December 2023


From the Chair
From the President
MThNZ 50th Anniversary Conference
National Hui 2023
AGM 2023 Notice
World Federation of Music Therapy
Featured Therapist - Keryn Squires
Aotearoa Crisis Intervention (ACI) Report
NZJMT Editorial Team
Featured Therapist - Liz Langham
Regional Focus - Canterbury South

From the Chair

Kia ora koutou katoa

Welcome to our final MusT for the year and we hope you enjoy the read.

November saw us farewell Helen Dowthwaite as our Executive Office, following her resignation to concentrate on her health and family. We thank Helen for her tremendous contribution to Music Therapy NZ as our Executive Officer.

Lisa Stanley, which a number of people in our MThNZ community will know, is filling in on a limited basis to keep the wheels turning as we run our recruitment process for a new EO. Lisa’s time and availability for MThNZ activity is limited with her other commitments, so please bear that in mind if you are seeking assistance on something. With the Christmas / New Year period nearly upon us, we are very appreciative of Lisa stepping in to help us out. The recruitment process for a new EO is well underway with applications closing early in the new year.

The 2023 Journal is now available online on our website, would you be looking for some summer reading. The hard copy version is now with our printers and will be distributed to members in mid-January. Our thanks to the editorial team, those who assist in reviewing articles. This is the last publication that Alison Talmage has a hand in as Editor and we acknowledge her efforts and dedication over the years - Kia ora rawa atu Alison.

I trust you all have a safe and enjoyable summer, and we will see you in 2024 in what is a big year for MThNZ with our 50 year celebration in Wellington over the weekend of the 13-15th of September.

Ngā mihi
Stephen Guerin
Chair Music Therapy NZ

From the President

Nau te rourou With your food basket
Naku te rourou And my food basket
Ka ora ai te iwi The people will thrive

As President, I wholeheartedly thank Stephen for his invaluable leadership and input as Chair of the Council and to all Council and MThNZ members who so willingly give their time to supporting the growth and development of Music Therapy in Aotearoa. I also add my sincere thank you to both Helen and Alison. Your contributions have been much appreciated and all the very best for your future endeavours.

Our next face to face Council meeting will be held in Wellington over two days in March. Important considerations will include the input of our Te Tiriti O Waitangi Responsiveness Plan by the Action Group gathering feedback for this purpose.
Please participate when approached about this as your input is most important. This will be a crucial part of our second day meeting focus on our Strategic Plan going forward.

As President I am privileged to be involved in supporting many facets of activity taking place within MThNZ. Here are a few updates of note:- congratulations and thank you to our President Emeritus Dr Daphne Rickson for her sterling work in the role of our Australasian representative for the World Federation. As detailed later this position is now led by an Australian as we alternate the term.

We also appreciate the years of work President Emeritus Heather Fletcher has put into representing us on the AHANZ group, thank you. We warmly welcome Rani Allan into this important role and her first hui took place on 12 December with a focus on self-regulating professions. There is much to consider with the change of government and many Ministry officials and agencies not yet knowing what their future might look like.
Barbara Lewis continues to very capably administer all aspects of our 2024 September 50th celebrations - including the 20th for the MMusTher programme at the NZSM. The call for papers response is impressive and we are yet to confirm to what extent our conference will be hybrid. We appreciate the Communication and PR plans to expand our profile in leading up to this momentous occasion through our new Council member Leesa Tilley. There is more to report on this later in this MusT. In addition to supporting the EO, Barbara is also steering the rewrite of our constitution as it moves through various stages as previously outlined to you. Again your feedback continues to be very important as this process progresses. Please note that although the ACI special interest group is currently in abeyance, we welcome related applications through the PGG.

We trust that 2024 will be much less stressful for those involved in the MMusTher programme at the NZSM. Although the impact of the university financial cuts comes with specific targets to meet within the next two years, it is promising to know that enrolments are looking healthy. MThNZ will continue to support and lobby for this programme to be maintained and expand to include distance learners as the demand for therapists throughout the country continues to grow.

As shared at a previous AHANZ gathering I attended, I close with:

Kua mutu a matou mahi Our work is finished
Mo tenei wa For the moment
Manaakitia mai matou katoa Bless us all
O matou hoa Our colleagues
O matou whanau Our families
Aio ki te aorangi Peace to the Universe

Travel safely and keep well as you enjoy the festive holiday season
Kindest regards
Linda Webb MNZM
MThNZ President

MThNZ 50th Anniversary Conference

Looking Back Moving Forward

13th, 14th, 15th September 2024

Save the date and come to Wellington to celebrate fifty years of music therapy in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The Anniversary Celebration begins the weekend in the Hunter Council Chamber at VUW to celebrate this milestone and also 20 years of the Master of Music Therapy programme. This continues with two days of conference proceedings on Saturday and Sunday at Wharewaka Function Centre, on the Wellington waterfront.

