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Term 1 Newsletter 2024

Welcome to 2024!

Welcome to 2024, we have hit the ground running with lots to share. Our team have enjoyed their breaks and have really enjoyed hearing about yours too. We have new faces that have joined the team this year, new groups formed & so much more.

Thank you for joining us! We hope you enjoy our new blog version newsletters!




Music Therapy has a strong foundation in research and has been shown to have numerous benefits for individuals with various needs, including improving communication skills, reducing anxiety, and increasing social interaction. If you know someone that could benefit from Music Therapy, please complete a referral form on our website or via the link below.


A warm welcome to the team!


Shi Ni Low

Student Music Therapist

Shi Ni joined SMT in term 1 2024, making the move from Wellington to Christchurch to complete her placement with Southern Music Therapy. Shi Ni is currently completing her postgraduate Music Therapy degree and will be with us until November this year.

Shi Ni is originally from Singapore & has been enjoying travelling New Zealand.


Grace Schuurman

Community Musician

Grace joined SMT in 2023 as an intern while studying a Batchelor in Music, majoring in piano performance. She very quickly became a valued member of the team & has since started seeing clients as our Community Musician. Grace will be with SMT until June 2024 as she will be welcoming her first baby. Grace will be back to join us once she has settled into her new life with her growing family.


Congratulations Esther!


We would like to share that our student Music Therapist from last year, Esther, has recently graduated and is now a fully qualified Music Therapist. Congratulations Esther, you have worked incredibly hard & we are all beyond proud of your achievements. Thank you for being such a valued addition to Southern Music Therapy, we look forward to being a part of shaping your career as a Music Therapist.


Congratulations May!


We are excited to announce that May recently graduated from her Neurologic Music Therapy Training meaning that our entire Music Therapy team are officially all NMT trained.

A huge congratulations goes to you May on completing this outside of your incredibly busy timetable here at SMT. You truly are a valued member of the Southern Music Therapy team; we couldn't do this without you!


Did you know?


The journey to becoming a Music Therapist is probably not what you think.

All of our Music Therapists here at Southern Music Therapy have now completed the Neurologic Music Therapy Training and incorporate these techniques and approach into our practice.

This is in addition to our path of becoming a Registered Music Therapist in New Zealand.

Did you know that this typically involves completing a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, followed by a two-year master's degree in music therapy? And in addition to academic coursework, aspiring therapists must also complete 1000 clinical hours of supervised placement to gain hands-on experience working with clients in a clinical setting.

Registered Music Therapists in New Zealand are also required to engage in continuous professional development to stay up to date with the latest practices and research in the field.

Our goal is to provide the most effective and evidence-based music therapy interventions for our clients, and we look forward to continuing to learn and grow in our practice.

Thank you for your support and trust in our team.




We have just received a new shipment and have plenty of sizes available now in both white & black! Get yours today! Send in your pictures wearing our t-shirt our team love seeing them out and about helping spread the word! If you are happy for us to share or use these images, please email Please tag us on social media too!

See details below about discount code for Music Therapy Week!

Available in Black & White - Sizes S - 5XL - $45.00 each


Music Therapy Week - 10th - 15th April 2024


This year we are celebrating 50 years of Music Therapy in Aotearoa!

There will be lots of celebrations happening throughout the entire country, here are some events happening right here in Christchurch, we would love to see you there.

Cantabrainers Choir -

North Canterbury Choir

9th April 2024 from 1.30pm

Woodend Community Centre


Cantabrainers Choir -

Christchurch City Choir

10th April 2024 from 10am

Mary Potter Community Centre


Celebrate Music Therapy week with the Southern Music Therapy team at BrainTree Wellness Centre!


Join our team from 12pm - 1pm at BrainTree Wellness Centre, why not purchase a t-shirt too!

Use code MTHWEEK for $10 off - valid 10th - 16th April 2024.


Support Us!


Have you ever wanted to support Southern Music Therapy but been unsure how to?

Ways to support do not always have to be financially, there are many ways to show support for Southern Music Therapy and everyway is truly appreciated & welcome - to find out more.

