Sterling Kwong

Professional music therapy solutions serving Metro Vancouver

Sterling Kwong

Sterling Kwong BMT, MTA, MT-BC


  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: University of California, San Diego 1993, minor in jazz improvisation
  • Music Therapist – Board Certified: Chapman University, City of Orange, California (equivalency program completed in 2002)
  • Accredited with the Canadian Association of Music Therapists (CAMT)

Populations specialized with: Adult psychiatric and Elderly psychiatric in patient hospitalization, Young adult and adolescent psychiatric, autistic children and adults, and special needs children

Special Skills/Related Training: Certified yoga instructor language proficient in Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin dialects), and Spanish, trained in many musical genres and instruments jazz, world music, and classical music, performing musician utilizing keyboards, electronic music, drums and voice, CPR BLS certified

Personal History: My Chinese immigrant parents raised me in Orange County, California and ensured that I would develop a profound love of music and culture. As a child my home was filled with music and my musical curiosity was encouraged on the piano, drum set and voice. Further along I was introduced to improvised music (jazz) and the myriad of genres that represent the world diaspora. I will always consider myself a lifelong student of the transformative power of music.

During 2002 I was diagnosed with stage III testicular cancer and had to reconsider my values and lifestyle. Following my recovery I wanted to embrace all the beautiful things of this world and empowered myself by completing many endurance races (including 3 Ironman triathlons). I feel tremendously blessed to have studied with some of the most gifted performers and teachers in the Los Angeles area. A short list of my favorites: Tamara Masloff (classical piano), George Lewis (MacArthur Fellowship award winner) improvisation and jazz, Jerry Steinholtz (Afro Cuban and Brazilian percussion), Randy Gloss (world hand drum specialist), Paul Livingstone (disciple of Ravi Shankar) classical Indian music and raga jazz, and Sheela Bringi (mantra music and Bhakti singing).

Professional History: I worked as an independent music therapy contractor for several Orange Country hospitals working in acute psychiatric, geriatric psychiatric units and a Partial Hospitalization program. Prior to that I worked for 14 years as an employee of two Southern California psychiatric hospitals. During the early part of my career I worked at an early therapeutic arts and music center providing music therapy services for at risk youth, special needs children and adolescents.

Work Philosophy: My approach is an eclectic and humanistic model that seeks to enhance and embrace the creative process of my clients. I love the process of spontaneous improvisation and the connection that it fosters between the clients and myself.

Favourite Quote: “Enjoy every sandwich” ― Warren Zevon

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