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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
December 18, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Bachelor of Music Therapy (four-year program)

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Music Therapy develops clients’ potential abilities and enhances their quality of life. Music Therapists work with all age groups and diverse client populations, including those with physical, intellectual and learning challenges, autism, and sensory processing disorders. They work in health care facilities, hospitals, schools, community settings and private practices.

Because music therapists communicate with clients through music, they must have excellent musicianship and musical sensitivity. Nearly half of the required courses are in music, and include instrumental or vocal study, musical skills and ensemble work. Our program also features courses in clinical improvisation, case studies, therapeutic theories, and two years of group and one-on-one clinical placements on campus and in the community. You will also take courses in developmental, abnormal, clinical and social psychology.

You can apply to the Bachelor of Music Therapy at the end of your second year in Laurier’s Bachelor of Music program. Admission is based on overall achievement in university-level music and psychology courses, an audition and interview. Transfer students should email for more information.

Program Philosophy

The intent of our Music Therapy program is to produce music therapists who understand the musical and therapeutic process. Four major principles have shaped the design of our curriculum:

  1. Our program is music-centered in that clinical music forms the basis for understanding the therapeutic relationship.
  2. Skills in improvisation are essential for developing clinical musicianship.
  3. A humanistic approach acknowledges the client as an individual with unique life experiences, thus incorporating all facets of personality, musical and non-musical needs.
  4. Every person has the potential to be creative regardless of disability or illness.

Group Placements

Beginning in your third year you’ll participate in 4 supervised group placements selected from such client populations as:

  • Sensory impaired children
  • Developmentally delayed children, adolescents and adults
  • Children and adolescents with special needs
  • Adolescents with emotional disorders
  • Adults with physical challenges
  • Teenage mother and babies
  • Geriatrics
  • Adult psychiatric
  • Autistic children and adolescents
  • Palliative care

At the end of each semester, you’ll make a formal presentation for staff and administration of the facility where you have been assigned, describing and explaining the goals and accomplishments of your work in music therapy at the facility.

Individual Clients

In addition to the above placements, you’ll be assigned to an individual client for your entire fourth year. These sessions are held in our on-campus music therapy clinic.


You’ll attend a weekly seminar to present case reports and discuss professional issues in the field of music therapy. In addition, outside professionals will speak on topics relevant to clinical practice.


After graduating, you’ll be required to complete a 1,000-hour internship in accordance with the guidelines of the Canadian Association for Music Therapy to earn official accreditation as a Music Therapist.