The programme is still in the development phase but there has been good interest from international and local speakers to participate in the conference. The call for papers received over 50 submissions covering a diverse range of topics.
This will be an event to remember and a wonderful opportunity to promote music therapy, so we hope to see as many people there as possible.

National Hui 2023

Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre in Hastings kindly hosted our national hui and AGM in September. Over fifty music therapists, MThNZ supporters and other professionals gathered in sunny Hawke’s Bay for two days of input, connection and self-care. We were privileged to have Dame Hinewehi Mohi open the hui and share some of her story. Her daughter Hineraukatauri and her companion joined her and it was a pleasure to meet them all.

The theme and heart of this event was enhancing our own waiora and hauora (health and well-being) as professionals. The weekend’s workshops covered a range of theory, practical information and immersive music experiences. Lisa Nathan, clinical psychologist at QE Health in Rotorua, shared her expertise on stress, burnout and the nervous system and the psychology of well-being. Lisa’s colleague Mary Crane shared her expertise on sleep hygiene, general health and well-being along with grounding techniques to reduce stress.

Northland based music therapists Emily Wills and Jonathan Williams, delivered an experiential guided imagery workshop based on their learning as Level II trainees of the Bonny Method of Guided Music and Imagery. Wellington based music therapist Sophie Sabri led another experiential workshop, focused on the voice. It was a treat to have experiential sessions without the need to think how these could be applied to our work and to engage solely for our own well-being.

MThNZ Council member Andrew Tierney provided helpful information on small business support and using technology, with a focus on the Health Information Security Framework: Safety in Practice. Emma Low, an Associate Tax and Business Advisor at KiwiTax talked taxes and finance in small business. The weekend’s workshops were concluded with Executive Officer Helen Dowthwaite taking attendees through a review of their personal time and priorities, with the aim of encouraging us all to maintain a healthy life balance.

The Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday morning and ran smoothly and efficiently. The variety of content and many opportunities to connect with others, meant people came away from the weekend refreshed and encouraged. This could not have happened without the tireless efforts of Helen Dowthwaite, in both planning and coordinating the event. Many thanks to Helen. We were also very grateful for the generosity of the Hawke’s Bay Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre team, for hosting us all for the weekend. Thank you, Ella Polczyk-Przybyla, Sinead Hegarty, Matt Carroll and Linda Webb.

AGM 2023 Notice

Further to advice at the AGM about additional audit requirements for our 2021 and 2022 Performance Report, we are still awaiting completion by the auditors and this will not occur before the end of the calendar year. This delay is due to resource constraints within the auditing firms. Communication from our auditors suggests they are in the final stages of this process and no major issues raised to date.

Further advice will be given early next year on the special online meeting to approve the Performance Reports.

World Federation Of Music Therapy

MThNZ is proud to highlight the involvement of our members in the World Federation.
Penny Warren - Education and Certification Commission (ECC)
Penny has begun her second three year term (2023-2026) as part of the ECC.
The ECC aspires to maintain, support and enhance the global development of music therapy education and certification systems, and uphold and maintain the quality of music therapy education and training across the globe through:
- the dissemination of up-to-date information on existing music therapy education and certification systems,
- framework in music therapy education and certification as a foundational guideline upon which localised education programmes and certification systems can build from, and
- the encouragement of cross-cultural discussions and considerations on educational and certification standards across the globe.

The ECC meets four-six times a year and consists of 6 members representing different regions around the globe ( North America, Latin America and Caribbean, Australasia, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Western Pacific) with a vacancy for representation from the Eastern Mediterranean and the African regions. During the three year term specific projects are developed and worked towards. These include:
- the maintenance of an up-to-date register of music therapy training courses
- developing and updating accessible online education and research resources,
- maintaining a current register of music therapy education and training, and
- providing music therapy educators and potential collaborators a set of proposed music therapy education guidelines to uphold the quality and standard of music therapy training courses.

Neil Jourdan - Public Relations Commission (PRC)
Neil has recently concluded a 3 year term (2020 - 2023) as part of the PRC.
The role of the PRC is to promote the work of the WFMT globally and to share the diverse expressions of MT as it is practised across the world in different regions. The PRC also supports and promotes World Music Therapy Day and aims to create a presence on social media platforms as well as providing a space for international networking.
The PRC meet four-six times a year and consisted of 8 members representing different regions around the globe ( South Africa, Uruguay, Japan, USA, Russia, India, UK and New Zealand)

Dr Daphne Rickson - Australia/New Zealand Regional Liaison
Daphne has served in this role for three years, contributing in a large array of areas. A small example includes liaising with national bodies, attending and engaging with WFMT council meetings, providing quarterly blogs for the website, leading the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee, ongoing work with MThNZ and AMTA to find people to translate WFMT documents into te reo Maori, and/or Australian aboriginal language/s and, promoting the work of WFMT through presentations and papers.
Daphne has now passed the baton to Australia’s Dr Alison Short. We wish Alison all the best in the role and sincerely thank Daphne for all her work as our representative.

