Alison Talmage is a registered music therapist and a doctoral student at the University of Auckland School of Music. She has worked with individuals, groups and families with diverse needs in community, educational and research settings, and specialises in community singing for adults with acquired communication difficulties related to a neurological condition. Alison co-founded the CeleBRation Choir, an initiative of the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research, and has established a community group, Sing Up Rodney in Silverdale and Warkworth. She coordinates the CBR Neurological Singing, Choir and Voice Network, aiming to connect practitioners through symposia, workshops and social media. Alison has been a co-researcher in interdisciplinary mixed methods research into Choral Singing Therapy, including the SPICCATO feasibility study (Stroke and Parkinson’s: Investigating Community Singing And Therapeutic Outcomes) funded by the Health Research Council; and a Community Engagement project funded by the Centre for Brain Research and the Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust. Her publications include journal articles, book chapters, poetry and songs, and she has presented widely at conferences in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. Alison is an active member (and former Chair) of Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ), administers the MThNZ Morva Croxson Prize for Emerging Writers, and edits the New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy. Alison’s PhD uses action research to explore the roles of a practitioner-researcher in establishing and evaluating sustainable community singing groups for people with voice, speech and language difficulties.
GWNZ Fellowship, 2019
Alison is studying for her PhD in Music Therapy at University of Auckland. Her research examines the roles of a practitioner-researcher in establishing and evaluating sustainable community singing groups for people with voice, speech and language difficulties