One of my roles on Music Therapy New Zealand Council has been National Events. In 2016 we launched our first ever Music Therapy Week, and it's been fantastic to see the opportunities and growth in awareness and understanding about music therapy throughout Aotearoa NZ.
This year I've been leading and collaborating with various teams of dedicated, passionate MThNZ members and experts, most of us volunteering our time and energies, as part of our Communications Review. In the lead up to and as part of Music Therapy Week 2018 we've re-branded with the help of the fantastic Clare Saunders-Lee, Graphics Designer; we've launched our sparkly new website; and with the support of the Hugo Charitable Trust and Liminal Pictures we've launched new exciting videos helping to explain What Does a Music Therapist Do? and Why I Love My Job.
I've written more about this here, if you're interested. But definitely head to a Music Therapy Week Event near you, watch the videos and check out the new website, they're glorious!
I've learned a lot through these experiences. They've certainly taken me out of my expertise and comfort zone at times and away from my day job at times, as well as away from home life. It's been a roller coaster of a ride navigating differences in opinions and the endless possibilities and ways of doing things, and I've certainly lost sleep - especially lately! - but I'm so thrilled to have given back and been part of the bigger picture. I feel so proud of our new website, the significant leap forward it's taken for the organisation, and what it means for MThNZ members and for New Zealanders who can so much more easily find a therapist and find out more about music therapy.
In a week or so I will have handed over all of my roles within MThNZ in order to focus on other things, and as I look back I feel proud of what I've been part of and what we've achieved in the past four years during my time on Council. We now have a Facebook page which helps us get our messages out there, we have re-established Regional Groups for increased connectivity and interactions both between members and between members and interested public, we have established Music Therapy Week and gained traction with significant media exposure, run hui and other gatherings, given presentations, provided annual funding grants and awards and established new ones, supported new grads and students, established partnerships with organisations like the NZ Music Foundation and their Well-being initiative to provide Music Therapy Services for people in the music industry, and most recently the aforementioned glorious re-branding, re-built website with more functionality to come, and new content including the videos and fact sheets. All of which with the purpose to champion potential and well-being through the professional use of music therapy. And that's just some of the visible stuff that I've been involved in - there's so much more, and so much more that goes on behind the scenes.
I'm proud and thrilled to be a member of this wonderful organisation and profession, but I do have to say, I'm looking forward to getting back to my day job and having my weeknights and weekends back again!
NZ Registered Music Therapist, co-creator, songbird, collaborator, advocate, lover-of-music.