Frequently Asked Questions

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is a discipline in which Certified Music Therapists (MTAs) 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.

Canadian Association of Music Therapists | September 2020

Who is music therapy for?

Music therapy can serve infants, children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.  The following are some examples of client populations (please note that this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
  • Autism
  • Brain injury
  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • Mental health challenges (e.g. depression, anxiety, trauma)
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Palliative care
  • Neonatal intensive care
  • Stroke

How can music therapy help?

Music therapy can be used to address needs in various domains.  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of goals / aims:


  • Attention / Concentration
  • Development /establishment of activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Executive functions (e.g. decision-making, organization, reasoning, etc)
  • Inhibition
  • Memory recall and facilitation; reminiscence

    Speech / Language and Communication (Verbal and Non-Verbal)

    • Articulation
    • Expressive communication
    • Oral motor development
    • Pacing
    • Receptive communication
    • Respiratory control/strength
    • Vocalizations


    • Emotional regulation
    • End-of-life emotional support
    • Relaxation
    • Self-awareness
    • Self-expression
    • Skills for coping with anxiety


    • Balance and coordination
    • Breath and heart-rate regulation
    • Endurance
    • Fine motor skills
    • Gait training
    • Gross motor skills


    • Auditory sensitivities
    • Pain management
    • Proprioceptive input (ability to understand where the body is in space)
    • Spatial awareness
    • Vestibular input (sense of balance, spatial orientation)
    • Visual / Auditory / Tactile / Olfactory stimulations & sensations


    • Initiating / sustaining social interactions
    • Turn taking
    • Leading / following directions
    • Sharing
    • Waiting

    What are the fees for music therapy?

    • The salary range for music therapists varies greatly province to province and city to city. Music therapists’ salaries vary based on location, setting, population, experience, training, full time or part time employment or private practice, as well as other factors. As access to professional music therapy services for Canadians increases, it is expected the disparity in salary range will equalize.  Based on the wide variance, CAMT does not currently track the salaries of MTAs. On average, hourly contract fees charged by music therapists range from $35/hour to more than $115/hour.  Average salary ranges are set at the provincial level. (CAMT, 2017)
    • You may also refer to the MTAO Fee Schedule

    Where can I study music therapy in Ontario?

    • Wilfrid Laurier University, located in Waterloo, Ontario, offers both undergraduate (BMT) and graduate (MMT) music therapy programs.  Please refer to Wilfrid Laurier University for more information.
    © MTAO (Music Therapy Association of Ontario)
    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software