The right note for mu­sic ther­apy

Havelock North Village Press - - News - BY BRENDA VOW­DEN brenda.vow­

The Napier Raukatauri Mu­sic Ther­apy Cen­tre was play­ing the right tune when it was se­lected as a re­cip­i­ent of a new Huawei pi­ano last month.

The up­right Pearl River pi­ano ar­rived on the doorstep of the Ta­matea High School-based cen­tre af­ter its suc­cess as part of the 100 Pi­ano Project. The project was launched by tech­nol­ogy com­pany Huawei and the Play it Strange Trust in 2017, of­fer­ing 100 pi­anos to New Zealand schools and com­mu­ni­ties to in­spire cre­ativ­ity and imag­i­na­tion through mu­sic.

MP for Napier Stu Nash at­tended the pre­sen­ta­tion at the new Raukatauri Cen­tre lo­cated within the Ta­matea High School cam­pus, along with cen­tre founder and well known singer, Hinewehi Mohi.

Mohi founded the cen­tre af­ter hav­ing first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of what can be achieved through mu­sic ther­apy, with the im­pact it had on her daugh­ter Hin­er­aukatauri who re­cently cel­e­brated her 22nd birthday. Hin­er­aukatauri was born with se­vere cere­bral palsy and she has found a new way to con­nect with the world through the power of mu­sic. Mu­sic ther­apy is a way of us­ing mu­sic and in­stru­ments to help in­di­vid­u­als with cog­ni­tive, phys­i­cal or men­tal health chal­lenges to ex­press them­selves and de­velop new skills.

The cen­tre works mostly with chil­dren with a va­ri­ety of con­di­tions in­clud­ing autism, cere­bral palsy, Down syn­drome and a num­ber of other is­sues.

Res­i­dent mu­sic ther­a­pist Will Dar­byshire says the gift of the new pi­ano is a boon for the cen­tre.

"We are so grate­ful for mak­ing this pos­si­ble and giv­ing clients a whole av­enue to ex­press them­selves."

Will says hav­ing a pi­ano wis great for fine mo­tor skills.

"There's some­thing about sit­ting around a pi­ano. Some chil­dren find it dif­fi­cult to en­gage and they re­ally start to come out of their shells. No mat­ter what you play, it sounds great."

Since the Huawei's de­liv­ery, Will has no­ticed a marked im­prove­ment in one client with a pro­found dis­abil­ity who would nor­mally sit in the cor­ner for at least 10 min­utes be­fore en­gag­ing.

"Some­thing struck a chord — this is an in­cred­i­bly gen­er­ous do­na­tion."

Will says mu­sic is used to sup­port peo­ple and he’s plan­ning on start­ing a group for adults with de­men­tia and their care­givers.

"There is a strong fo­cus on so­cial in­ter­ac­tion. When singing a fa­mil­iar song peo­ple tend to be their most calm. It gives the caregiver a chance to have that re­la­tion­ship back again."

All ses­sions are sub­sidised and last from 30-45 min­utes. Classes are also held on Satur­days at the Have­lock North Func­tion Cen­tre.

■ For more email Will: will­dar­ or visit

Re­ceiv­ing their new pi­ano are (from left) Ta­matea High School prin­ci­pal Robin Fabish, MP for Napier, Stu­art Nash, Huawei NZ deputy man­ag­ing di­rec­tor An­drew Bowa­ter, Raukatauri Mu­sic Ther­apy Cen­tre) mu­sic ther­a­pist Will Dar­byshire, stake­holder re­la­tions and event man­ager Vera Wei and founder of Raukatauri Mu­sic Ther­apy Cen­tre Hinewehi Mohi.

Will Dar­byshire and client Emily play­ing the gui­tar to­gether.

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