Music Therapy

What Is Music Therapy?

The Canadian Association of Music Therapists defines music therapy as:

“a discipline in which credentialed professionals (MTA*) 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.”


*Music Therapist Accredited


Music therapy includes the application of music therapy interventions in the context of a therapeutic relationship. This relationship is developed through music based, verbal, and/or non-verbal communication. The scope of practice includes a range of procedures, actions, processes, roles and responsibilities that a certified music therapist can safely and effectively perform.


Certified music therapists (MTAs) may also conduct and/or participate in research, educate and supervise students and other professionals, facilitate knowledge translation, act as consultants and provide professional leadership on the use of music to promote health and well-being.


Certified music therapists (MTAs) provide services in a variety of settings including healthcare, educational, community, private practice, institutional, and corporate settings. They may work independently or as members of interprofessional teams. The clinical practice of a certified music therapist is guided by evidence-based practice (EBP): the integration of the best available research evidence; the client’s needs, values and preferences; and the expertise of the clinician (Sackett D, L., Straus, S.E., Richardson, W.S., Rosenberg, W., & Haynes, R.B. (2000). Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM. (2nd ed.). Edinburgh, UK: Churchill Livingstone.)

*Canadian Association of Music Therapists


The Canadian Association of Music Therapists’s Code of Ethics is a statement of ethical principles, values, and standards to guide all CAMT members in their everyday conduct and in the resolution of ethical dilemmas.

The Canadian Association of Music Therapists (CAMT) recognizes that the purpose of the profession is to promote the use of music to accomplish therapeutic objectives, and the development of training, education, and research in music therapy. In doing so, the CAMT advocates adherence to the principles of Respect for the Dignity and Rights of Persons, Responsible Practice, Integrity in Relationships, Extended Responsibility, and Responsible Leadership. Membership in the CAMT commits members to abide by the CAMT Code of Ethics. (From The Introduction to the CAMT Code of Ethics)

Active voting members of MTAA have agreed to abide by the CAMT Code of Ethics.

If you have questions or concerns regarding MTA Ethics, please contact our Ethics chair at