Clinical Services Manager
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 (nee Harrison)
Rachel is originally from the UK where she gained a Bachelor of Music at the University of Hull in 1998. After University Rachel worked in Orchestral Management for two of the most well-known chamber orchestras in London. During her time there she worked closely with the Education and Outreach Department, running projects with disadvantaged and disabled children not only in the UK but also South Africa.
Rachel left London, and the arts, to follow a new found passion of sailing. She went from deckhand to captain of yachts, gaining her Captain’s licence, working on small yachts to superyachts, and ultimately sailing half way round the world to settle in New Zealand 9 years ago. Since arriving in New Zealand Rachel has worked as a Yacht Agent, supporting the visiting superyachts during their stay in New Zealand.
Rachel joined the Raukatauri whanau in July 2016 and is delighted to return to working in music. Outside of work she is found singing in a large Choir and of course out sailing out on the Hauraki Gulf!
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 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.
Originally from Israel, Yair has been living in New Zealand since 2004. Having completed a Masters degree in music therapy at the New Zealand School of Music, Yair initially studied Ethnomusicology and Psychology as well as mental health support work. An accomplished drummer and percussionist, Yair has recorded and toured with numerous bands of versatile music genres in New Zealand and abroad in the last decade and continues to do so today.
He has worked as a teacher aide and support worker and has led percussion groups for children and adults with special needs in schools and communities around Auckland since 2005. Yair enjoys being a part of the RMTC team and working with cllients; bringing together his passion for music and love for meeting new people and engaging with them musically.
As a drummer/percussionist, Yair is featured in over 20 official recordings with NZ artists and overseas, and he has toured and performed in numerous international festivals.
Yair lives in West Auckland with his wife, 3 children and their chocolate Labrador.
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’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.
Min-Min Cheung is a music therapist, born and raised in New Zealand. She volunteered at the Centre in 2007 where her desire to become a music therapist was ignited. She completed her Masters in Music Therapy at New York University and is also trained in the Nordoff-Robbins music therapy approach. Her area of specialization is in children and adolescents with autism and severe developmental delays.
Min-Min is multi-lingual and able to communicate fluently in Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese. She has acheved Grade 8 certification in piano from the Royal London School of Music and can also play clarinet, flute, chinese flute and guitar.
Min-Min worked at a vast array of places during her time in America, ranging from adult psychiatric care to public schools. She returned to New Zealand at the end of 2015 and joined the Raukatauri whanau in April 2016.
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading and playing with her cat.
Student Music Therapist
Tori is from Binghamton, New York, and has recently completed the coursework for her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy degree at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. She joined the Raukatauri Music Therapy team in July 2016 to July 2017 as a student music therapist.
Tori currently works with a wide range of clients at Raukatauri, where she leads a speech and music co-therapy preschool group as well as group sessions for both adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. She also facilitates outreach music therapy groups for both adults and children, as well as individual sessions for children with autism and developmental delays. 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. In December of 2015, Tori defended her undergraduate thesis, “Cross-Cultural Music and Healing,” which explores a variety of healing practices and their relation to music.
Outside of music, Tori enjoys volunteering, hiking, and spending time with her friends and family. Tori is enjoying living in New Zealand and is thrilled to be part of the Raukatauri Music Therapy team!
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!
Student Music Therapist
Wei-Kai was born in Taiwan but raised in New Zealand from the very young age of 8 months old. When he was 5 he began to study the piano and then added the violin at age 7, finishing his Grade 8 violin examination when he was 13. Wei-Kai discovered an interest in the guitar at 15, and after being self-taught for a few months, he went on to take lessons from Peter Doublinszki. After 2 years, Wei-Kai passed his ATCL guitar examination.
Wei-Kai began informally teaching at the tender age of 15, as an assistant to his mother, who was a harp teacher. He began teaching music professionally under the Ministry of Education programme in 2012 and has worked in various schools, centres and communities, empowering children through confidence-building music performance skills. Having completed his Bachelor of Music in Classical Guitar Performance in 2015, Wei-Kai is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Wellington in Music Therapy. As part of his studies, Wei-Kai has done clinical work with children, adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities. He is ecstatic to be working with the team at RMTC this year, alongside mentors and other student trainees alike!