So who is he?
Songwriter and Composer
I’ve been a professional musician for over 15 years. During this journey I have composed over 500 commercially released songs and instrumentals for companies throughout the globe. My composing hub is “Stelino Studios” based in picturesque Auckland, New Zealand. I have been awarded full-writer member status of the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA). I am a professional member of the Screen Music and Sound Guild of New Zealand. I have a Licentiate Diploma in Electric Guitar from the London College of Music, LLCM(TD). Songwriting awards include Semi-Finalist in the 2019 International Songwriting Competition for “Eating my Mortgage for Breakfast,” the 2017 and 2014 New Zealand Ukulele Festival Songwriting Competition for the songs “Happy Holidays and “Ukulele Day” and the 2015 “World Federation of Music Therapy” songwriting award for the song “WFMT.”
Registered Music Therapist
I have been a working a Registered Music Therapist for over 12 years in the fields of special needs, mental health, dementia and old age care at a range of schools and organisations in New Zealand. I hold a Masters degree with First Class Honours in Music Therapy from the New Zealand School of Music – MMusTher(Hons) and I am registered with the New Zealand Music Therapy Registration Board (registration is under my official name of Ajay Castelino). I’m also a full member of the Music Therapy New Zealand (MThNZ) and have held the health portfolio for New Zealand as well as been a member of the committee that set up the NZ Music Therapy Standards of Practice.
I’ve been awarded the Marian Rayward Memorial Scholarship in Music (2017 & 2008) and the McKenzie Music Therapy Scholarship (2019, 2016 & 2008). I’ve been awarded research grants and published research articles in internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals such as the Australasian Psychiatry and the New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy along with being an international invited speaker in the field of music therapy in New Zealand, Australia and Thailand.
Composite Guitar Designer
Before jumping over the the dark side of the moon, I trained and worked as a mechanical engineer. During my studies towards a degree in Mechanical Engineering with Honours from Auckland University, BE(Hons) I designed a composite electric guitar. The guitar won the year 2000 University of Auckland “An Innovative Project with Potential for Global Commercialisation” award and was a finalist in the 2001 “Institute of Professional Engineers NZ Student Design Award.”
“Conceptually I believe their onto a real winner , and have clearly done their homework as far as resonance and harmonic response goes – Mark Bell,New Zealand Musician, 2000“