HEALING SOUNDS: Visiting German musician - and therapist - Anita Maria Althaus, who is performing in Whanganui.HEALING SOUNDS: Visiting German musician - and therapist - Anita Maria Althaus, who is performing in Whanganui.

For Anita Althaus, music is much more than a pleasant diversion - it's a tool for self-discovery and healing.

The German chanson singer, classical guitarist and composer is also a music and dance therapist, using movement and sound to connect mind, body and soul.

Ms Althaus will be holding one of only two New Zealand concerts in Whanganui this evening.

Ms Althaus lives in the Black Forest region of Germany, about 10km north of the Swiss border. There she works in a hospital as a therapist, treating groups and individuals with autism, ADHD, Parkinson's Disease and other issues.

"The body holds memories. And when you make sounds, or you move your body, it's a chance to let the memories of the body come alive and be healed," Ms Althaus said.

"Not having to find the words to express yourself means that healing can happen very quickly.

And it's a method that connects the mind, body and soul."

Ms Althaus said she grew up with a love of singing and dancing.

"When I was sad, I would sing, when I was happy, I would sing - whatever it was, I felt better when I sang and danced."

She writes her own songs - some in German, some in English - and said the process happens naturally.

"I don't tell myself I'm going to write a song - the songs just come to me."

Ms Althaus's connection to Whanganui is through local musician Terry Sarten, who has visited her twice in Germany.

Her Whanganui concert will be held tonight beginning at 7pm, at a private location. Tickets are $5, call Carla on 027 42 74 117 to book. Location will be given when you buy a ticket.

Wanganui Chronicle