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Music Therapy

What is it?

Music Therapy is a profession which uses music as a therapeutic tool for health and healing.  Accredited Music Therapists use a variety of methods and approaches in working with people on physical, psychological, spiritual, behavioral, and/or social development.

How does it work?

 Creating a common and unique bond between client and therapist, music facilitates growth on every level of human experience.  Through improvisation, people of all walks of life converse in the language of emotion and truth.  The incredible power of sound has the ability to reach into the body and literally heal, cast away pain, and save lives.

Who does it help?

In a nutshell, Everyone.  It can elicit memories from the depths of dementia or "kick-start" the brain that has had a chronic/acute accident.  Moments like the song for the first dance at prom, wedding or even a funeral - laughing or crying at the first bars of a meaningful tune, Music Therapy can take those moments and help people understand them. 

What about kids?

Music Therapy benefits children.  For children with Autism or other pervasive developmental disorders, behaviour modification techniques through improvisation are used to facilitate the learning of basic life skills and concepts.  Sessions are largely improvisatory and focus on the musical communication and connection between client and therapist. 

All children can increase their social skills, emotional expression, and confidence through creative play in music.  Rhythmic games and singing give children the developmental stepping stones needed to grow at their own pace in a fun environment that exposes them to a variety of music.

How does one become a Music Therapist?

In Canada, a Music Therapist is an accomplished musician, and a graduate of a university degree program approved by the Canadian Association for Music Therapy (CAMT).  Training includes extensive academic studies in music and human sciences, experiential coursework, and clinical experience at supervised practicum and internship sites.  Professional Music Therapists must also complete an accreditation process with the CAMT, which involves 1000 hours of clinical work under the supervision of an Accredited Music Therapist (MTA).  Upon completion of the accreditation requirements, MTA status is granted to candidates approved by the CAMT.  The accreditation process helps to maintain a nationally regulated level of professional excellence.

Where do you Music Therapists work?

Music therapists work literally everywhere.  In hospitals, intermediate and extended care facilities, hospice and palliative care, rehabilitation facilities, schools, community centres, and prison/detention centres.  Many Music Therapists also work in their private practices.

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