Becoming—and Remaining—a Music Therapist: A Career Path that’s Unique to You (Available in French only)


  • Guylaine Vaillancourt Concordia University


After evolving for roughly 50 years, today’s Canadian music therapy landscape comprises some 1,000 practitioners. This article*—written as an essay—is a shout-out to both the younger generation and experienced music therapists, all of whom have a role to play in ensuring a vibrant future for this unique profession. The various strategies suggested for sustaining this discipline include peer support groups, supervision, continuing education, personal music therapy, making music, and mentoring; the last item will be covered in more detail. We will also address the question of leadership and our contribution to social justice within our work as music therapists. Finally, through various questions and personal deliberation, readers will be invited to contemplate their own paths.
*Note: This article is adapted from the 2021 opening address delivered online during the 47th Canadian Association of Music Therapists Conference: Bridging Distance. Honouring Difference.

Author Biography

Guylaine Vaillancourt, Concordia University

Guylaine Vaillancourt est professeure agrégée en musicothérapie et directrice du Départementde thérapies par les arts à l’Université Concordia (Montréal, Canada). Musicothérapeute, superviseure, mentore, et enseignante depuis plus de 30 ans, elle détient une maîtrise en musicothérapie (New York University) et un doctorat en Leadership and Change (Antioch University, Ohio, EU).