It's been a busy week for music therapist Will Darbyshire as he started his new role at the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre.

Established by Waipukurau born Hinewehi Mohi, RMTC recently opened their first regional clinic in Hawke's Bay to help children using holistic methods or music therapy.

The centre works mostly with children with a variety of conditions including autism, cerebral palsy and Downs syndrome.

Darbyshire began sessions with local children last week, working at Tamatea High School on Wednesday through to Friday, as well as sessions on Saturday at the Havelock North Function Centre.


He recently moved from Australia, where he had just completed his masters of music therapy at the University of Melbourne.

"I completed my masters and then I saw this role advertised. Music therapy is something I'm very passionate about. It was dream come true, I've always wanted to live in New Zealand," he said.

With only a week and a half under his belt, he said the kindness and support he received was mindblowing.

"I started sessions at Tamatea High School and I was just absolutely blown away by the support I received, by the principal, the teachers and the parents. It's just worked so well."

Although he works with young children and high school students, Derbyshire said he also worked with adult clients as well.

"In Auckland our oldest client is in his 80s or 90s. We do work with people with dementia as well."

While he said his role in music therapy was extremely rewarding, he said it also had some major challenges as well.

"I think overall it's been a challenge, changing jobs, moving to a new country, into a new environment, that can always be a little challenging. But I've been made so welcome.


"At the moment I work with some kids who have autism, and they can often struggle with new social situations. So it can be hard for them to meet someone, particularly an outsider. It can take them a while to adjust and sometimes they can get a bit upset, but they've adjusted very well, it's amazing.

"I suppose I'm really lucky because the work I do involves engaging and interacting with people through music.

"Some people may be trapped in their bodies, but they still have amazing ways of expressing themselves, even if it's moving their eyelids or using their voice and that's what I love about the work I do," he said.