About CAMT

THE MISSION of the Canadian Association of Music Therapists is to be the primary source of knowledge, information, professional development and advocacy to promote Certified Music Therapists (MTAs) and music therapy.

Our organization

The Canadian Association of Music Therapists (CAMT) is a federally incorporated, self-regulated non-profit professional association dedicated to fostering the practice of music therapy in clinical, educational, and community settings throughout Canada. The Board of Directors of CAMT consists of 5-10 Directors elected from the general membership for a 2 year term of office. The executive committee consisting of 3-4 members is appointed from amongst the full slate of directors. CAMT presidents continue to represent us at national and international conferences and meetings as well as carrying out their executive duties.

The History of CAMT

“The founding of a national association of music therapy professionals took some twenty years of dedicated perseverance and great patience” - IVY 1983
Mid 1950's
Music therapists were working independently in Canada Notable among them were Fran Herman in Toronto, Ontario, Norma Sharpe in St. Thomas, Ontario, and Thérèse Pageau in Montreal, Québec.
In 1960
Norma Sharpe conducted a survey of music in hospitals across Canada She discovered that many hospitals used music and music activities in various forms and many of the staff had musical training or background. However, only 3 of the 49 music staff were registered music therapists. This survey provided a baseline measure for music therapists and increased the general awareness of music therapy for hospitals and institutions.
Early 1970's
Norma Sharpe had regular contact with 300 individuals and organizations across Canada who shared an interest in music therapy. In August, 1974, she presided over the first music therapy conference at St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital in St. Thomas, Ontario. Sixty-three people attended this conference with the theme "Music Therapy: An Idea Whose Time Has Come". Their enthusiasm for and belief in the value of the work they did gave them strength and vision and set the foundations for music therapy as a valuable contributor to health care in Canada.
According to Sharpe (1977), that first conference was organized to unify personnel who were working in music therapy throughout Canada. And to become aware of one another's existence; to share techniques, programs and assessment of rehabilitative effectiveness.

Successive conferences were held in May, 1975, at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and in May, 1976, at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. It was at these conferences that our national music therapy association was founded and named the Canadian Music Therapy Association.
From 1976-77
The title of the association was amended in 1976 to the Canadian Association for Music Therapy and on May 6, 1977, CAMT was incorporated and the objectives were redefined as follows:
To promote the use and development of music therapy in the treatment, education, training, and rehabilitation of children and adults suffering from emotional, physical, or mental handicaps, by:
  • Establishing, maintaining, and improving standards of treatment and service in music therapy
  • Establishing, maintaining, and improving standards for education and training for music therapists
  • Encouraging, developing, and promoting research in music therapy;
  • Encouraging, developing, and promoting a body of literature in and related to music therapy;
  • Furthering the practice of music therapy in scope and quality, in clinical, educational, and community settings throughout Canada.
To serve as an organizational agency for its members by:
  • Providing channels for the exchange of ideas, advice, guidance, information, and professional experience in and about music therapy
  • Providing a central body of information on aspects of and relating to music therapy
  • Representing the interests of music therapists in matters relating to government legislation, and job matters
  • Encouraging and assisting persons or institutions in preparing, qualifying, and establishing themselves as music therapy clinicians
  • Encouraging and assisting educational institutions in developing and establishing music therapy training programs.

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