Ms Alison Claire Talmage

MMusTher (Hons) VUW/Massey - NZSM, MEd UWE, PG Cert Health Science (Clinical Supervision) AUT, PG Cert Health Science (Advanced Psychotherapy Practice) AUT, BA (Hons) Reading

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


I am a doctoral candidate, music therapist, teacher, and co-founder/leader of the CeleBRation Choir at the University of Auckland's Centre for Brain Research. I have worked with people with diverse needs across the lifetime, individually and in groups, in community, education and research settings. My current doctoral research focuses on community singing / music therapy for adults with communication difficulties related to an acquired neurological condition. I am originally from the UK (England, Wales, Cornwall) and have lived in Auckland since 1998, now holding dual citizenship.

Research | Current

Voices in Harmony – Community Singing for Adults with Communication Difficulties Related to an Acquired Neurological Disorder: A Music Therapist’s Perspective

Postgraduate supervision

Main supervisor: Dr Te Oti Rakena (School of Music)

Joint main supervisor: Prof Suzanne Purdy (School of Psychology)

External Supervisor: Dr Daphne Rickson (Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, NZSM - Te Kōkī)


2020 Hope Foundation Scholarship in Ageing Research

2020 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero medal

2019 Westfield (St Luke's) Local Hero nomination

2019 Fehl Charitable Trust Scholarship

2019 Graduate Women New Zealand Fellowship

2018 CBR Knowledge Exchange Award

2017 Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) Lindgren Award, towards first year doctoral fees

2015 Maurice & Phyllis Paykel Trust Travel Grant for research: Choral Singing Therapy - Community Engagement

2012 Joint nomination for University of Auckland Excellence in Equity Award


Music Therapist, CeleBRation Choir (The University of Auckland Centre for Brain Research)

Coordinator, The CBR Neurological Singing, Choir and Voice Network

Areas of expertise

Music therapy and community singing for adults living with a neurological condition
Music therapy professional practice and clinical supervision
Orff Music Education

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2018-         Trustee, Kahikatea Music Therapy and Community Arts Trust

2017-         Administrator, Music Therapy NZ Morva Croxson Prize

2016-         Editor, NZ Journal of Music Therapy

2014-2017 Elected member, Music Therapy NZ Council (Chair 2014 - 2016)

2014-2017 Member, NZ Music Therapy Registration Board

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Talmage, A., & Purdy, S. (2018). Developing the CBR Neurological Singing, Choir and Voice Network in Aotearoa New Zealand. Paper presented at Music, diversity and wholeness: 3rd conference of the British Association of Music Therapy, London, England. 16 February - 18 February 2018. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Purdy
  • Fogg-Rogers, L., Buetow, S., Talmage, A., McCann, C. M., Leão SHS, Tippett, L., ... Purdy, S. C. (2016). Choral singing therapy following stroke or Parkinson's disease: An exploration of participants' experiences. Disability and Rehabilitation, 38 (10), 952-962. 10.3109/09638288.2015.1068875
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stephen Buetow, Clare McCann, Lynette Tippett, Suzanne Purdy, Joan Leung
  • Willis, M., Watson, J., & Talmage, A. C. (2014). Navigating cross-cultural pathways on Rarotonga : an exploratory collaboration bringing together a music therapist, the Cook Islands Ministry of Education and a day centre for adults with intellectural and physical disabilities. The New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy, 12, 58-86. Related URL.
  • Buetow, S. A., Talmage, A., McCann, C., Fogg, L., & Purdy, S. (2014). Conceptualizing how group singing may enhance quality of life with Parkinson's disease. Disability and Rehabilitation, 36 (5), 430-433. 10.3109/09638288.2013.793749
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stephen Buetow, Clare McCann, Suzanne Purdy
  • Talmage, A., Fogg, L., Leao, S. H. S., & Purdy, S. C. (2013). Choral Singing Therapy for a client with Parkinson's disease. In C. Miller (Ed.) Assessment and outcomes in the arts therapies: A person-centred approach (pp. 54-56). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Purdy
  • Talmage, A., Ludlam, S., Leão SHS, Fogg-Rogers, L., & Purdy, S. C. (2013). Leading the CeleBRation choir: The choral singing therapy protocol and the role of the music therapist in a social singing group for adults with neurological conditions. The New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy, 11, 7-50. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Purdy
  • Fogg, L., & Talmage, A. (2011). The CeleBRation Choir: Establishing community group choral singing for people living with neurological conditions. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain, 21 (1-2), 264-267. 10.1037/h0094030


Contact details

Alternative contact

Mob: 027 464 2465

Office hours

CeleBRation Choir:
Mondays 1.45-3.15pm
Usually Tāmaki Campus (in 2019)
Email for confirmed dates and venues.

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 509
New Zealand

Social links

Web links