A Historical Study of the First Year of the Canadian Association of Music Therapists


  • Daniel Kruger


Canadian Association of Music Therapists, CAMT, music therapy, Canada, history, identity, alternative professions


This study presents a historical narrative of the inaugural year of the Canadian
Association of Music Therapists (CAMT). The purpose of the study is to place music
therapists’ lived experiences of the first year of the CAMT in conversation with primary
source historical documents published between the first two CAMT conferences (August
3, 1974 and May 2, 1975). Using phenomenological and historical methodologies,
this article focuses on open-ended, semi-structured interviews with three Canadian
music therapists who were active during 1974–75. The experiences they shared in their
interviews are examined in relation to primary source historical documents obtained
from the CAMT historical archives. Three primary themes emerge from the analysis of
the interviews and primary source documents: "development of identity," "defining music
therapy/music therapist," and "emergence of an alternative profession." This study offers
new information about significant conflicts, issues, and developments in the early CAMT,
providing important insights into the history of music therapy in Canada.

Author Biography

Daniel Kruger

Daniel Kruger (MTA, MA) is an improviser, guitarist, composer, and music therapist
living in Tio’tia:ke/Montréal, Québec. His clinical work takes place at the Douglas
Mental Health University Institute, where he accompanies children and adolescents as
they strive to achieve their mental health goals. Daniel is also an active performer and
composer in the creative/improvised music scene.

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