Nathan Bregmen

Graphic designer, entrepreneur and percussionist, Nathan has been making music for most of his life. He has been involved with many original rock music projects over the last 20 years, including stints with local bands Aether, Rose Petals and Confetti, St Lucy, and World War Four.

Over the last five years Nathan’s focus has turned towards African drumming and world music after studying with Jimi Dale in Auckland. This has led him to explore the positive effects group percussion playing can have on health, learning, and well-being.

Nathan teaches African drumming to both adults in children, and he is looking forward to expanding this skill set to help those with special needs.

Graham Horne

“Making music with others is one of life’s joys,” says Graham. “In the late 1960s I trained as an Anglican priest. In the church I was very much involved in music – leading singing groups, taking youth group workshops, playing in concerts and missions. I also spent nine years as a psychiatric hospital chaplain at Tokanui Hospital – a job I loved. I became interested in music therapy there. Eventually I left the hospital and had to create a new career for myself.

The only other interests I had were electronics, and music. So I took it upon myself to get my music diplomas, and also a recording engineering diploma – looking ahead to the day I would leave the church. When I finally did leave the church I started self employment as a music teacher – teaching guitar, piano and singing. I have worked in music instrument retail for 20 years, run a recording company, written lots of music, and had some wonderful experiences as a performing musician – most recently playing a series of concerts last year in a ten piece band with Howie Casey, who has been Paul McCartney’s tenor sax player since the early 1970s.

Dr Dave Ward-Smith

BSc Osteopathy, BSc Biology, student of neuroscience.

Dave has come to music therapy through firsthand experience, following a serious head injury that left him in a coma for 10 days, eight years ago. A keen musician and osteopath at the time of his accident, Dave found that music helped him enormously in his subsequent recovery. His interest has now shifted from osteopathy to working with the brain through music.

Dave has had considerable success as a teacher. His most recent prodigy is a profoundly deaf woman who he has taught to play drums. She sometimes plays live with one of Dave’s groups.

Mary Axon

BA (Hons) Music; Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy

Mary is British and a talented violinist, who currently plays in the local orchestra and String Trio, Amoroso. She has always loved music-playing in various orchestras; Church groups and just jamming with friends. She also plays the guitar and piano. She studied music at a young age and then worked as an Occupational Therapist in Community Mental Health for 11 years.

Mary currently works for Sistema Waikato-a social development programme that uses group music-making to initiate and facilitate sustained positive changes in children, their families and communities. She is excited about starting up the group “Shake, Rattle and Roll” with her colleague, Jenny-for Adults with Intellectual Disabilites: to facilitate expression and communication through music and above all, have fun!!

Tom McCormick

Tom is an Irish born mental health worker and audio engineer who travelled to NZ to work in forensic mental health services. Music therapy has been an integral part of this journey, with projects both in Ireland and NZ. Tom is currently developing various community music based projects, including Neurogenesis and youth programmes based at Raglan Old School Art Centre and Raglan Area School.

Tom has a unique set of skills and has been able to bring hope and joy to his clients through music. He has worked in all aspects of mental health, from elderly to youth, and he has both enthusiasm and a great skill of bringing people together in a positive mindset.

Star Sherret

Once the drummer/singer for legendary UK experimental, hardcore, “post-punk-avant-garde-fury” band Sleeping Dogs Wake, Star moved to New Zealand in 2007, where she began using her music skills to support people with special needs.

A talented and vibrant musician and teacher, with a strong background in the performing arts, Star is quickly able to tune into each student she meets.

“You can trust music”

Nick Stevens (aka Nicky Keys)

Nick is a multi instrumentalist musician, recording artist, music teacher and performer. For ten years he ran a succesful covers band on Waiheke Island, playing wine festivals, pub gigs, weddings and doing sound at most of the Waiheke Jazz festivals. He has a Diploma of Recording Arts from SAE Institute, Auckland.

He has been a member of reggae band Cornerstone Roots, contributing keyboards and backing vocals to the “Free yourself” album. During his time in Cornerstone Roots he shared the stage with lots of famous names including Katchafire, the Black Seeds, Salmonella Dub, Blue King Brown, Toots and the Maytals and Third World.

John Bisset

John has been a professional musician for most of his life, starting in 1964 in a Hamilton band called The Mods. Later he played with the late great rock singer Bon Scott of AC/DC. The rock and roll life took him on a journey through addiction and breakdown. Now that he has conquered that, he runs a small recording studio from his home and has recorded several albums for local singer-songwriters. He now works with Neurogenesis, teaching guitar.