Abigail Portillo

Professional music therapy solutions serving Metro Vancouver

Abigail Portillo
BMT, BA Major in Music

Abigail Portillo
  • Bachelor of Music Therapy (Capilano University)
  • Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Music (University of British Columbia)
  • Seniors in long-term care, palliative care
  • Piano (RCM Grade 10 piano with honours, RCM Grade 5 theory with first class honours)
  • Guitar

I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC and currently reside in the Burnaby area. Growing up music was always a part of my life, singing and listening to music with family and friends at home, in car rides or at church. This connection with music grew and became stronger through private piano lessons and exploring other avenues of musical expression. My love and interest in artistic expression extends to the fine arts and includes hobbies such as painting, drawing, arts and crafts, photography, and hand lettering.

The first time I was exposed to Music Therapy was as a volunteer at a long-term care home where I observed a Music Therapist leading a session. From then on the idea of pursuing Music Therapy was always at the back of my mind. As I got to know myself better in university and through various work and volunteer experiences, I came to discover that my love for music and my passion to help others could be realized through Music Therapy. It was the perfect combination! I am thankful for the educational experience in the Music Therapy program and the work experiences I have received as they have been informative not only in my growth as a professional but as a person as well.

I completed the Music Therapy program in 2020 with experience working with various populations in my practicum and internship. During my internship I primarily worked with seniors in complex care diagnosed with dementia, Parkinson’s, CVA, depression, and anxiety. My practicum experience includes working with adults diagnosed with tuberculosis and additional psychiatric and medical conditions at Vancouver General Hospital, children with behavioural and emotional needs in elementary school, and seniors in long-term care.

I have also worked with the special needs population and their families initially as a volunteer and then as the program coordinator of the special needs program at my local church. I worked with children, adolescents and adults on the ASD spectrum, with Down syndrome, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and visual impairment.

My approach is primarily client-centred and holistic. I believe that each person has intrinsic value, and deserves to be seen and heard. I also believe in caring for the whole person – meeting physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social needs. I see my role as someone who comes alongside individuals in their personal growth, development, and overall well-being. My goal and hope is to create a safe space and to use musical experiences as a tool to meet their needs and goals.

To begin each day from a place of humility and thankfulness with the determination to live each day always growing, learning, and with joy. I believe each person is valuable and deserves to be heard and treated with respect, kindness and care.

“Storms make trees take deeper roots” – Dolly Parton
“Before you speak, listen” – William Arthur Ward

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