He Oro Waiora: Music Therapy and Wellbeing in Adolescent Mental Health

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Nolan Hodgson - MMusTher, BA, NZ RMTh Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa New Zealand School of Music, Te Kōkī, Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington

Keywords: Music therapy, kaupapa Māori models of health, wairua (spirit), mental
health, taonga puoro (Māori musical instruments).


This paper discusses the practice of music therapy in relation to kaupapa
Māori models of health and how these models articulate the means whereby
musical activities can address and support a person’s wairuatanga within
modern mental health practices. Contemporary international music therapy
theories that have extended from early medical and humanistic models to
embrace ecological and community orientations are also acknowledged.
The relationship between kaupapa Māori frameworks and these recent
music therapy concepts will be discussed with a particular focus on Durie’s
(1998) Te Whare Tapa Whā and Pere’s Te Wheke (1991). To complement
these, a link with indigenous understandings of well-being and music
therapy is provided through the writings of Kenny (2006) and a discussion
centring around uses of taonga puoro, traditional Māori musical