Becoming a music therapist is no easy task! There are many steps towards your MTA certification that allows you to practice in Canada.
The first step to becoming a music therapist is being accepted into a University Music Therapy Program. In Canada there are music therapy programs at; Acadia University (NS), Canadian Mennonite University (MB), Capilano University (BC) and Wilfrid Laurier University (ON).
During university, students learn musical skills including piano, voice, guitar, other instruments, theory, history, harmony and improvising. Students are also required to take various psychology courses and have some opportunities for elective courses. Clinical placements are an important part of school that introduce hands-on experience with groups and individuals.
After completing the "school" portion, students then commence their 1000 Hour Internship. Students are usually required to apply and interview for internship positions. During the internship, students have the valuable opportunity to apply what they learned in classes into real, clinical settings. Every internship site is different ranging from private practice, hospitals, long-term care homes and schools. Regardless of site, students will observe their supervisor (a certified music therapist), develop musical and clinical skills, work with a variety of clients, complete assessments/documentation and attend meetings. During the internship process students are often encouraged to reflect about what client populations interest them, where they want to work and how they want to practice music therapy.
After completion of the internship, the student is ready to book their Board Certification Exam. After submitting all required documentation the student chooses a date. Then, time to STUDY! The CAMT and CBMT website have extensive information on the content included in the exam. The exam covers a lot of material, but is an essential standardization test for all certified music therapists.
After writing and passing (yay!) the exam, you have now earned your Music Therapist Board Certified (MT-BC) credential. This credential is granted by the Certification Board for Music Therapists and is actually an American credential. So, you are required to send proof of passing the exam along with a few other documents to the CAMT. After that you have to sign a statement of adherence saying that you will practice ethically as a music therapist and within the limits of the Code of Ethics. Then you are officially granted your MTA (Music Therapist Accredited) in Canada and you are DONE!
The CAMT offers many conferences, networking and education opportunities year round. Part of staying an MTA is completing Continuing Education credits and continuously updating your skills.
If you are interested in more information about the education or certification process, or you are interested in becoming a music therapist, please contact us.