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Reflections from a Music Therapist and Emerging Teacher Candidate

Mar 31, 2021

Written by Annilee Baron, MTA, NMT 

I have been reflecting on the past three years that I’ve worked with the Music Therapy Academy as the Director of Communications. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had to connect with like-minded, passionate music therapists, community members, and allied professionals through this position.

When Miya Adout from Miya Music Therapy was stepping down from her role with the Academy as DOC to serve as a Consultant, I was thrilled that I would have an opportunity to continue the work she had been doing. I have enjoyed being able to advocate for our profession in a variety of ways and have absolutely loved working with the MTAcademy’s founder Rachael Finnerty, who is an endlessly supportive colleague and friend.

I am excited to be passing along the Director of Communications role to Bernice Chu, in order to pursue a Bachelor of Education at Brock University to teach Primary/Junor, starting Fall 2021!...

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Invisible Majority - Music Therapy

Feb 02, 2021

Contributed by: Mark Pillai  

The tale of music and medicine is as old as human history. In preliterate culture, music was practiced for both communication and healing purposes. Prehistoric religious systems upheld music as supernatural force, that effected physical and mental well-being. In Ancient Egypt, priest-physicians used music as a medicine for the soul through magic healing rituals and chant therapies; the Greeks prayed to Apollo, the god of music and medicine, who had the divine power to heal the mortal soul with music. Furthermore, music was empirically understood as a metaphysical element innately connected to the universe, as described by the principle of musica universalis - a precursor to our current model of frequency. With the advent of 19th Century empiricism, the institution of medicine shifted its focus of inquiry onto an evidence-based study of the human body. Underlying this new medical model was an institutional apathy towards the fundamental...

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Reflections on Music Therapy in Elementary Education

Jun 03, 2020

On Oct 21, 2019, our Director of Education Rachael Finnerty was a Guest Speaker in Gabriella Ocadiz's Music and Special Education class at McMaster University. One of the students, Sergio Raez Villanueva, shared his reflection on Rachael's presentation with us. Read Sergio's thoughts below:

Guest Speaker Thoughts

I found our guest speaker, Rachael, to be extremely amiable and welcoming as she explained and shared her experiences with the class. I do not know much about music therapy and her insight was extremely valuable to me as I do have a small background and a big interest in healthcare. Music therapy is the use of music for a healthcare goal, and I thought this was such a meaningful and useful manner of utilizing music to help others. It had never occurred to me that this was a career option! Combining music with healthcare seems amazing to me. I will not lie and say that I have been trying to learn a little more about it as a career option – fascinating!

I also...

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Music Therapy, Mental Health, and University Students

Apr 13, 2020

Written by: Naomi Frazer    and Anjali Behal 

Prevalence

 Mental health issues are incredibly prevalent in the post-secondary student population and are only expected to continue rising. In Ontario alone, mental health disabilities in post-secondary students has increased by over 50% since 2013 (1). In fact, youth aged 15-24 are the most at-risk group for mental illness and substance abuse disorders (2). Student mental health is a diverse issue which not only affects the institutions that students are situated at, but society as a whole (1). Mental health disorders can impact an individual’s ability to work and contribute to the economy, in addition to increasing health expenditures and straining social services (1). Mental health issues often lie hand-in-hand with physical health concerns, as people with mood disorders are much more likely to also develop a long-term physical health condition, and vise-versa (2). Consequently, we can see that directing...

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Music Therapy & Anxiety

Mar 20, 2020

What is Anxiety? 

We often hear words like “anxiety” being thrown around in daily conversations that we engage in or even in discussions we overhear. It is important to properly understand what anxiety is before exploring the role of music therapy for anxiety. Anxiety can be an emotional response to certain stressful situations which may cause worry.1 Commonly, individuals may experience some anxiety when they are about to take an important test, for example.1 This can be classified as state anxiety, because the anxiety is brought on by a specific situation and normally subsides when that situation is no longer present.2 However, anxiety can be more than just an occasional expected emotional response. Anxiety Disorder occurs when a person feels anxious but the feeling does not dissipate and can get worse, sometimes to the point where it interferes with daily life such as relationships, jobs, and work.1 Individuals who present with Anxiety Disorder commonly have...

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Effectiveness of Music Therapy on Pediatric Postoperative Distress

Jul 09, 2019

 By: Jihyun Sung

As a student of health sciences specializing in child health, as well as an avid disciple of classical music performance, I found myself gravitating toward the field of music therapy during my undergraduate years. It was a perfect intersection between healthcare and music, and led me to do my senior year thesis project on it. The topic of the project, What is the effectiveness of music therapy on pediatric postoperative distress?, encompassed all of my passions; music, healthcare, and child health. Part of my project was conducting a systematic literature review on this topic.

The systematic literature review posed as a challenge from the start, because of how often academic literature used music medicine and music therapy interchangeably. It seemed that regardless of the geographic region, the study design, or the purpose of music therapy interventions, the term “music therapy” was frequently used to describe passive music listening, which is music...

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A Whole New World

Jun 05, 2019

My name is Zachary Brown, and I am a grade 12 student at Sir John A. MacDonald
secondary school as well as an aspiring music therapist. Recently I was able to experience two whole new sides of music therapy that I hadn't been exposed to before.

During one of my visits to a long term care facility that I've been volunteering at, I got to sit in on a one on one session between Laura, the facility's music therapist and one of their residents. I got to see Laura work alongside the physiotherapist that works there as well, while they worked with another resident. Both of these experiences introduced me to a new world of music therapy that is vastly different than the group therapy sessions I had been exposed to before.

There is something truly special about setting aside a time to devote all your energy to one person. I saw this firsthand, as I witnessed my first ever one on one music therapy session. When we met the resident for her session, she appeared at first to be totally...

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What Am I Doing?

May 01, 2019
As a music therapist at the beginning of my career, I have already experienced amazing highs, discouraging moments, and plenty of twists and turns. I knew music therapy was a career I wanted to pursue when I was thirteen years old. My physiotherapist at the time began to talk to me about music therapy. Though the profession very much intrigued me, I really had no idea what being a music therapist looked like. Despite so many unknowns, there were two things I knew for certain: I loved working with children and I knew music could be incredibly therapeutic. So why not combine the two!
 
While completing my education at Wilfrid Laurier University, I had the opportunity to dip my toes in a variety of client groups, ranging from clients who were twelve years old to ninety years old. Don’t get me wrong, having all of these placements and experiences were incredibly helpful and educational. That being said, it can still be very difficult to get a clear idea of what you’re...
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For Cause Not Applause

Apr 04, 2019

I was first introduced to music therapy in high school. As part of a grade 10 music project, we were asked to choose a career in music and write a report about it. My music teacher suggested I write about music therapy since I was interested in health sciences. I wrote the report and thought that music therapy was cool, but I still really wanted to be a doctor. Over time, I started revisiting music therapy as a potential career choice. After more research and soul searching, I decided music therapy was something I wished to pursue. I completed a co-op with Rachael Finnerty at the music therapy studio she owned at the time. It was through this that I first heard of the music therapy program at Acadia University, a small school in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. I visited the university for an open house and fell in love with Wolfville and Acadia. I auditioned and was accepted into the music therapy program. I started in September of 2014.

My four years as a music therapy student were full of...

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