Frequently asked questions

Thank you for choosing to find out more about music therapy in New Zealand. If you have a question or enquiry that is not answered here or elsewhere on our website please use the enquiries page and we will do our best to assist you with your query.

Where can I go to access music therapy?

Music therapy is available in a number of regions throughout New Zealand, through health practitioners and organisations, education institutions, or by contacting individual music therapists. See the Find a music therapist page for registered music therapists in New Zealand who are also members of Music Therapy New Zealand. The Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre in Auckland is currently New Zealand’s only dedicated music therapy centre.

How much will a music therapy session cost and how many sessions are needed?

This is variable and depends on individual circumstances – whether the music therapy session is individual or in a group setting, for example. A music therapist will plan with the client or client’s caregiver the number of sessions recommended on a case by case basis. Contact a music therapist in your area to find out further information.

If there is not a music therapist in my area, how can I access music therapy?

Please let us know. If MThNZ receives enough enquiries from people in an area lacking a music therapist, it provides us with information that may lead to job creation for a music therapist in that area in the future. In the interim, some music therapists are available to travel to an area to provide consultancy services, give an introductory workshop on music therapy in the community, and work alongside other health/ education/ music professionals where there is an interest, for them to then use music therapy approaches in their work.

Where do music therapists work?

Registered Music Therapists in New Zealand are employed in a variety of health and education settings in areas such as Early Intervention, Children with Special Educational Needs, Adult Learning Disability, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Adult Mental Health, Rehabilitation via ACC and Aged Care, amongst others.

We are looking at employing a music therapist and would like to know what salary or hourly rates are expected?

There is no standardised pay structure for music therapists in New Zealand, but most Registered Music Therapists would expect remuneration in line with other Health Professionals, according to experience.

Qualified music therapists may apply for registration with the New Zealand Music Therapy Registration Board and are expected to adhere to the Code of Ethics set out by the Board and meet the Standards of Practice for Registered Music Therapists in New Zealand.

If you have a specific case you would like information on please contact the MThNZ administrator.

What is a music therapy choir?

There are currently three recognised music therapy choirs in New Zealand – the CeleBRation Choir in Auckland, the SoundsWell Singers in Wellington, and the Cantabrainers Choir in Christchurch. These are therapeutic & social choirs for people with neurological conditions and are led by registered music therapists.

I am a music specialist and would like to use music therapy approaches in my work.

You can contact a music therapist near you to discuss the possibility of them working with you to develop and/or support (and perhaps facilitate) a music therapy workshop in your community. To find out about the financial support Music Therapy New Zealand can offer (e.g. by underwriting your workshop) see under Funding Grants on the website.

Some music therapists also engage in consultation activities which aim to empower others to use music more effectively in their work – email music therapists to find out who is specialising in this area.

I am interested in training to become a music therapist.

All enquiries regarding training to become a music therapist (i.e. gaining the qualification of Master of Music Therapy) must be directed to Associate Professor Sarah Hoskyns or Daphne Rickson at the New Zealand School of Music.

How do I become registered as a music therapist in New Zealand?

The Music Therapy Registration Board in New Zealand recognises the Master of Music Therapy degree (MMusTher) as an appropriate qualification which enables graduates to apply for registration in New Zealand. It is also able to assess applications from international music therapists who wish to practice in this country. It is likely to be easier for the Board to recognise a completed qualification if the applicant is already registered in their own country, but this is not essential – it is possible to evaluate programmes of study from course requirements and transcripts. See the Registration page for further information.

How can I find out if my music therapy qualification is recognised in New Zealand?

Please contact the Registrar with the NZ Music Therapy Registration Board in the first instance.

I am interested in working as a music therapist in New Zealand. What are the job prospects?

Music Therapists who wish to work in New Zealand are encouraged to register with the New Zealand Music Therapy Registration Board. The music therapy training programme in New Zealand was established in 2004 and as such music therapy in New Zealand is a relatively young profession. Although it is growing rapidly with increasing interest and a corresponding rise in job opportunities, music therapy graduates often need to create their own work. Occasionally full time positions are advertised but they are still rare.

Does Music Therapy New Zealand employ music therapists?

No. Please see the About Us page to see the activities of Music Therapy New Zealand.

Are there opportunities to intern/volunteer with music therapy organisations in New Zealand?

Music therapy in New Zealand is still a relatively young profession. While a number of music therapists work full-time, there are other therapists who work part-time in a number of different settings. The New Zealand School of Music, which houses the Master of Music Therapy programme in NZ places its second year students in facilities which recognise the benefits of music therapy, and have an onsite/ visiting music therapist to support the student. These placements, which are limited, are similar in nature to internships. If you are interested in volunteering/interning please contact organisations directly for further information.