Department of Music Therapy

MusiSupport the VCMc Therapy is the skillful use of music as a therapeutic tool to restore, maintain, and improve mental, physical, and emotional health.

The non-verbal, creative, and affective nature of music facilitates contact, learning, self-expression, communication and growth. The VCM’s Music Therapy sessions meet the needs of children as young as 18 months old, to the elderly; those of all ages with exceptionalities, conditions, or illnesses, and to improve the quality of life for all.


Children, adolescents, adults and elderly people with the following may benefit from Music Therapy:

  • Developmental challenges
  • Physical challenges
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Learning difficulties
  • Brain injuries
  • Conduct and/or behavioural disorders
  • Recovery of Mental Health from troubling life events, substance abuse, and other illness
  • Strokes/Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • Palliative care and
  • Sensory impairments


Musical activities are carefully designed to meet individuals’ needs and achieve therapeutic outcomes. Following are examples of how Music Therapy can help:

  • Singing improves communication, speech and language skills, articulation, breath control, expression and reception
  • Playing instruments increases gross and fine motor skills such as dexterity, coordination, balance, range of motion and strength, and social skills such as active participation and interaction, self-esteem and cooperation
  • Rhythmic movements and dancing facilitate mobility, agility, balance, respiration patterns, muscular relaxation, spatial relationships and endurance
  • Improvising offers a creative and nonverbal means of expressing feelings. Through vocal, instrumental and/or movement improvisation, one has the opportunity to make choices and deal with structure in a creative way
  • Composing develops cooperation, the meaningful exchange of ideas and experiences, and increases social skills
  • Active listening activities provide a stimulating way to develop cognitive skills such as attention, memory, and auditory perception skills

My foster son has literally woken up and smiles every week when I tell him “it is your music lesson today”.  Some of his songs have been so passionate, we have cried over them.
– Parent of Music Therapy Student

We tailor what we do to meet your needs. Sessions are offered in private or group settings depending on condition and individual needs. Music therapists are trained to use signing, picture exchange, and other communication models if requested.

The Music Therapy studios are equipped with hundreds of instruments including grand pianos, large percussion instruments, hand-held desk bells, parachute, balls, therapeutic and electronic equipment including keyboards and computers, and a full recording studio.

Music Therapy is offered at both Victoria Conservatory of Music locations – Downtown Victoria and Westhills, Langford – and now online! See our Music Therapy brochure.

For more information:
Dr. Johanne Brodeur, Department Head
250.386.5311  ext 2030
[email protected]

Music Therapy in Nanaimo and up Island – Fall 2022 update

As of September 2022, the VCM was unable to secure a space to deliver their Music Therapy program in person.

The VCM is now pleased to offer online classes for the families in the Nanaimo area and all areas of Vancouver Island.

For more information, please contact Dr. Johanne Brodeur, Department Head: 250-386-5311 ext 2030 | [email protected]