As per the Canadian Association of Music Therapists:
"Music therapy is a discipline in which credentialed professionals (MTA*) 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.
*Music Therapist Accredited"
(Canadian Association of Music Therapists, June 2016)
For more information: https://www.musictherapy.ca
My studies in music therapy
The only Montreal university offering graduate studies in music therapy is Concordia University: you complete the Graduate Diploma in a year when studying full-time, usually from September to August of the next year. Courses and practicums (internships) offer a quick on-site the kind of work to realize. Three practicums, in three different and diversified places, under the supervision of an accredited music therapist or specialized with the clientele, give an excellent training in the field.
For more information about the Graduate Diploma in music therapy: https://www.concordia.ca/finearts/creative-arts-therapies/programs/music-therapy/music-therapy-grad-diploma.html
During Fall 2014, for my first practicum, I went to the elders' home Berthiaume-du-Tremblay, in Ahuntsic neighbourhood. With a student colleague and our music therapist supervisor, I was able to experiment for the first time the work of a music therapist with independant, semi-independant and dependant elders, with physical, psychological and/or mental limitations. We organized group sessions with approximately 10 people, as well as individual sessions.
For more information on this elders' home: http://residence-berthiaume-du-tremblay.com/
My second practicum, during the Winter semester of 2015, took place at the Respit Center Le Phare, Enfants et Familles, in Rosemont neighbourhood, with a population of children and adolescents battling physical, psychological and/or mental limitations. It is at this location that I learned to work with an autistic clientele, as well as children with Down syndrome. I also participated to an interview project at this time for the digital journal of Le Phare. The article, prepared together with my music therapist supervisor, is accessible here: http://www.phare-lighthouse.com/en/healing-music
For more information on the Center: http://www.phare-lighthouse.com/en
My third practicum as part of my Graduate Diploma took place at the Pediatric Social Center of Ville Saint-Laurent, with children between 2 and 5 years old, battling psychological and/or mental limitations, most of all social, communication and behavioral difficulties. I was supervised by the Center's psychomotrician during the 3 intensive months of Summer 2015. I got in touch there, among others, with children preparing for their admission to primary school. Individual and group sessions were organized.
For more information on the Center (French only): http://aucoeurdelenfance.ca/fr/accueil/
After completing my Graduate Diploma, I had to successfully complete the Music Therapy's Certification exam (MT-BC) to work in the field: I succeeded this task at the end of Spring 2016. Afterwards, I decided to continue my studies at the Master's level, in Concordia University.
I completed the practicum for the Master's level during Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 at Papillon's kindergarten, downtown Montreal, with a population between 18 months old and 6 years old battling diversified physical, psychological and/or mental limitations. I was supervised by one of the center's special educators.
For more information on Papillon (French only): https://www.fondationpapillon.ca/
I have worked as a music therapist at the Music School Le Jardin Musical, on the south shore of Montreal, from Fall 2017 to Winter 2019. I worked first with two brothers, each one of them in individual sessions, one of 6 and the other of 8 years old, for communication and social skills. I also worked during six months with an autistic 7 years old child: goals with him being social and communicative.
For more information on the school (French only): https://lejardinmusical.ca/
I have been working with a 5-year-old girl who had a post-natal stroke. Most of all, my goals with her where motor and social.
I just signed a contrat with Laval's Social pediatric center, where I'll start working with children in January 2020.
To effectively help our clientele, we need to prepare an assessment and a treatment plan as soon as the first sessions, to help us stay focused on the chosen goals and objectives. A session plan is thoroughly prepared for each one of the weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions, The number of sessions can differ depending on the objectives and the goals to reach: you can subscribe to music therapy sessions for a month, three months, six months, a year, or even more. The goals and the objectives can be related to communication, cognitive, motor, musical, social and emotional skills. The music therapist must write evolution notes after each session to have a concrete follow up. At the end of the sessions, the music therapist prepares a treatment summary, which contain all that have been reached as objectives and goals, as well as advices for the continuation.