Jen Ryckaert

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Clinical and Centre Director

Registered Music Therapist 

Jen Ryckaert joined the Raukatauri Music Therapy team in August 2015 following work as the Music Therapy Clinic Manager and Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Music Therapy at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York.  In addition to her clinic management and teaching responsibilities, she also served as a Clinical Supervisor in both the Music Therapy and Brain Injury Clinics at Nazareth and maintained her work as the music therapist for a large school district in Western New York.

Having worked in a variety of settings and with many different clinical populations in the United States, Jen is especially excited to work with the Raukatauri team in their efforts to bring the powerful tool of music therapy to an expanded clientele in NZ. She is thrilled to be providing individual sessions to both children and adults at Raukatauri, running the Tune In programme in collaboration with a speech and language therapist and doing Outreach work in the community.  One of Jen’s favourite things about her job at the Centre is doing initial client consultations and providing families with an introduction to music therapy.

Jen obtained her Bachelor of Arts in piano performance from the University of New Hampshire and her Master of Music Therapy from Georgia College and State University and has also completed studies in music therapy and mental health counselling at Nazareth College.



Rachel Farrell

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Finance and Administration Manager

Rachel joined the Raukatauri whanau in July 2016. Originally from the UK, where she gained a Bachelor of Music, she started her career working in Orchestral Management in London. During this time she not only toured worldwide as stage manager, but ran projects with the Education and Outreach Department both in the UK and abroad. One such tour took her to South Africa for three weeks where the orchestra performed as well as worked with children in Soweto and Pretoria.

Rachel left London when an opportunity in yachting, her other passion, came up. Over the next six years she worked as a skipper on yachts in Turkey and Greece and later as crew on superyachts. After sailing into New Zealand in 2007 Rachel decided to jump ashore and is now a proud New Zealand Citizen.

Yachting and music continue to be Rachel’s main hobbies. She is a dedicated member of Auckland Choral, having chaired the Music Committee there for five years. When she’s not working – or singing – she’s likely to be found sailing on the Hauraki Gulf!



Russell Scoones

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Clinical Team Leader

Registered Music Therapist

Russell is originally from Dunedin and has been working at the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre since 2009.  He completed his music therapy training at Roehampton University in London. The guitar is his first instrument and he plays many types, including classical, steel-stringed, electric, bass, ukulele and mandolin. He is also skilled in drums and percussion, piano and singing and loves to write songs and compose music using unusual instruments and elements.

Russell first became involved in music and disability 25 years ago. He has held various positions as an arts worker and community musician in many settings, from Dunedin’s Artsenta to day services in Surrey and London. This has often been to create music and collaborate with artists on performance projects.

Russell has worked as a musician all his life in a number of different ways. In collaboration with choreographers, his compositions have been performed at a number of international festivals and theatres over the years. He also performs regularly, creates sound installation works, and holds popular music sessions for pre-schoolers in the Auckland area.

 



May Clulee

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Registered Music Therapist

May is originally from Singapore and enjoyed growing up in a vibrant multicultural environment.  She has always loved making music in formal and informal settings. May studied the piano formally and later picked up the guitar and clarinet. She sings and plays at church and various community events. In 1999, May completed her MA in Music Therapy at Anglia Polytechnic - now Anglia Ruskin University - at Cambridge in the UK. 

May has worked with people in the community for more than 20 years, in various capacities: as a piano teacher for children in a low-income community, a volunteer support worker of disabled people, a teacher-aide, a music therapist with children and adults in special education and also within the community, and at a youth-focused community library in South Auckland, where she incorporated music into some of the many programmes the library delivers to its customers. 

She has also done volunteer work in China, Nepal, the Philippines and New Zealand. 



Libby Johns

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Registered Music Therapist

Libby joined the team in 2013 after spending the previous year on placement at RMTC as a student. 

Libby enjoys working with a diverse range of people and their cultures. Libby’s music therapy approach is strengths based, person centered and she draws on musical improvisation in order to tailor each session to the client’s abilities and their needs in the moment. 

Libby enjoys playing and listening to a wide range of music and learning how different cultures use music for health, education and creating communities. On a recent trip to India she began learning Indian classical music on the bansuri (bamboo flute) and continues to develop her knowledge of traditional Maori instruments, Taonga Puoro.  Libby also has a great passion for adventure, whether it be in the outdoors or to the local market to find new ingredients and ideas.

Libby completed her Masters of Music Therapy Degree and Bachelor of Music, in jazz, at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. 

 



Olly Lowery

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Registered Music Therapist

Olly’s association with the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre began in 2012 when he volunteered here whilst studying towards his jazz guitar performance degree. He then spent two years in Wellington where he gained experience as music therapist for adolescents experiencing psychosis, older adults with a wide range of needs, and also as a support worker for people with intellectual disabilities. Upon returning to the Auckland in 2015 for the clinical placement of his Master of Music Therapy degree, he completed research that focused on the use of goals in music therapy with young people who have autism spectrum disorder.

Olly joined the team at Raukatauri following his clinical placement and enjoys making music with a wide range of people at the centre, in schools, and at outreach centres in Otara and Orewa. Outside of music, Olly is a lover of the outdoors and can often be found tramping, fishing, skiing, and generally 'adventuring' his weekends away.

 



Tori Gac

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Registered Music Therapist

Tori is from Binghamton, New York, and has recently completed her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy degree at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York.  She joined the Raukatauri Music Therapy team after completing her student placement at the centre from July 2016 to July 2017.

