New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy, 2021

The full 2021 issue of the journal will be available as a pdf in January (with updates of early online content) and the print edition will then be distributed to members of Music Therapy New Zealand. Click here for RMTh, Student, Friend, Retired, and Corporate membership options.


Reading, Writing, Reviewing, Reflexivity
Alison Talmage & May Bee Choo Clulee 吳美珠
Published: December 2021

Image of Alison Talmage (Editor, playing the violin) and May Clulee (Assistant Editor - playing the reverie harp with an off-camera client)
Kia ora koutou!
Welcome to the 2021 issue of the
New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy.

Download Editorial (note, includes visual formatting)
Download text only version suitable for screen readers.

Reviews 1: Celebrating Creativity

Book Review
Ruby Solly (2021) Tōku Pāpā

Reviewer: May Bee Choo Clulee 吳美珠
Published: November 2021

Enriched extensively by kupu Māori, the deeply autobiographical narratives recounted in these poems are often told in part, but hint at something far deeper, and sometimes ambiguous and unfathomable. This reminds me of Te Pō in Māori cosmology. … It also brings to mind similar spaces that inhabit Western understandings of music therapy, when we sit in the not knowing with those we work with, but trust in the process all the same. Download review.

Resource Review
Megan Spragg (2022) We Can Play: Resource Book and Album

Reviewer: Fiona Hearn
Published: November 2021

The collection provides fresh ideas for those needing new inspiration and encompasses a good range of musical styles and suggested goals. I hope that Megan Spragg continues to produce such high quality albums and resources for therapeutic and whānau use. Download review.

Professional Practice & Research

“Today We Sing for a Different Future”: Therapeutic Songwriting
in Early Stage Dementia in Spain, A Group Case Study

Alvaro Saura Moreno
Songwriting; older people; early stage dementia;
song parody; group case study
Published: November 2021

Cantando a la humanidad con cariño y amistad…
Singing to humanity with affection and friendship…
 Listening to their voices made me realise the importance of our work as music therapists.
Download article to read more.

Using Letter Boards in Client-Centred Music Therapy:
“Autistics can Teach if some are Ready to Listen”

Angela Ah Young Jeong & Becky Darroch
Keywords: Music therapy; autism; letter boards; case study; communication
Published: December 2021
Becky’s journey did not begin as she wanted, but unfolded through her desire to speak via the letter board. […] I (Angela) learned that there is more to be discovered between my clients and me – and for you to discover between your clients and you. Download article.
Leading Choirs and Singing Groups for Adults Living with Neurogenic Communication Difficulties: Semi-structured Interviews with Current and Potential Facilitators in New Zealand
Alison Talmage & Suzanne Purdy
Keywords: Singing; choir; communication; neurorehabilitation; interview research
Published: May 2021

Based on the findings of this study, we recommend more detailed documentation of the current choir protocols, and feedback from practitioners and current choir members before developing an RCT … for mixed diagnosis neurological choirs. … Consideration needs to be given to how a manualised protocol can also allow for flexibility, such as improvisation or song choice.
Download article.

Community Voices

Musicking Together: Collaborating with Local Musicians and Music Therapists 
 Sophie Sabri
Keywords: Community music therapy; adults with learning disabilities; collaboration; culture; community building
Published: December 2021

I feel proud to have been able to initiate and implement this project, starting from a simple vision of making music accessible to anyone, through shaping the core values and programme design, securing funding, collaborating with talented and kind hearted people, to writing and presenting about the programme. Our goals of connection, inclusion and self-expression are needed more than ever while we continue to cope with the pandemic...Download article to read more….

Collaborating with the World Federation of Music Therapy 
Daphne Rickson
Keywords: World Federation of Music Therapy; collaboration; international music therapy
Published October 2021

… My final message is to connect, stay informed, contribute, participate, and make a difference.  … Please get involved if you can. WFMT members are part of a worldwide network of music therapy clinicians, educators, researchers, those in training as music therapists, and people who are interested in our profession.
Download article to read more….

Morva Croxson Prize

Editorial 2: Introducing the Music Therapy New Zealand Morva Croxson Prize
Alison Talmage & May Bee Choo Clulee 吳美珠

Image of Alison Talmage (Editor, playing the violin) and May Clulee (Assistant Editor - playing the reverie harp with an off-camera client)

Named after an important music therapy pioneer, Dr Morva Croxson CBE, President Emerita of Music Therapy New Zealand, the competition encourages writing and publication by current postgraduate music therapy students and recent graduates.

