The Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre (RMTC) is entering a new stage of growth and development with the appointment of a new Clinical and Centre Director, Jen Ryckaert.
Ryckaert was appointed to the position at RMTC in October 2017 after joining the team as Clinical Development Manager and Registered Music Therapist in 2015 and will oversee the expansion of RMTC into new regions across New Zealand.
RMTC chairman Sean Coleman said Jen’s appointment was a step in the right direction for the organisation, with her individuality and creativity being key in developing fresh ideas and opportunities for music therapy in New Zealand.
“After joining us two years ago from her home in the United States, we knew we had found someone whose experience, enthusiasm and open-minded attitude would be paramount in creating new and exciting ideas for RMTC to continue delivering for Kiwis,” said Mr Coleman.
Her involvement with music therapy, the use of music to assist with the growth and development of people with emotional, intellectual, physical or social needs, began with her Masters of Music Therapy from the Georgia College and State University.
Since then she has completed additional courses in music therapy and mental health counselling at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York where she also worked as the Music Therapy Clinic Manager and Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Music Therapy. 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.
During her time as a music therapist, Jen continued to draw upon her undergraduate degree in piano performance by providing piano lessons for people with special needs – including individuals who required Braille instruction.