 2018 – application forms and fees can be found here.


To renew your practising certificate please complete the following steps:

  • complete the Application Form for renewal of your practising certificate
  • complete the Supervision Log Form and arrange for the Log to be signed by your supervisor
  • complete the CPD Log and sign it. Arrange for your CPD Log to be peer-reviewed and signed
  • pay the fee for renewal of your practising certificate to the MThNZ bank account
  • send your completed Application together with the Supervision and CPD Logs by email to the Registrar (email: by 5pm on 1 March 2018.

Any applications received after 5pm on 1 March 2018 will not be processed at the Board’s April 2018 meeting and may need to wait for consideration until the Board’s April 2019 meeting. Any questions about submitting applications, including the timeframe, need to be forwarded to the Registrar before 5pm on 1 March 2018.  A late penalty for processing will apply for applications received after this date.


Application forms and fees can be found on the Music Therapy New Zealand website:


It is important that you apply to renew your practising certificate if you are currently practising as a Registered Music Therapist in New Zealand. All Registered Music Therapists are responsible to ensure they hold a current practising certificate alongside their registration certificate.  This informs your employer and the public that you have completed an appropriate level of continued professional development and hours of practice to maintain your competence as a Registered Music Therapist (RMTh).


If you are no longer practising as a Music Therapist in New Zealand and therefore do not require a practising certificate, please contact the Registration Board to explain your situation.


The NZ Music Therapy Registration Board has created an accessible database of NZ RMTh who offer supervision. There is a section of the Renewal of Practising Certificate Application Form that can be completed if you wish to be included on the database for 2018. This database will be reviewed and updated annually by the Registrar of the Registration Board.


Please contact the Registrar if you have any questions: Anna Reilly


Please note:  There are separate processes and fee for registration as a Music Therapist and for professional membership of Music Therapy NZ.  We encourage Registered Music Therapists to also join MThNZ  - further information is available from or from the MThNZ Administrator:

News, Notices

Winners of the Morva Croxson Prize for Emergent WritersPosted on: Monday, 12 February 2018

Council and the NZJMT Editor are delighted to announce the results of the 2017 Morva Croxson Prize for Emergent Writers.
Olly Lowery

Olly Lowery

Nolan Hodgson

Nolan Hodgson










First place is awarded to Nolan Hodgson for his essay ”He ora waiora: Music therapy and well-being in adolescent mental health”. Second prize is awarded to Olly Lowery for “Case study: Individual music therapy with an elderly man in a palliative care setting”. We would like to congratulate both Nolan and Olly on the high calibre of their entries, and we hope to publish both entries in the 2018 issue of the journal.

Music Therapy NZ would particularly like to thank our esteemed panel of judges for their expertise, time and enthusiasm for this initiative – Emeritus Prof Denise Grocke (University of Melbourne, Australia), Claire Molyneux NZ RMTh (Anglia Ruskin University, UK) and Dr Vini Olsen-Reeder (Victoria University of Wellington, NZ), and Alison Talmage (RMTh ) who so ably and generously coordinated the competition.