For the last sixteen years, the Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust has been using music therapy to promote healing and improve the wellbeing of people with disabilities or mental health challenges.
The Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust offers strengths-based music therapy to adults and children with special needs, who are usually less engaged in traditional ways of learning and often find it challenging to express themselves. Drawing on every individual’s innate responsiveness to music, music therapy can enhance cognitive skills and improve social and emotional wellbeing. With a mission to offer quality, accessible music therapy to all people, regardless of their needs, the Trust operates New Zealand’s only music therapy centre, and is often the first point of call for those seeking improved wellbeing through music. By enabling clients to actively participate in the world around them through music, the centre also seeks to diminish the social isolation resulting from living with a disability or a disabled family member
Accessibility is a key driver for the Trust's work, particularly when bringing their life-changing music therapy to those that are often unserved due to location, poverty, and disability. Previously only operating from its Auckland base, last year a Foundation North grant contributed towards the opening of Raukatauri’s Northland Regional Centre in Whangarei - an important step in bringing music therapy to Northland for the first time. Funding has also enabled the centre to provide highly subsidised services to families and schools in the region and send their Registered Music Therapist into the Mid and Far North to work with individuals impacted by disability, mental health challenges and trauma.
“Our students look forward to the sessions with Registered Music Therapist Katie with anticipation - for many, it is the highlight of their week. The music therapy sessions support our students’ social skills, fine and gross motor skills, and sensory integration, and are giving our students an opportunity to shine in something that they enjoy – the room is filled with smiles, laughter and of course, beautiful shared music!”
"Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust has always valued our relationship with Foundation North, but I really felt like our partnership moved to a new level when they became the very first funders of our Northland Regional Centre. Life-changing music therapy had not been available in Northland until 2019, when Foundation North responded to our request to provide the funding to make it possible. Our Northland services are the fastest growing of any of our regions, and Foundation North has helped us to meet this need and change lives through music."