Music Therapy

Definitions of Music Therapy

Music therapy is a systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to achieve health, using musical experiences and the relationships that develop through them as dynamic forces of change.

-- Kenneth Brusica Ph. D.

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

What is Music Therapy?

Music making is an integral element in the field of music therapy. Typically, songs, group improvisations, and music activities are the main components of music therapy sessions. When a participant makes music on an instrument, whether improvising, or exploring rhythm or melody, therapeutic issues become evident in the music as the relationship with the instrument and the interaction of the music therapist develops. Supporting the music of the client involves supplying a musical foundation, establishing structure when needed, and musically motivating participants to express and explore. Music therapy can be done either in one-to-one or group sessions. With adaptation by the music therapist, techniques and activities are applicable to a wide variety of populations and conditions.

-- Stephen Williams, MTA -- Music Therapy Program Coordinator Capilano College

Music Therapy Activities

Benefits of Music Therapy

Who are music therapists?

Music therapists are accomplished musicians and graduates from a four-year university music therapy program approved by either the American Music Therapy Association or the Canadian Music Therapy Association. In addition, they have completed an internship of over 1000 hours with a certified music therapist supervisor.


AMTA American Music Therapy Association

CAMT Canadian Association for Music Therapy