Ways to support us financially -

Cash donations either via our bank account or supporting agencies.

Purchasing a t-shirt.

Other ways to support us -

Follow, like & share our social media pages.

Collect and share our brochures around your community.

Sharing our website with others.

Donating pre-loved instruments -


What else have we been up to?

Junior Groovers Group 2024!


Our newest group kicked off at the beginning of the year, we are excited to announce that it will be continuing into term 2 2024, we are still seeking more members so if you would like to join, please complete our referral form or to simply find out more please visit our groups page linked below.

Existing clients please email


MS & P Collaboration with Southern Music Therapy


We have been loving our new movement to music group on Wednesday mornings – a collaboration between Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Canterbury, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and SMT. The group members are people living with Parkinson’s, with the goal of extending and maintaining their current levels of movement and a particular focus on walking and gait. Because we are lucky enough to be co-facilitating this group with our two music therapists, Kim and Esther, an exercise physician, and three orchestral musicians, we are able to use different neurologic music therapy techniques to reach these goals, whilst the musicians have supported us by playing a range of different genres of music. 

Some highlights of the group so far have been: 

  • Gait training using Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation to traditional march music – the musicians have played marches and kept a steady beat, so that our group members can’t help but march in time. We have witnessed some incredible changes in how our group members have walked; taking longer strides, swinging their arms, and looking steady on their feet. 

  • Using therapeutic instrumental music performance to practice different movements, such as weight shifting and rotation. Hearing waltz music inherently makes you want to sway! 

  • Interactions between the musicians and the group members has been wonderful to see, as they may not have had the chance to experience orchestral music in such an intimate way before. As well as this, our carefully selected repertoire has brought back some memories for members! 

  • We still have a few more weeks of this wonderful partnership, so we are looking forward to seeing what other highlights will emerge! 

We are pleased to say that we will have a similar group starting soon and would like to personally thank Chris Spence from Mike Pero Real-estate for supporting this group with a generous $2k donation.

If you are interested in joining please contact


Kim is on a mission!


Kim is travelling around Christchurch on a mission to spread the word about Music Therapy New Zealand, Southern Music Therapy and Cantabrainers Choir.

She presented to aphasia club AphasiaNZ in St Martins about music therapy and Cantabrainers choir. Then she ducked over to Burwood hospital to talk with to the occupational therapists about Music Therapy for cognitive impairment- using Rhythmic Entrainment and Pattern Sensory enhancement. Followed by lecture at Canterbury University on music therapy and songleading. Great work Kim, we all see your passion & drive for Music Therapy, it's inspirational!

Would you like Kim to come and present to you?

Please contact for more information, we promise you won't be disappointed!


May presented at the North Canterbury Community Cuppa!


Our very own May Clulee was the guest speaker at the Community Cuppa in March representing the Neurological Choir in North Canterbury based in Woodend run by the Therapeutic Choirs Trust.

After May's presentation, Waiora Links Community Trust said that they have never had "a guest speaker pack so much into 15 minutes. There was a PowerPoint, a video, a couple of songs, and all the relevant information". A neurological choir is a therapeutic choir for people with neurological conditions. The choir is led by May alongside a speech-language therapist and aims to maintain and improve communication through the physical act of singing, as well as provide a space for the social interaction and connection that comes with singing in a group.

Would you or someone you know be interested in finding out more about joining the Choir?

Location: Woodend Community Centre

Day & Time: Tuesdays at 1.30pm

Contact: for more information or to register your interest.

Join the Neurological Choir and experience the benefits of community music therapy and speech and language therapy. Spread the word and help us grow this choir in your community!


Do you follow us on social media?


We share lots of exciting news weekly, please follow, like & share!


Referral Form


We have updated our referral form recently to help capture all the information we need for our new clients. If you or someone you know are interested in Music Therapy sessions, be it individual or within one of our many groups, please complete a referral form found on our website or via the link below.

Spaces available for term 2 2024.


Thank you for reading our newsletter, please share this with your wider community, just another way to support Southern Music Therapy!


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