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Music Therapy Week 2022

Music Therapy Week 2022 - Make the Change: Choose a career in Music Therapy and Make a Difference



Music Therapy New Zealand presents
Choose a career in Music Therapy and Make a Difference
November 14 - 20 

Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) is thrilled to announce this year’s Music Therapy Week, with a kaupapa of drawing people’s attention to the profession and recruiting new Music Therapists. Celebrating the hard work of Aotearoa’s Music Therapists from November 14 - 20, this year is running slightly differently to previous weeks. This year’s theme is Make the Change, with MThNZ wanting to bring awareness to what music therapy is and why more people should choose it as a career. Music therapy is a growing profession with a significant demand for more therapists in Aotearoa, especially in regional and suburban areas. MThNZ's Make the Change theme hopes to inspire more people to explore the potential of music therapy as a viable and fulfilling profession.
“It is an exciting time for music therapy in New Zealand, and we are at a pivotal point in growing our profession exponentially. The number of NZ Registered Music Therapists is growing, but not enough to meet the demand of our communities. Over the past 50 years, the efforts of those to lobby and advocate for our profession is paying off and we are receiving weekly enquiries for NZ Registered and qualified Music Therapists across the country. Particularly outside of the centres of Auckland and Wellington regions. It is with that we ask musicians, students and other professionals to think about making a change. To consider a rewarding, fulfilling and sustainable career as a NZ Registered Music Therapist. Make the change, and make a difference to people’s lives through music”
- says Linda Webb, MThNZ President and Helen Dowthwaite, MThNZ Executive Officer.

What's On in Music Therapy Week 2022:

For Music Therapy Week 2022 there will be the opportunity to interview registered Music Therapists around Aotearoa who can speak passionately as to why music therapy is a gratifying career choice, how it helps communities across the country, and how people can train to become Music Therapists.

There are already several Music Therapists from different backgrounds available, who can help anyone curious to make an informed decision on choosing Music Therapy as a career. Some of these Music Therapists include Christchurch based Kimberly Wade and Hawke’s Bay based Ella Polczyk-Przybyla. See more information on Kimberly and Ella at the end of this release.

Children's Book
This year, MThNZ is delighted to be working with Grace Wyatt and Michelle Peat, the hardworking team behind the children’s book Finding Grandpa’s Song. The story follows Ruby and her Grandpa as he moves in with her family. Grandpa sometimes forgets things but Ruby loves her Grandpa and works out a way to help him through music.
Written by Waikato based Wyatt, Finding Grandpa’s Song comes from her true experience when she saw the positive effect of music on an ill loved one. This is the second children’s book from illustrator and author, Peat, her first being The Rascally Stars. Earlier in 2022 Peat released her first art journal for teenagers, Make a Splash, after being disappointed by the lack of support her daughter had around her individuality, creativity, and mental health. Finding Grandpa’s Song is designed for children aged 7 to 10 to help them understand dementia and learn about how helpful music can be for those affected by it. Wyatt and Peat are both available to be interviewed on this experience.

Music therapy is a practice which uses music to assist the health and personal growth of people with identified needs. To become a NZ Registered Music Therapist one must have a Masters of Music Therapy which can be obtained through studying at Victoria University of Wellington (or overseas equivalent). Music therapists are highly skilled to work with a diverse range of people, experiences, and conditions meaning they must also be adaptable.
Who can Music Therapy support?
The versatility of music therapy as a profession, allows the practice to be applied in a variety of contexts such as: schools; community spaces; hospitals; care and supported living facilities; prisons; and within private practices, to support the treatment of a huge range of conditions such as: dementia; psychosis; depression and anxiety.

Music therapy is also helpful for those with neuro-divergent conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, enabling a different channel of communication. In Aotearoa, music therapy is increasingly being used to assist in general wellbeing, as well as providing support for those living through the challenges of trauma, separation, grief, and end-of-life care.
Goals in Music Therapy
Employing a Registered Music Therapist ensures music is used within a therapeutic framework to support the development of joint musical experiences and work towards specific non-musical goals which can have a communication, cognitive, physical, social and/or emotional focus.
Music Therapy Week
Music Therapy Week is the chance to celebrate Aotearoa’s hard working Music Therapists as well as their successes with this unique practice in communities across Aotearoa. MThNZ hopes that this year’s Music Therapy Week will draw attention to Aotearoa’s need for more Music Therapists outside of the country's larger centres, and spread awareness of the good music therapy can do for people's lives.
Music Therapy New Zealand is proud to be a member of Allied Health Aotearoa NZ (AHANZ) and is grateful for all of their supporters and members.

Kimberley Wade, NZ RMTh
Kimberly Wade is a registered Neurologic Music Therapist and is the Director and Founder of Southern Music Therapy. In 2007 Kimberley completed her Masters in Music Therapy in Wellington. She has worked in a variety of disability settings including special education, aged care, and adult mental health. After gaining some confidence within the profession, Kimberley felt drawn to working clinically with people with neurological conditions. She received further training in Neurologic Music Therapy, vocal psychotherapy as well as continuing courses in music and neuroscience, and communication specific courses.
She has a real drive to inspire people to use music to assist in ‘finding their voice’; encouraging them to communicate, express themselves and reach their potential.
Kimberley works with individuals, small groups and provides consultation in long-term rehabilitation services and the community. She is the song leader for the Cantabrainers choir and provides workshops and in-services promoting and educating caregivers, clients, and professionals about music therapy.

In 2021, Kimberley was presented with one of the New Zealander of the year, Local Hero Awards, for her work in Canterbury. Both for establishing her own private practice offering music therapy sessions for people with disabilities as well as co-founding the Cantabrainers Choir.

Ella Polczyk-Przybyla, NZ RMTh
Originally from the UK, Ella Polczyk has trained as a musician from a young age focusing on jazz performance and specialising in playing the clarinet and saxophone. Having toured throughout the UK and internationally with jazz bands, she continued to develop her understanding and knowledge of jazz at Bath Spa University partaking in several ensembles, big bands and smaller gypsy jazz bands.
After graduating, Ella worked in California teaching music and horse riding, then returned to study music therapy at the University of the West of England. Whilst studying, Ella continued to fuel her love of performing at festivals across Europe including: Glastonbury; Boomtown; Shambala; the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; and many other exciting venues. During the course, Ella worked with a variety of clients including children with special educational needs, adults with mental health difficulties and people affected by HIV/AIDS. In Ella's third and final year of university she set up a music therapy programme in Uganda with a fellow colleague at a centre for people affected by HIV/AIDS. This fuelled an interest for working with individuals from different cultures and experiencing music therapy in different settings including working as a music therapist for a charity that supports young people who have experienced trauma as well as at a school for deaf children.

Ella joined the Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust team in 2021 and has enjoyed supporting people at the centre, in schools and in community centres across Hawke’s Bay and has big plans to continue growing the centre in the Bay. With a passion for horse riding, playing and watching live music and being active, Ella is so excited to continue her journey here in Aotearoa.

In addition to those named above, experts available for interview for 2022 Music Therapy Week are:

  • Chris O'Connor a professional musician and NZRMTh based at the Auckland Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre.
  • Olly Lowery a NZRMTh based at the Auckland Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre.
  • Emma Matthews and Colette Jansen both NZ RMTh working out of the Nelson Music Therapy Centre which was created in the 2020 Covid lockdown. Collete leads the NelSONG neurological choir.
  • Jen Glover is a RMTh and the Clinical and Centre Director of the Auckland Regional Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre.

For media enquiries please contact:
Francesca Sie at Elephant Publicity | 021 0227 7101 

Written by

Elephant Publicity

10 Oct 2022