What Makes Us Distinctive?

  • 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.

    A long history of Music Therapy Education (40 years): 

    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. 

    Large number of Music Therapists on faculty:

    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. 

    A faculty who cares and supports: 

    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. 

    Personal inquiry and growth:

    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. 

    The Private Music Instruction model: 

    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. 

    Depth and Breadth: 

    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.

    Arts and Multiculturalism are embedded in the curriculum: 

    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.

    Improvisation and song-based approach to working with people:  

    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.

    Pre-Professional Practicum (formerly the internship) is a part of the degree: 

    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

  • Xylophones in the Music Therapy RoomImprovisation Classinstruments MegandNancy