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.