What is Music Therapy?

Professional music therapy solutions serving Metro Vancouver

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is a discipline in which credentialed professionals (MTA*) use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. Music therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains.

Canadian Association of Music Therapists
June 2016


Education and Training to become a Music Therapist:

Accredited music therapists, MTA, complete a Bachelor or a Graduate Certificate in music therapy and a 1000-hour supervised clinical internship.

University Education: University coursework consists of supervised clinical fieldwork placements and the academic study in the areas of music therapy research, music, and psychology.

Internship: Following the completion of a university degree in music therapy, the music therapist in training completes a 1000 hour supervised internship. During the internship, the music therapy intern consolidates their knowledge and skills in music therapy, develops competence with one or more clinical populations and gradually assumes the full range of responsibilities of a professional music therapist.

Upon completion of an internship, graduates are eligible to take the CBMT* Exam and after passing this exam, can apply for MTA Certification signifying they are qualified to work in the field and will adhere to the CAMT Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

*Certification Board of Music Therapists: www.cbmt.org

Continuing Education: The education and development as therapists does not end with the completion of accreditation. MTA must maintain their credential every five years through the CAMT continuing education process. MTA thus are continually seeking to advance the theoretical and practical application of music therapy techniques.

Possible Goals of Music Therapy:

  • increase non-verbal, creative way of expressing thoughts and feelings
  • improve speech
  • increase attention span and focus
  • decrease anxiety
  • improve gross and fine motor skills
  • increase socialization
  • boost mood
  • increased relaxation
  • increase self-esteem

Examples of Music Therapy programming:

  • songwriting
  • lyrical analysis
  • improvising
  • Rap
  • handchimes
  • Reminiscing- memory lane
  • drumming
  • musical bingo
  • choir
  • Commusicate ™
  • GIM


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