Reflections on the Role of Taonga Puoro in the Journey of an
Emerging Pākehā Music Therapist in Aotearoa New Zealand

Elizabeth Langham
Keywords: Māori; Pākehā; taonga puoro; identity; therapeutic space; decolonisation
Published: December 2021

Portrait photo of Liz LanghamThe process of learning to become a music therapist in a country with a history of colonisation comes with unique challenges. As a Pākehā practitioner, I want to constantly develop my ability to understand and relate to others in musically and culturally appropriate ways. This article is a reflection of my learning journey in the early stages of my study and first placement, a time when the origin story and music of Hine Raukatauri was profoundly illuminating for me. Although the journey is highly personal, it is likely to resonate with others who are seeking ways to engage with the music and cultures of other people

Supporting Document:
This article includes a poem in a small font. To enlarge the text, download the poem (pdf).

Symposium Proceedings

Proceedings of the 2021 Music Therapy NZ Symposium
Linda Webb MNZM, Helen Dowthwaite & Alison Talmage
Published November 2021

With a diverse range of professional presentations offered at our 2021 Music Therapy New Zealand Symposium, we are delighted to be presenting you with these Proceedings. In partnership with University of Canterbury  Arts, we felt extremely fortunate to have gathered together at the centre of arts activity in Christchurch…
Download Proceedings

Reviews 2: Allied Professionals

Book Review
Marion Gordon-Flower (2021) Arts Therapies with People with Physical Disabilities: An Archetypal Approach

Reviewer: Rebecca Travaglia
December 2021

Image of Rebecca Travaglia - a Pākehā woman with short dark hair, smiling at the camera, wearing a black top and a piwakaka (fantail) brooch. Image of Marion Gordon FlowerAn interesting and thought-provoking read, offering plenty of practical resources for therapists to use in their own work. The clients described in the book range in age from young adults to older people, making it applicable for readers who work with a variety of age groups. The book embraces various creative arts approaches (music, art, dance and movement) so therapists from all branches of the creative arts may find this book interesting. Download review (pdf).

Book Alert
Simon Faulkner (Ed.) (2021) Drum Circles for Specific Populations: An Introduction to Drum Circles for Therapeutic and Educational Outcomes

Reviewer: May Bee Choo Clulee 吳美珠
Published: December 2021

A previous (2018) edition of this book was reviewed in by Heather Fletcher for NZJMT (2019). May Clulee highlights a new, expanded edition from Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Download to read more.

Theses and Publications Alert

NZJMT’s annual celebration of completed Master’s and PhD theses and publications by New Zealand Registered Music Therapists. Download pdf.

Statements of fact and opinion in articles published by NZJMT are those of the respective authors and contributors to the journal, and not those of NZJMT or Music Therapy New Zealand. Neither NZJMT nor MThNZ can accept legal responsibility or liability for errors or omissions that may be made. Readers should make their own evaluation of the appropriateness of any research and practice methods described.

Privacy Notice
The journal is published in good faith. Inquiries (including take-down notices) should be sent to the Editor: or to

Editorial Team

ISSN 1176-3264 (Print)
ISSN 2744-631X (Online)

Editor:                               Alison Talmage
Assistant Editor:            May Bee Choo Clulee

Te Reo Māori Adviser: 

Dr Vini Olsen-Reeder
(Ngā Pōtiki a Tamapahore)

Image Accessibility Advisor:
Áine Kelly-Costello

NZJMT Advisory Panel (2021):
Helen Dowthwaite, Council Chair
Sarah Hoskyns
Neil Jourdan, Chair, Registration Board
Daphne Rickson, MThNZ President Emerita
Carolyn Shaw
Penny Warren

Peer Reviewers (2021):
Hyunah Cho              (Korea/Aotearoa New Zealand)
Imogen Clark            (Australia)
Yoon Irons                  (UK)
Robert Krout              (USA)
Emma Matthews      (Aotearoa New Zealand)
Melissa Murphy        (Australia)
Rebecca Roberts      (UK)
Megan Spragg           (Australia/Aotearoa New Zealand)
Karen Twyford           (Australia)
Liz Wallace                (Aotearoa New Zealand)
Auriel Warwick         (UK)
Marie Willis               (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Morva Croxson Prize Judges, 2020
(Winning article published 2021):
Jeanette Tamplin
Vini Olsen-Reeder
Claire Molyneux