There are a number of elements that contribute to making the Capilano University Bachelor of Music Therapy program distinctive from other Canadian Music Therapy programs, and from international programs, as well.
The Capilano University Bachelor of Music Therapy program began in 1976 - the first Music Therapy training in Canada. With feedback from our alumni over the years, the faculty have worked to continue a level of excellence in teaching and learning, and have created a remarkable and developmental approach to training therapists.
We have a large, diverse faculty with different approaches to Music Therapy. We have ten Music Therapists who teach regularly in the program. This is the largest group of Music Therapists teaching in any one Music Therapy program in Canada.
The faculty have an exceptional level of caring and support for each student and their development. This caring and support is clearly evident in the classroom, in our observation visits to practicum sites, in Private Music Instruction, and outside the classroom.
One of the values of the program, tracing back to its beginnings, is the value of personal inquiry and growth that is encouraged in each student's journey to become a therapist. While they learn a great deal academically and in practicum placements, if they don't grow in their self awareness and insight they won't be fully effective when working with others.
Each semester will focus on learning and developing Music Therapy skills on two instruments (guitar, piano or voice). The majority of the Private Music Instruction faculty are Accredited Music Therapists, allowing the curriculum to have a practicum and clinical focus. By the end of the program each student should have experience with all three instruments. The approach in Private Music Instruction is to learn one on one with an instructor each week. The focus is Music Therapy, rather than performance, and that includes technique, expressiveness, improvisation, and therapy approaches on instruments that you will use in your Music Therapy sessions.
The primary focus of third and fourth year is to develop your Music Therapy clinical/therapy skills and awareness. The curriculum has significant breadth and depth which results in strong therapists who are prepared for the pre-professional practicum, and the working world of therapy. In the last two years, a Capilano University Music Therapy student has won the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund top honours amongst all Canadian Music Therapy programs.
A therapist can't be effective without a keen awareness of the diverse clients they will work with. Multicultural awareness is a key component of the Capilano training. We also work students to increase your awareness of the arts in therapy, and this will broaden your arts scope when working with clients.
The majority of Music Therapists use both improvisation and songs in sessions. In some cases, songs are the best way to meet the client's goals, and in other situations, improvisation is the best outlet for expression. Students will become fluent in the use of both these approaches so they can adapt to the needs of the therapy situation.
The pre-professional practicum, the final course in the program, is part of the Bachelor's degree. Unlike other training programs in Canada, students have strong support from the faculty in securing a pre-professional practicum placement, their ongoing learning, and in training their supervisors
Capilano University | 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V7J 3H5 Tel: 604.986.1911
Sunshine Coast | 5627 Inlet Avenue, Sechelt, British Columbia Canada V0N 3A0 Tel: 604.885.9310
Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses are located on the territories of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Sechelt (shíshálh), Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.