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What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotional qualities. These are used in the therapeutic relationship to facilitate contact, interaction, self-awareness, learning, self-expression, communication, and personal development.


Canadian Association for Music Therapy / Association de Musicothérapie du Canada Annual General Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, May 6, 1994

What credentials does a music therapist have?

Accredited music therapists (MTAs) in Canada are required to complete a bachelor and graduate degree in music therapy, followed by a 1000-hour supervised clinical internship. When these two components are completed, candidates are required to complete a board certification exam.


In order to retain their MTA credential, music therapists are required to participate in set number of continuing education hours on a five-year cycle.

In Alberta, music therapists are regulated under The Association of Counselling Therapy of Alberta

Where do music therapists work?

Music therapists work in a wide variety of institutional, community, and private practice settings, with individuals of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. This includes, but is not limited to: autism, down syndrome, acquired brain injury, school settings, palliative care, long term care facilities, neonatal care, substance abuse, mental health, youth at risk, physical disabilities, and speech and language impairments.

Do I need musical training to participate in music therapy?

No! No previous training or education is required to participate in music therapy sessions.

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