Bridging Distance. Honouring Difference. – Concurrent Session Abstracts

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More than 30 concurrent session presentations will be released as videos in 3 batches between Monday May 31st and Monday June 14th. Registered conference delegates will receive an email with passwords and supporting documentation for the videos. Click on the link below and enter the password you were provided by email. The videos will be available until July 31st.


RELEASE ONE – May 31st

  • AIM for success – collaborative programming for children with Down Syndrome
    Leanne Hoeft, MTA

  • Ability In Me is a program in Saskatoon, SK, that provides support and programming for children and adolescents with Down Syndrome. This presentation will discuss the early learning program in which a Music Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, and Occupational Therapist work together to plan and deliver group programming.

  • An Open-Group Music Therapy Program Design for Asylum-Seeking Prenatal Women
    Asako Miyahara Kando, GRDIP, MA, MA, MTA, MT-BC

  • Asylum-seeking prenatal women are an emerging vulnerable population worldwide, facing unique physiological and psychological challenges. Using an intervention research methodology, this study examined how an open-group music therapy program can be designed within a Community Music Therapy approach to address the multifaceted needs of
  • this population during precarious resettlement periods.

  • Biological, Physiological & Psychological Data to Advocate Music Therapy for Proactive Wellness
    Rachael Finnerty, RP, MTA

  • Research in relation to stress and anxiety predominantly focuses on treatments for individuals who are being negatively impacted by stressors as opposed to proactive measures to prevent acute experiences. This research compares cortisol samples, heart rate variability and psychometric questionnaires of individuals participating in online group music therapy and online verbal therapy.

  • Blown Wide Open- A Music Therapist’s Journey of Quadruple Bypass Open Heart Surgery
    Esther Thane, BMT, MTA, AVPT

  • This presentation will share the intimate details of a music therapists’ personal experience with the process of her open heart surgery, the significance of music/ music therapy throughout the process, elements of: personal trauma, connections with others, connection with family, support from communities, personal “A-Ha” moments of discovery & spiritual awareness, & how it has developed a new sense of trauma informed practice.

  • Honouring Diversity: Building & Supporting the Global Music Therapy Community
    Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes, PhD, RP, MTA, MT-BC & Aksana Kavaliova-Moussi, MACP, MMT, MTA, RP, NMT Fellow, Certified Trauma Integration Clinician

  • This presentation highlights the work of the World Federation of Music Therapy’s (WFMT), new and ongoing projects celebrating difference while acknowledging the variations and challenges of the music therapy profession in different parts of the world. Specific focus will be  on the Global Crisis Committee and Research and Ethics Commissions.

  • Improvisation: The Art of Letting Go and Reconnecting With the Present
    Fleur Hughes, MMT, MTA, MT-BC

  • This presentation will discuss how engaging in improvisation can offer opportunities for music therapists and their clients to express themselves and reconnect with each other (virtually or in person) within a music based framework.

  • Intergenerational Music Therapy Jamboree – Formal Research Findings
    Kathy Lepp, MTA, Melissa Jessop, RP, MTA & Kate Dupuis, Ph.D., C.Psych.

  • The Intergenerational Music Therapy Jamboree invites babies and toddlers (accompanied by their parents) from the community to participate in music-making with residents living in long-term care. During COVID-19 the program has moved online. Evaluation shows benefits for all participants, and a sense of community forming through music.

  • Music Therapy Telehealth Practice: Bridging Distance through Technology and New Skills
    Dr. Petra Kern, Ph.D., MT-BC, MTA, DMtG, Kira Dolan, Natali Plotkin, Samantha Thompson, & Michaela VanCorbach

  • Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Telehealth practice is essential in the evolving landscape of music therapy services. Now four senior students and their telesupervisor share with you strategies and techniques for effective virtual sessions. Learn tactics for achieving better client outcomes in an interactive presentation featuring four clients.

  • Reaching the Hard-to-Reach: Creating Inclusion and Belonging through Community Music Therapy
    Sunita Dave, BMT

  • This presentation will explore the work carried out in a community-based internship with marginalized and adolescent populations. It will examine ways in which music therapy practices can be adapted to reach certain groups. Community music therapy facilitations, music technology tools, resources and interventions will be shared in this presentation.

  • Resource-Oriented Online Music Therapy for Informal Caregivers: A Qualitative Exploratory Research Project
    Annabelle Brault, MA, MTA & Guylaine Vaillancourt, PhD, MTA

  • In this presentation, we will explore the process and findings of a qualitative exploratory research project aimed at exploring the lived experience of caregivers who took part in an online music therapy support group guided by Rolvsjord’s (2010) four characteristics of the Resource-Oriented Music Therapy approach.

  • Soundscapes – Non-idiomatic Musical Creation in Music Therapy
    Méliane Laurier-Cromp, MTA
    *French Presentation

  • Non-idiomatic Creation in Music Therapy:  A musical work that reflects a situation or an emotion.  We will look into the dynamics of creation, the objectives set, the affected groups, the necessary tools, the soundscape, and the restitution process in the development of listening skills and assertiveness.