Tori currently works with a wide range of clients at Raukatauri, where she facilitates music therapy groups for both adults and school-aged children, as well as individual sessions for children with autism and developmental delays.  As part of her placement at RMTC, Tori gained experience in leading a speech and music co-therapy preschool group and individual and group sessions for both adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. As part of her clinical training in the U.S., Tori worked with children with developmental disabilities and older adults in both group and individual settings. She also led a co-treatment group with speech language-pathology students for two adults with aphasia and implemented interventions for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Outside of music, Tori enjoys trying new food, hiking around Auckland, and spending time with her friends and family. Tori is enjoying living in New Zealand and thrilled to be part of the Raukatauri Music Therapy team!



Angela Jeong

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Registered Music Therapist

Angela Jeong joined the Raukatauri whanau in September 2016. During her internship, Angela Jeong worked as a student music therapist at a hospice, children’s hospital and a special school in New Zealand. After gaining her qualification, she has worked as a community music therapist in the North Shore region and a music therapist in a hospital. For 4 years, Angela has worked as a volunteer teacher for children, teenagers and adults with intellectual disabilities and has experience of working as a caregiver for a child with illness.

Music, people and health are the areas that interested Angela from her childhood and these are the driving forces that led her to become a music therapist. Angela holds Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Auckland and Master’s degree in Music Therapy from the Victoria University of Wellington. Having studied music for 20 years, Angela enjoys playing the harp and piano and composing music for the main instruments.

In her spare time, Angela loves to cook and bake – especially, homemade apple pie and blueberry ice-cream!  



Katie Boom

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Registered Music Therapist

Born and raised in the Waikato, Katie is part of a long legacy of musicians and singers. She grew up performing folk and gospel music with her parents and siblings. After completing a Bachelor of Music in voice and piano, she moved to Cambodia to teach music in prisons. This experience changed her profoundly and she went on to found a charity campaign called Shoeless, supporting children's education throughout Cambodia.

Following several years of teaching music in primary, secondary, tertiary and adult community settings in both NZ and Asia, Katie undertook the Master of Music Therapy degree at Victoria University. Having completed this degree in 2017 with first class honours, she is thrilled to be working with the wonderful team at Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre. On her student placements, she worked with adults with neurological conditions, children and families in hospital, and young people with disabilities.

Playing (and creating) new instruments is one of Katie's favourite pastimes. Some of her exploits include dabbling in samba drumming, bass guitar, Celtic harp and cello. Katie loves to dance, cook straight from her garden, renovate anything old, and she nearly always has a song in her head.



Will Darbyshire

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Registered Music Therapist 

Hawke's Bay Regional Centre

Will is originally from Toowoomba, Queensland, where he grew up surrounded by a community full of musicians and artists. He has spent the past few years living in Melbourne, where he recently completed his Masters of Music Therapy at the University of Melbourne.

During his clinical training Will worked with a wide range of clients in various settings, including a paediatric hospital and a palliative care hospice. At the end of 2017 Will travelled to Kolkata with three other music therapy students, working alongside teaching staff to create a music therapy program for children with cerebral palsy. This program was created collaboratively with the staff and children to best support the program’s sustainability, a style of work that Will is particularly passionate about.

As a musician Will plays the trumpet, piano, and guitar, as well as having sung in a number of bands and choirs for most of his life. When not playing music Will enjoys heading into the bush for overnight hikes and meeting people from around the world.



Cally Castell

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Receptionist

Cally is originally from the U.K., and joined the team at RMTC in November 2017. She moved to New Zealand in 2009, after achieving a B.A. with Honours in Drama in London.

Music has always been Cally’s first love; singing, playing piano, and writing songs from a young age. Cally has enjoyed a full-time career the Arts, initially as a stage manager, where she worked on a diverse range of projects and productions, including; large scale musicals, kids’ shows, classical and contemporary dramas, international touring shows, and theatre in the community. During this time Cally was a founding member of the Christchurch Pops Choir, a co-founder of a childrens’ musical theatre group, and lead singer of a 9-piece New Orleans blues band.

Cally went on to train at The Actors’ Program in Auckland, and in recent years has been busy freelancing as an actor, singer, writer, and voice coach. She has acted in a number of professional productions, both locally and around the country, most recently performing in the national tour of The Sound of Music. She loves producing her own work, especially cabaret, and a particular joy was getting to perform in a two-hander musical she co-wrote in early 2017. She is currently composing her first large-scale musical, a socially and politically conscious piece for young women, due for its second workshop in 2018.



Anthony Switala     

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Student Music Therapist

Anthony was born and raised in upstate New York, near the Hudson Valley, before pursuing an education in music therapy at Georgia College and State University. He chose to complete his internship at the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre because of his interest in different cultures, and his desire to see the similarities and differences between music therapy methods on an international level.

Anthony worked with a diverse group of clients with varying needs while studying at GCSU and his clinical experiences included placements with adults with developmental disabilities, children with intellectual disabilities, geriatric patients, and even veterans.

Anthony began learning how to play the clarinet when he was ten years old, and immediately wanted to learn more about music. Growing up, he learned the fundamentals on many instruments in the woodwind and string family, and studied clarinet and violin at a more advanced level during college.

Anthony is eager to work and learn more about music therapy from his new team members at Raukatauri, and looks forward to a wonderful year at the Centre!

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