About

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

Who is a music therapist?

A music therapist is someone who has completed either a Bachelors or Masters of Music Therapy, a 1000-hour supervised clinical internship, and has passed a board-exam. Music therapy education programs ensure that music therapists are trained in various models of therapy, including humanistic, psychodynamic, neurological, behavioural and cognitive/behavioural approaches, while developing musicianship skills that can be used to promote therapeutic goals.

Who can benefit from music therapy?

Children, Adolescents, Adults and Seniors can all benefit from music therapy. Music Therapy may help with: 

  • Developmental Delays
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Learning disabilities
  • Cognitive Impairment and Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Physical Impairment
  • Emotional and/or behavioural disorders
  • Mental health support during troubling life events, substance abuse, grief and trauma and other illness
  • Stroke/ Alzheimer's/ Dementia 

How is music used in therapy?

Music therapists tailor the session to meet the unique individual needs of the client. Some examples of how music is used include: 

  • Singing for communication, speech and language skills, articulation, breath control, expression and reception
  • Playing instruments for fine and gross motor control, social skills through participation and interaction, self-esteem and connection to a group
  • Kindergarten readiness skills using music, such as letter, number and color identification, as well as following lines and symbols on a page from left to right.
  • Song-writing, composition, improvisation, lyric analysis for self-expression and connection to culture or community

 Music Therapy at SAM

We are happy to include music therapy as one of the services offered at Squamish Academy of Music. Our two accredited music therapists, Lisa Mullaly and Kristine Miles, offer dynamic support for people of all ages and backgrounds. 

For more information on music therapy, please visit

Canadian Association for Music Therapy  

Music Heals

Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund

For information on music therapy funding, please visit BC Ministry for Children and Families

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