Mu­sic has helped put words into Ryan’s mouth

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By MARYKE PENMAN

Mu­sic has been a piv­otal part of Ryan Herbert’s life ever since he was born.

The 12-year-old is par­tially blind and suf­fers de­vel­op­men­tal de­lays.

But there is one thing he en­joys more than any­thing and that is mak­ing mu­sic.

Grand­mother and pri­mary care­giver Julie Herbert says Ryan has al­ways re­sponded to mu­sic and was even taught to speak through song.

Ryan has been go­ing once a week to The Raukatauri Mu­sic Ther­apy Cen­tre in Auck­land for the last eight years.

The lished cen­tre was in 2004 by es­tab­singer song­writer Hinewehi Mohi and is named af­ter her daugh­ter Hin­er­aukatauri who has cere­bral palsy.

Mu­sic ther­a­pists at the cen­tre have helped peo­ple of all ages to re­duce iso­la­tion, de­velop speech and mo­tor skills, grow in self con­fi­dence and im­prove their over­all well­be­ing.

Each ses­sion is de­signed around the prin­ci­ple that ev­ery­one has the abil­ity to re­spond to mu­sic, re­gard­less of dis­abil­ity, in­jury, ill­ness or cir­cum­stances.

Mrs Herbert says the ther­apy is a per­fect fit for Ryan.

‘‘His vo­cab­u­lary has re­ally gone wild. He has about 50 words that are un­der­stand­able. When he talks it is very sing-songy but that is im­por­tant for him to recog­nise and sound out words.’’ Ryan’s love of mu­sic ex­tends far be­yond the ther­apy cen­tre. At home he en­joys play­ing the cym­bals, the drums and an an­tique dec­o­ra­tive bu­gle his grand­fa­ther found last year.

‘‘Morn­ing and night they’re out there putting the flag up and play­ing the bu­gle.

The Raukatauri Mu­sic Ther­apy Cen­tre will this year re­ceive $11,000 from the Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays March 9 event to fund six sub­sidised mu­sic ses­sions for 10 chil­dren.

Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays is a joint col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Auck­land Jog­gers Club and Fair­fax Me­dia, owner of the Auck­land City Har­bour News and its par­ent com­pany, Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers.

Reg­is­tra­tion pro­ceeds will also help sup­port Ra­dio Lol­lipop, Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis Auck­land Branch, The Hear­ing House, Crohn’s and Coli­tis New Zealand Kid­sline and Fair­fax First Books. It starts at 9.30am. Go to roundthe­ to reg­is­ter.

Struck a chord: Ryan Herbert, 12, looks for­ward to mu­sic ther­apy each week at the Raukatauri Mu­sic Ther­apy Cen­tre.

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