How to Become a Music Therapist

Q: What kind of training is involved to become a music therapist?

A: In actuality, training as a music therapist begins early in life, when a person begins learning a musical instrument or taking singing lessons. In Canada, music therapists complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree at a university approved by the Canadian Association for Music Therapy. The degree can include competencies like improvisation, group leadership, counselling skills, musical abilities on a variety of instruments, theories and models of music therapy, creative arts, assessment, and practicum experiences. The degree is followed by a 1,000-hour internship, which usually takes six month full time.

Q: Where can I get the education to become a music therapist in BC?

A: Capilano University is presently the only provider of music therapy training in British Columbia. Contact the coordinator of the program for more information at mtherapy@capilanou.ca or call 604-986-1911, local 2307.

Q: I would like to see a music therapist in action or volunteer for a while before I consider training as a music therapist. How do I do that?

A: Contact us at info@mtabc.com and specify what part of BC you live in, how to contact you and if you have any preferences for days or populations to observe. We’ll post your inquiry to those who can have an observer on site.

Q: Are there other places I can go in Canada for training?

A: There are a few other music therapy training programs throughout Canada, including at the master’s degree level. The CAMT has a full list of programs. Go to www.musictherapy.ca/links.htm for locations and further information.