Our Centre hosted first ever New Zealand Music Therapy Week Symposium

24 May 2016
DSC01101 Professor Suzanne Purdy, Shari Storie NZ RMTh and Alison Talmage NZ RMTh, celebrate a successful end to a labour of love.

New Zealand’s first ever Music Therapy Week Symposium was hosted by the Centre for Brain Research at our Tamaki Innovation Campus.

A pivotal event of Music Therapy Week, this symposium aimed to raise awareness of music therapy in New Zealand, showcase the multidisciplinary collaborations between this profession and other therapeutic disciplines and highlight all the life-changing work occurring throughout our country.

The evening, hosted by Speech Science Director and CBR collaborator, Professor Suzanne Purdy, included a performance by the CeleBRation Choir and presentations from;


  • Alison Talmage NZ RMTh and Shari Storie NZ RMTh, leaders of the Choir
  • Robin Matthews SLT, UoA PhD candidate and founder of the Brainwave Choir for people living with Parkinson’s disease
  • Kimberley Wade NZ RMTh, Founder of the Cantabrainers Choir and Director of Southern Music Therapy
  • Dr Te Oti Rakena, Associate Dean Māori and Pacific for the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries and Coordinator of Vocal Studies in the School of Music at the University of Auckland
  • Jen Ryckaert RMTh & Fiona Kenworthy SLT, collaborating under Raukatauri Music Trust
  • Min-Min Cheung NZ RMTh, a professional working with children with severe developmental disabilities
  • Dr Vicki Jones, Kath Woodley, & Helen McGann RMTh, from the Music Moves me Trust for people with Alzheimer's disease 
  • Caroline Miller, author of ‘Arts therapists in multidisciplinary settings: Working together for better outcomes’


Highlights included the positive and therapeutic effect this profession has on people with neurological and developmental disorders, the patient-centred approach to Music Therapy in New Zealand and the fundamental need to collaborate in order to facilitate growth.

The feedback from the symposium was unanimously positive, as attendees left the lecture room feeling empowered, moved and enthusiastic about the future of their discipline and the potential for upcoming collaborations.


To view more photos from this exciting evening of music therapy and hope, log on to our Facebook page, here.