March is Music Therapy Awareness Month and the Canadian Association of Music Therapists has a dance party ready to go.
Or maybe you’d like to host one to help raise funds to ensure all Canadians have access to music?
Most of us will freely and gladly admit that listening to music — whether a favourite song, band or just something that puts some pep in your step — can make us feel better. Plenty of us have also realized just how important music is in our lives over the past year.
Music therapy takes that idea to a whole different level.
“Music therapy is a discipline in which Certified Music Therapists (MTAs) use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health and well-being, the Canadian Association of Music Therapists says. “Music therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social and spiritual domains.”
Therapists use music in the context of a therapeutic setting, developed through communication and implement processes to help address people’s individual needs. MTAs can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and other health care facilities, schools and other educational spaces, in communities or private practice and can even help companies. There is a wealth of evidence-based research to justify the use of music therapy as a professional tool as well as an emotional one and MTAs must pass a board exam to gain certification.
Just about anyone can benefit from music therapy, at any age, ability and background, with techniques and practices ranging from singing and playing instruments to rhythm-based activities and songwriting, among others.
To help mark Music Therapy Awareness Month this year, the Canadian Association of Music Therapist is hosting its second Song Session for the Frontline on Saturday, March 27, complete with three DJ sets — all ‘90s themed! — including “Cowabunga Kids Tunes,” “Rad Afternoon Jams” and a “Gettin’ Jiggy Dance Party,” all starting at noon and available on Twitch and Youtube. Last year’s event raised nearly $20,000 to directly support three music therapy programs for healthcare workers across Canada.
Or, host your own event to raise money for the organization! You can start a party on CMAT’s website and invite your friends to join you, virtually, for a good time.