History of Music Therapy in New Zealand
From the Music Therapy NZ website
“Several historical threads interweave the beginnings of a national body for professional music therapy. Individual musicians, from the late 1950’s, were using music therapeutically- Warren Green (Otago), Marie O'Brien (van Asch College Christchurch), Ariadne Danilow and Judith White (Wellington), Lu Quin (Rotorua), Margaret Knight (Tokonui Hospital), Mary Edwards (Homai College Auckland), Marie Franklin with Eleanor Rose and a team of volunteers (Kingseat Hospital (Auckland). In 1974 Marie Franklin and Eleanor Rose, with audiologist Dr Bill Keith, brought pioneer music therapists Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins to New Zealand to run main centre workshops on working with children with hearing impairment and learning disabilities. This initiative was a major contribution to the understanding and development of music therapy in Aotearoa New Zealand. About the same time a budding concert pianist, Mary Lindgren, who had gone to the UK from New Zealand for further piano study, met pioneer Juliette Alvin and was invited to join to Alvin’s music therapy trainee/practitioner course, the first of its kind in Britain. This she did, and became determined and energised to encourage music therapy as a profession in her home country. Her 1974/75 visit was therefore driven by that goal and was a major factor in the establishment of the New Zealand Society for Music Therapy in 1975. We honour her name and pioneering work through one of our grants, the Lindgren Project F
New Zealand Society for Music Therapy (NZSMT) established
The NZSMT was founded as a charitable organisation, with the aim of raising awareness and provision of Music Therapy and support for the emerging profession.
Sir Roy McKenzie
Another key figure from this era, philanthropist Sir Roy McKenzie, became a significant supporter and benefactor from these early days until his death in 2007. The McKenzie Scholarship and McKenzie Music Therapy Hospice Fund were established with donations from Sir Roy and are named in his honour. Sir Roy giftedMThNZ shares in Rangatira several times, readily responded to requests for urgent financial support, but also gave financial advice and always came to special events. The organisation would not have begun, nor would it be in the position it is today, without the significant contributions of Sir Roy.
1975 – 2000
Raising the profile of music therapy
NZSMT works to raise the profile of Music Therapy in New Zealand: publishing newsletters, establishing the Annual Journal, and lobbying politicians and policy makers in health, education, justice, welfare and community (Croxson, 2001). The society, through the significant time and energy of many individuals, brings international Music Therapy clinicians, researchers and educators to NZ for training courses, conference presentations, workshops and professional development courses (Croxson, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007; Krout, 2003).
Professional association established
The New Zealand Association for Music Therapists (NZAMT) is established (with branches in Wellington, Manuwatu, Auckland, & Christchurch) alongside the existing NZSMT, with the following aim:
[To] develop and maintain professional standards in Music Therapy in New Zealand, provide input into Music Therapy training programmes, ensure that a high standard of supervision was maintained, and to link with other relevant associations as appropriate. Activities included professional development days, the development of a Code of Ethics and work towards Standards of Clinical Practice for Music Therapists, job descriptions and register/s, pay scales, copyright documents, professional indemnity insurance, and the development of a Music Therapy training programme. (Rickson, 2014)
NZSMT established the New Zealand Music Therapy Registration Board
In order to be registered, a Music Therapist needs to have completed a recognised Music Therapy training, adhere to a Code of Ethics, and engage in ongoing professional development and supervision. While the NZ Music Therapy Registration Board operates independently of Council, it remains a function of Music Therapy New Zealand and continues to be underwritten by the society.
Masters of Music Therapy Course
After 18 years of effort, politically and financially, the first tertiary course in Music Therapy was approved in 2000. Barbara Mabbett, Natali Allen and Morva Croxson drew up the documentation and curriculum for the course through the Education Committee which Natali, a nurse, Chaired. In 2002 the first programme leader, Dr Rober Krout, was appointed, and in 2003 the Master of Music Therapy (MMusTher) programme enrolled its first students at the Wellington campus of Massey University, and was then absorbed into New Zealand School of Music (NZSM), a collaboration between Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) (2005 to 2015) and now part of VUW alone. The current course is taught by Dr Sarah Hoskyns, Director and Associate Professor, and Dr Daphne Rickson, Senior Lecturer. For more information about the course, please refer to the University of Victoria website.
2000 – 2003
RMThs, Specialist Service Providers
NZSMT successfully advocated for RMThs to be listed as service providers in the Ministry of Education’s Specialist Service Standards for students funded through the Ongoing Resource Scheme (ORS).
First Music Therapy Centre founded
NZSMT provides the first seeding grant in support of Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre (RMTC), the first (and currently only) dedicated Music Therapy centre in New Zealand. Founded by Hinewhei Mohi in 2004, in collaboration with Campbell Smith, Boh Runga and other local music industry people, RMTC is a charitable trust that provides Music Therapy to children and young people with special needs.
Unifying the organisation
NZSMT rebrands as Music Therapy New Zealand (“MThNZ”), our new trading name, with a new logo, a website, and shortly afterwards an online forum for Registered Music Therapist members. NZAMT, regional branches, were brought together to form one national body with the aim of creating a more unified and economically viable organisation. It was also an acknowledgment that the profile of NZSMT membership was shifting from being predominantly friends and supporters of Music Therapy to mainly professional Music Therapists (Rickson, 2014). Governance and general promotion of Music Therapy is delegated to the Council. NZAMT is replaced by the Education Training and Professional Practice group (ETPP), with a forum of seven elected RMTh members whose role was to manage all aspects of professional development and liaise with the National Executive, tertiary providers and the Registration Board.
Following significant consultation regarding the HPCA Act, MThNZ joined and became active in Allied Health Professional Associations Forum (AHPAF), later rebranded as Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand (AHANZ).
For a number of reasons, the decision was made for the Society to discontinue the professional development activities, disband ETPP and amend the Rules accordingly, and undertake a re-visioning process which led to a restructure and the new Council and portfolio roles. New Zealand Society for Music Therapy continues to be the legal name for Music Therapy New Zealand (trading name).
MThNZ Regional Groups established
The intention for reestablishing regional groups are for ‘ground up’ advocacy, support & networking forums for all MThNZ members, as well as to create connections and grow relationships with related professionals and organisations in local areas.
Increasing our reach
MThNZ establishes itself within social media, creating a Facebook page that seeks to increase every New Zealander’s awareness and value of Music Therapy in its multiplicity of models, Music Therapy research, Music Therapy Week and other MThNZ events and activities.
First ever Music Therapy Week
MThNZ establishes the first ever Music Therapy Week, which aims to increase the awareness of Music Therapy and celebrate the Music Therapy that is happening throughout NZ in health, education and varied settings. It also provides a platform that aims to foster connections with other disciplines and ensure every New Zealander knows how to access a Registered Music Therapist.
Looking to the future
MThNZ rebrands and rebuilds their website, taking a giant step forward with the opportunities that advancing technology and communications enables for increasing awareness and understanding about Music Therapy as an allied health profession.
Reference: Music Therapy New Zealand Website. https://www.musictherapy.org.nz
Therapy Professionals Ltd has provided music therapy in Christchurch since 1998. If you have a child with a disability who’s struggling music therapy may help.
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