  • Telehealth Music Therapy for Clients with Autism: Challenges and Benefits
    Nicole Richard, MA, MTA, MT-BC, NMT-Fellow

  • Richard will present results from a survey study on the benefits and drawbacks of telehealth music therapy for clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Themes will include factors for success in telehealth, benefits of caregiver involvement, and leveraging benefits technology during in-person sessions for clients with ASD.


  • Back to Bach! Using Baroque Compositions as Inspiration for Clinical Improvisation/Interventions
    Hope Pascoe, BMT Candidate & Jessica Kwong, BMT Candidate

  • This music-centered workshop will provide an overview of specific musical characteristics in Baroque musical styles that could be applied to clinical improvisation. The workshop will include demonstrations of music therapy interventions based on Baroque styles and descriptions of goal areas that could be addressed for a variety of client populations.

  • Befriending Your Woundedness: Bridging Parts of the Self and Therapist Identity
    Stephen Williams, MTA

  • This thought inquiry will explore woundedness, and how this core psychological  issue can bridge different parts of the self. Case studies will illustrate the nature and function of this concept. This reflective presentation will offer suggestions for befriending your woundedness – and deepening self-understanding – through a slightly new perspective

  • Breaking barriers, connecting cultures: Serving elderly in Latin America through multicultural music therapy
    Alejandra Arevalo LPMT-BC, MTA

  • In the midst of a global pandemic, technology has become a vital tool in minimizing geographical barriers. The Oral Roberts University Music Therapy Clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma presents a case study on the use of multicultural music therapy to serve older adults in Latin America through online sessions.

  • Dialogic Moments in Joint Improvisation: between Client and Therapist and between Two Jazz Musicians
    Dr. Tamar Hadar, PhD, MT-BC

  • What can music therapists learn from listening to improvisations of jazz musicians? What are the special techniques used by music therapists improvising with their clients? Different kinds of “dialogic moments” in improvisation will be discussed.

  • How do we talk about what we do? Spreading intentional and impactful music therapy awareness
    Dr. SarahRose Black, PhD, RP, MTA & Priya Shah, MMT, RP, MTA

  • This presentation will offer strategies for articulating and communicating our music therapy roles with our clients, colleagues, partners, friends, family, and even strangers! We will provide practical tools and resources on everything from how to tailor a brief ‘elevator pitch’ to how to convey information effectively and succinctly during interdisciplinary rounds and team meetings

  • Music for Integration- A Case Study in Scottish Inclusive Primary Schools
    Hanah Kim

  • This research aims to investigate ways of encouraging pupils to connect distances and value differences through music-therapeutic interventions. Approaching the theme ‘emotion’, I conducted ‘Ekphrasis’ and Creative Music Therapy activities in Scottish inclusive primary schools. Music could be a tool for pupils to understand diverse feelings, value dissimilarities, and cooperate.

  • Music Therapy with Jewish Older Adults: Exploring Diversity and Cultural Competence
    Miya Adout, MA, MTA & Aaron Lightstone, MMT, RP, MTA

  • The Jewish people are a small but significant minority in the North American population.  Although there can be a shared cultural framework, the Jewish people represent a diversity of religious practices, linguistic backgrounds, and countries of origin.  This presentation will explore important cultural considerations and the importance of trauma-informed practice.

  • Music Therapy and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
    Erika Guittard, MPsychSoc, MA in Music Therapy
    *French Presentation with English subtitles

  • An average of 4 out of 5 women experience severe symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at some point in their life. While only a few rare symptomatic treatments currently exist, Music Therapy, in its feminist, humanistic, and community form, could prove to be an effective support.

  • Remote Music Therapy Tools for Connecting with Clients with Autism
    Emily Naccarato, MTA

  • This presentation will explore specific tools for remote music therapy sessions focusing on working with clients with autism. This includes special considerations while conducting sessions, helpful features of Zoom, useful instruments for clients homes, successful activity ideas, and useful apps. Activities are derived from the Meet in the Music Curriculum and will focus on motor skills and auditory discrimination skills.

  • Telehealth Delivery of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music
    Lee-Anne Dowsett, M.Ed., CCC, MTA, FAMI  & Kaori Takahashi, BA, BMT, MTA, FAMI

  • Many music therapists quickly transitioned services to online delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. This presentation will offer tips and considerations for adapting Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM) and other receptive/listening-based interventions in an online format based on the current best practices. We will discuss clinical, technical, ethical, and legal issues, and explore the strengths and limitations of telehealth delivery of BMGIM.

  • The Harmony On Track Virtual Music Therapy Clinic: Thriving While Surviving
    Andrea Lamont, MSC, RP, MTA & Emily Carruthers, MMT, RP, MTA

  • The Harmony On Track Virtual Music Therapy Clinic was launched in October, 2020.  An intensive collaboration between Wilfrid Laurier University and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (HBKRH), this innovative student-lead learning environment tasked students to build a virtual service for parents and caregivers of HBKRH clients impacted by CoVID-19.

