Academic journal article The New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy

A Music Therapy New Zealand Report on Music Therapy Provision in New Zealand

Academic journal article The New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy

A Music Therapy New Zealand Report on Music Therapy Provision in New Zealand

Article excerpt

Introduction

While the number of music therapists in New Zealand has grown considerably over recent years, from 36 Registered Music Therapists (RMTh) in 2008 to 75 in 2016, music therapy is still a small profession and, as such, there is a long-standing need for music therapists to educate and advocate for their profession. Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) is a registered charity with Registered Music Therapist, "Friend" and Corporate members. MThNZ has the following objectives:

* To raise awareness and understanding of music therapy;

* To advance the provision of music therapy to all who will benefit from these services;

* To maintain standards of ethical practice to protect the safety of all clients;

* To advance research of music therapy in a range of settings, including the health and education sectors;

* To provide funding for study, research, and activities that aim to advance the provision of music therapy in specific areas where there is an identified need; and

* To develop relationships with relevant stakeholders.

(New Zealand Society for Music Therapy, 201 4)

MThNZ needs a thorough understanding of current practice and member demographics in order to meet the above objectives, fulfil its charitable responsibilities to both members and the public, and identify areas of need. The most efficient way to gather this information is via a survey. MThNZ has previously undertaken surveys, including a 2008 remuneration survey (Twyford, 2009) and a 2014 (unpublished) survey of music therapy delivery in schools. Twyford (2009) made several recommendations which the current survey sought to address: a more comprehensive survey was administered, aiming to highlight the diversity of music therapy practice in New Zealand; and open-ended questions were included to provide opportunities for gathering qualitative data.

The Survey

The aim of the survey was to gather data about current music therapy provision in New Zealand, with a view to informing MThNZ Council strategy to support job creation and the development of music therapy.

Council recommended that the survey include questions about the following areas:

* An overview of music therapy provision in NZ, including demographic information;

* Recommendations for focus of job creation advocacy;

* Communication/information sharing tools used by MThNZ; and

* Views about the relevance of the Standards of Practice document (Music Therapy New Zealand, 2012).

The survey was developed by Claire Molyneux and Helen McGann, with support from Bronwyn Bent, MThNZ Administrator. The New Zealand Music Therapy Registration Board2 was consulted regarding specific information that would inform their work of regulating and registering appropriately qualified individuals. Claire and Helen liaised with Grace Watts, PR Officer for the British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT)3 and MThNZ is grateful to BAMT for generously sharing the outline of their 201 5 survey as a starting point for the MThNZ survey. Online survey testing by Council and Registration Board members ensured the useability and relevance of questions. Participants were informed that consent was given through participation in the anonymous survey, and that results would be made publicly available in anonymised form. The authors acknowledge that the small numbers of participants and diversity of practice in a small community may increase participant identification in some areas, and have made every effort to present the data in ways that protect anonymity. While the risk of identification is present, there is significant benefit to the New Zealand music therapy community and we are grateful to all those who participated in the survey.

The survey was extensive, including sections on training and registration, member demographics, employment, self-employment, and supervision. A further section addressed member satisfaction and opinions around various MThNZ activities, including communications, media, publications, standards of practice, and diversity issues within the profession. …

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