Aotearoa Crisis Intervention (ACI) Report

October 2023
Music Therapy with a home-schooling community affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Context: The project took place in a community hall and later at a music therapy centre for a home-schooling community affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. This community had banded together to hire a community space in order to offer respite, support and reduce isolation by bringing families together. The community identified that engaging in meaningful, creative, trauma-informed therapy would support their tamariki to cope with their lives being changed so drastically, allow them to join in something which resembles joy and a sense of normality and allow the home-school parents to have some respite, many of whom are 24/7 carers of their children. Whānau would have the opportunity to engage in a large community music therapy group, smaller group therapy sessions with potential for paired/individual sessions for individuals unable to engage in the bigger groups across a two hour period over two terms.

Programme: A trauma informed approach and a music centred approach was utilised throughout the music therapy project. Whilst working with a community group who have all experienced the cyclone differently, this assumption made our mahi feel safer and more contained within each session. It was useful to draw upon literature around ‘music-centred’ approaches and Community music therapy models, acknowledging the social and cultural factors of participant’s health, collective experiences, relationships and musics (Ansdell, Pavlicevic, Procter & Verney 2002). The music therapy interventions were delivered flexibly to accommodate the needs of the community, but generally took the form of one larger 45 minute group session followed by a break, then two smaller 30 minute group sessions. Sometimes this would be followed by a 20-30 minute individual session. The music therapy participants ranged in age from 1 year old to older adults, all of whom had been impacted directly or indirectly by the cyclone. 20 sessions were delivered across two terms by two registered music therapists and one student music therapist.

Evaluation: The programme was evaluated using multiple sources of data collection including: a focus group with four families; collecting participant comments throughout the 20 weeks of sessions; interviews with the music therapists facilitating sessions; and through a final arts based reflection in nature with the facilitating music therapists creating music with the theme ‘Strengthening community through music’ as a closure for the therapists. Through facilitating the focus group with four of our families, the below themes emerged through whānau conversations aligning with our goals for the music therapy programme:
Connection and Community; Strengthening Self-regulation and Co-regulation; Emotional Expression
Comments from the focus group included: “For me as the adult, as the mum, I've found it actually really relaxing and like sort of the highlight of my day”; “Rhythm is a big thing for him, so to regulate himself or if he gets overwhelmed, regular beat, whether he makes it with his body or whether he makes it with something that’s really percussive, self-regulation has been good for him.”; “Whenever the Kids would hear Heavy rain for a while after that, it was like, “huh?” and so we talked about it as being like drums; ‘It's like drums on the roof’ And so we would do, [child’s name] especially would do like that drumming”.

Conclusion: Maintaining a flexible and reflexive approach to sessions over the 20 week period allowed space for participants to engage and for sessions to be directed by the participants’ needs each week. Feedback from participants was positive overall and through continued conversations with parents within the home-school community, several of the whānau we worked with expressed interest in the group sessions continuing if this was possible, and discussions with wider funding bodies have begun.

NZJMT Editorial Team

I am pleased to confirm that the journal has been sent to the printer and published online ( Hard copies will be distributed to MThNZ members in January. This issue includes three articles from across the motu, addressing topics vital to contemporary music therapy practice.
Consultative approaches, direct therapy, and cultural contexts are all highlighted. Liz Wallace reports on collaborative and consultative practices to support adults with intellectual disability in Ōtautahi Christchurch, through skill-sharing to resource family members and other professionals. Hospice care in Tāmaki Makarau Auckland is the setting for Megan’s story, an account of music therapy in palliative care, in which Libby Johns weaves past and present, interactions and reflections. Hyunah Cho 조현아reflects on her experiences as a Korean Kiwi, sharing traditional Korean music in Ōtepoti Dunedin. Reviews by Penny Warren and Alison Talmage recommend recent books about music therapy training and music therapy for people living with dementia respectively. Finally, our annual Publications and Thesis Alert encourages you to explore other scholarly writing by both experienced and emerging New Zealand music therapists. Warm congratulations to everyone.

On a personal note, I would like to thank May Bee Choo Clulee 吳美珠 for our collaborative editorial work over the past four issues, and everyone who has contributed to my eight years as editor. I have now retired as editor and look forward to the continued development of the journal by a new editorial team, including May.

2024 promises to be another big year for MThNZ. The editorial team have set up a celebratory Spotify playlist. We invite music therapists and MThNZ members to suggest songs capturing this positive mood. Tune in to our collective Spotify playlist (“NZJMT2023: Celebrate!”) here:
To add songs, use this link:
This link expires 25/12/2023 - after this, please email me for a new link if you have song suggestions.
Alison Talmage

NZ Music Therapy Registration Board

Good wishes for the festive season from the Board Chair Jen Glover, Board members Neil Jourdan and Chanelle Henderson and Registrar Barb Lewis
Meri Kirihimete

A reminder that applications close on 1 March 2024 for the renewal of annual practising certificates and for new registrations. Please use the new forms on the website which have been amended this year and include statistical data information. Any queries please contact the Registrar:
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