  • Thinking With, Not About, Disability: It’s #KeyToOurHealth!
    Dr. Cynthia Bruce, PhD, MTA

  • This presentation positions disability as a socio/cultural/political phenomenon that has something vital to say about equity in music therapy. We will explore how disability studies can inform socially just futures  and examine how positioning disability as a vital source of knowledge is #KeyToOurHealth as individuals and as a profession.


  • Focusing oriented expressive arts (FOAT ®): a taster session
    Angela Shum, MTA

  • Learning self-care skills has been known as an important direction to aim for reducing stress, burnout and compassion fatigue, especially in this time period of Covid-19 pandemic. A mindfulness approach, FOAT® developed by Dr. Laury Rappaport is recommended to every music therapists to learn.  This workshop is a taster class

  • Landscape of Hope: The Power of Pluralistic Artistic Dialogues Against Systemic Discrimination
    Annabelle Brault, MA, MTA, Owen Chapman, Nik Forrest, Martin Lalonde, Marilou Lyonnais A., Michel Poulin, Lou Raskin, Eva Roy & Vivek Vankatesh

  • Landscape of Hope is an interdisciplinary collective that uses arts-based processes to magnify youth narratives of resilience against racism, discrimination, prejudice and cyberbullying. Along with a recorded multimedia performance, a panel discussion will explore the importance of pluralistic artistic dialogues in exposing and countering the harmful effects of systemic discrimination.

  • Online Music Therapy for Adolescents With Psychosocial Needs
    Dan Misha Goldman, GRDIP, MTA

  • This presentation will explore fundamental goals and strategies for working online with individuals between the ages of 12-17. Based on his work during the pandemic in an English high school in Montreal, the presenter will offer insights into cultivating a therapeutic alliance, exploring identity formation and self-worth, and using music to prime behaviour that is value driven.

  • People Get Ready: Mobilizing Musical Resources to Transform Prison Culture
    Erinn Epp, MA, MT-BC, MTA

  • This presentation draws on frameworks of restorative justice, theories associated with Community Music Therapy, and the presenter’s work as a choir director in a men’s prison in order to explore how the mobilization of musical resources has led to personal, social, and communal transformation in an American prison environment.

  • Practical Diversity, Inter-Cultural Music-making in Health Care
    Aaron Lightstone MMT, RP, MTA

  • This presentation will explore the process of creating 6 albums of culturally diverse and culturally specific music for palliative care.   The process of creating inter-cultural music for care provides a model of inter-cultural listening and collaboration that can be applied to other health-care initiatives requiring cross- cultural input and collaboration.

  • Providing Music Therapy on Inpatient Mental Health Units During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Dany Bouchard, MTA, Tom Curry, MTA, Meredith Evans, Chrissy Pearson RP, MTA & Priya Shah MMT, RP, MTA

  • In this session, we will be bringing together different perspectives from research and practice in clinical settings through a roundtable discussion about the provision of music therapy on inpatient mental health units during the COVID-19 pandemic, bridging distance through exchanging knowledge across four hospitals located in three Canadian provinces.

  • Sounding the Pain: Exploring a Feminist Group Music Therapy Approach for Women with Contested Chronic Pain Conditions
    Ingrid Wissink, MA, MTA

  • Women living with contested chronic pain illnesses often face considerable stigma and rejection in medical, social and professional contexts. A feminist, anti-oppressive music therapy approach, contextualized here within the biopsychosocial model of pain, represents a powerful means to addressing the psychosocial needs of women living with these conditions.

  • The Benefit of Music Therapy Fellowships in Canada
    Kim Cooke, MTA, MT-BC, NMT

  • As the first recipient of the Music Therapy Fellow position at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Kim Cooke has a unique view on the benefits that the creation of this position poses – both for employers and new MT grads. While fellowship positions of this kind are not heard of in Canada, Kim hopes that her experience with the first Canadian Music Therapy Fellowship program will encourage you to develop a fellowship program of your own, taking an active role in helping to train the newest grads in our field and welcoming them into the work force with confidence, support and open arms.

  • The Transformation of Entrainment: Online Co-therapy During Lockdown
    Annabelle Keevers,  RMT & Gy Wen Ho

  • Entrainment is a process which is integral to the therapeutic processes of both Music Therapists and Child Life Therapists. This paper discusses the online co-therapy by a Music Therapist and a Child Life during the Covid-19 lockdown in Sydney, Australia and a new model they developed, The Co-therapy Helix.

  • What Do I Value? (Investigations of a music therapist)
    Paul Lauzon, MTA

  • In developing clinical goals, each music therapist has a therapeutic stance, an understanding of the reasons for these specific goals. On a deeper level, this intentional approach is informed by one’s system of values.  Suggestions are offered for engaging this most pertinent of questions concerning values, both personal and professional.

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