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Music Therapy

Instructor: Fleur Hughes (MMT, MTA, MT-BC) Certified Music therapist 

Course Location, Days & Time: Online. 3 x 3 hr sessions on a Wednesday evening

Sessions will provide an overview of how music therapists use various receptive and active techniques within a range of community-based programs or settings across the lifespan. A variety of active and passive techniques will be discussed including one “live” experiential activity per session.

Three virtual sessions will consist of practical examples, case studies and research into community music therapy practices from a humanistic perspective. Participants will gain knowledge into how the creative arts framework focus on community mental health. Music Therapy can promote and restore wellbeing, address goals related to stress management, reducing anxiety, increased freedom of expression or self-care.

Objectives and Expected Learning Outcomes:

Participants will be able to:

  1. Understand how to support and create an inclusive group environment.
  2. Utilize creative arts or music-based supports and techniques.
  3. Develop reflective thinking skills.
  4. Understand and engage in active and receptive music therapy interventions.
  5. Define humanistic and community-based music therapy approaches.

Course Format:

This is an online learning opportunity via zoom. Presentations will be a combination of PowerPoints, case studies, research and reading related to the course. There is also a “live” interactive/experiential component utilizing various music therapy interventions.

Important Information:


  • Computer, tablet or laptop and access to the internet and zoom.
  • Journal and pen (or online journal) for self-reflective component.
  • Printer and word/PDF to access resources and course handouts.
  • Recommended apps: Dropbox/WeTransfer, voice/video recording app, Spotify/Apple/Google Music, Appstore or Google Play to download apps.


Session 1: Introduction and History of Music Therapy

  • Overview into the history and theory of music therapy (Community and Humanistic Music Therapy).
  • Description of receptive and active music therapy techniques.
  • The importance of cultivating self-awareness and reflective practice in therapy (journal writing).

Intervention: DIY Instruments and improvisation.

Session 2: Music therapy and Children/Adolescents:

The use of music therapy within child or adolescent populations.

  • Rhythm and trauma.
  • Music and the brain.
  • Emotional regulation.

Intervention: Create your own “virtual” drumming composition using an APP or body percussion score.

Session 3: Music Therapy and Adults:

The use of music therapy within adult populations and settings.

  • Effects of positive and negative stress.
  • Managing mental health and self care through a music based framework.
  • Cultural considerations in using music.

Intervention: Lyric analysis and creating therapeutic playlists.

Note 1: Musical instruments are not an expected requirement. We will be making our own instruments and using music apps.

Note 2: This course does not lead to any professional qualification to you being able to call yourself a music therapist or claim to practice music therapy. Music therapists are certified professionals (MTA) who are part of a national association (CAMT) and regulated in certain provinces.

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