Providing Music Therapy on Inpatient Mental Health Units in Canada: Reflection on Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Meredith Evans University of Toronto
  • Priya Shah
  • Chrissy Pearson
  • Dany Bouchard
  • Tom Curry


Many music therapists working in hospitals across Canada have continued to provide direct in-person care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In this reflection on practice article, the authors share clinical perspectives on the provision of music therapy services on inpatient mental health units, discussing the various ways in which music therapists navigated restrictions and creatively adapted music therapy services to support inpatient mental health care during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. These reflections illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the work of music therapists and offer insights into methods for reimagining music therapy practice.

Author Biographies

Meredith Evans, University of Toronto

Meredith Evans (PhD, MA, BMus) is a medical anthropologist and Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto Scarborough, researching music therapy and health service provision during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priya Shah

Priya Shah (RP, MTA, MMT, BMus) has a Master’s in Music Therapy from Laurier University (2018). She works in inpatient mental health at Homewood Health Centre (Guelph, ON), with prior experience in hospice, LTC, and community settings.

Chrissy Pearson

Chrissy Pearson (RP, MTA, FAMI, BMT) is a music therapist at Baycrest Health Sciences Centre and the Executive Director of the Canadian Music Therapy Fund (Toronto, ON). She has been practising in various settings since 2002.

Dany Bouchard

Dany Bouchard (MTA, BMus ) studied Music Therapy at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has been working in adult mental health since 2006 for the MUHC (McGill University Health Centre) and the foundation Les Impatients (Montreal, QC).

Tom Curry

Tom Curry (MTA, CMT, BA) has been working in adult mental health at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital (Antigonish, NS) since 2013. He studied music therapy at Acadia University and music at St. Francis Xavier University.