What is Music Therapy?

The Canadian Association of Music Therapy defines music therapy as a discipline in which credentialed professionals (MTAs) 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.

The Importance of the MTA credential

To be a certified music therapist (MTA), a therapist must have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy, a 1000-hour clinical internship, and have passed the Board-Certification Exam for Music Therapists. This ensures that a music therapist is held to a high standard of ethics, musicianship, and education so that they can best support the well-being of their clients.

A music therapist will work with each individual to identify goals and objectives. Some examples of potential session benefits include:

  • Opportunities to express and communicate safely
  • Improved fine & gross motor control
  • Strengthened engagement skills
  • Decreased isolation
  • Psychosocial rehabilitation
  • Greater availability of coping strategies
  • Reduced pain-perception and symptom management
  • Sensory regulation
  • Relaxation
  • Improved speech

Where do music therapists work?

Music therapists can work in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Hospices
  • Correctional facilities
  • Community programs
  • Private Practice
  • In-home visits
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Substance use and addictions centres