Scientists from the Centre for Brain Research met Kiwi band Titanium this weekend, along with singers Anika Moa and Boh Runga.
The members of the SPICCATO research team were entertained by top kiwi stars, as part of a gala dinner fundraiser to help raise funds for the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre (RMTC).
The SPICCATO project (funded by the Health Research Council) is investigating the benefits of CeleBRation Choir participation. The community singing group provides choral singing therapy for people with communication difficulties through brain diseases, like stroke and Parkinson’s disease. The team includes music therapist Alison Talmage, who has a joint role at the RMTC and also leads the CeleBRation Choir.
The RMTC was established in 2004 by singer Hinewehi Mohi, whose daughter Hineraukatauri has cerebral palsy. After experiencing the benefits of music in the UK, Hinewehi turned to the New Zealand music industry to support her goal of establishing music therapy in New Zealand, helping children with developmental and learning difficulties.
The RMTC now supports hundreds of children each year, and is also starting to work with adults in conjunction with Music Therapy New Zealand. The CeleBRation Choir researchers are also keen to develop the benefits of music therapy for people with brain disease.
Overall the star-filled evening raised approximately $185,000 for the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre.