Conference 2017 Preliminary Program

The Science of Relaxation: Why is everyone telling me to meditate?

Meaghan Jackson, MTA

With the development of new technologies and fascinating new research, we’re beginning to discover just how powerful and how important it is to learn how to calm our nervous systems. In this workshop, learn how relaxation, mindfulness, and meditation affects our brains, our bodies, our lives, and our work as music therapists.

Meaghan’s work as a music therapist at Lions Gate Hospital, North Shore Hospice, and Camp Kerry focuses on end-of-life-care and bereavement. In her ‘spare time’ she homeschools a neurologically diverse nine year old and is fascinated by the brain and all the things that affect its functioning.

Music for Social Change: Stories of resilience, agency, and autonomy in the children of the DTES.

Melody Owen, BMT, Owner of Music With Melody

Saint James Music Academy has existed in the downtown east side neighbourhood for the past ten years. The El Sistema influenced program seeks to be a connecting point for families and a safe space for their children to grown in confidence, self-expression, and identity. Relationships with staff, teachers, and the music therapist play an important role to provide this unique opportunity of learning and growth. This presentation tells the story of some of these children and music’s role in building resilience, agency, and autonomy.

Melody is the owner of Music with Melody, an MT practice focusing on work with youth and children in East Vancouver. She is a graduate of the Capilano Music Therapy program (2010) and is in her final year of GIM training. She has worked in the DTES for the past four years at St. James Music Academy. Recently she has begun outreach at an elementary school in the same neighbourhood.

The ethical use of client images and information in the promotion of music therapy practice

Susan Summers, PhD, AVPT, NMT, MTA
Nicole Burgess, BMus, MTA

Susan and Nicole served on the CAMT ethics committee exploring the ethical use of client images and information in promotion of our practice. The presenters will discuss the most recent recommendations of the CAMT committee and the new guidelines that will impact how we use client images to promote our work. This information is relevant for all music therapists, students, and interns and will include time for discussion.


Susan Summers, PhD, AVPT, NMT, MTA, is a music therapist, vocal psychotherapist, instructor at Capilano University, is the Director of Government Relations on the MTABC board and Advocacy Chair for the CAMT board of directors. Susan co-chaired the CAMT committee on the ethical use of client images and information in promotion.

nicoleNicole Burgess, MTA, is a music therapist working in hospice and complex care. She is currently pursuing her masters in counselling psychology at Yorkville University and is an advanced trainee in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery. Nicole serves as the MTABC ethics chairperson and was a member of the CAMT committee on the ethical use of client images and information in promotion.

Altruism, Ambiguity and Empathy: Music Therapy as a Humanitarian Profession

Alpha Woodward, MMT, PhD, MTA, FAMI

This presentation invites the participants to enter the discourse on the role of music therapy in society today. What does leadership mean individually – collaboratively – professionally? We will look at altruism, ambiguity and the empathetic aesthetic as a way to view music therapy as a humanitarian profession. Participants will engage in discussions and participate in some experiential leadership activities. This may appeal to music therapists and non profit organizations who work in foreign cultures, or within complex cultural layers in their own work environment or community.

Dr. Woodward (MTA) has taught in Canada, Ireland and the USA, and has over 15 years of clinical experience in hospital environments and in humanitarian fieldwork. Dr. Woodward was the field director for a small international team of music therapists working with children and youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who had been traumatized by the wars there. Her doctorate is in Leadership and Change (Antioch, University).

The Business of Music Therapy

Heather Mohan Van Heerden, PhD, MTA
Sheila Lee, MA, MTA, FAMI
Michelle Oucharek-Deo, BFA, DVATI, BCATR

This presentation draws on the experience of three panelists- Dr. Heather Mohan Van Heerden, Sheila Lee, and Michelle Oucharek-Deo- as they share their insights into the business world of creative arts practice. The panel will focus on navigating both challenges and opportunities in the business community; there will be time for questions and discussion from the audience.

Heather Mohan, PhD, MTA Please read her bio in the conference 2017 page.

Sheila has been the proud owner and director of She.Lee.Music since 2010. She.Lee.Music’s mission is to provide quality services that promote health, wellness, learning and creative expression for people of all ages and abilities. She currently has a team of 10 subcontractors offering music therapy and music lessons in the Lower Mainland. The majority of their work takes place at The Arts Connection in Richmond. The Arts Connection is a private arts organization where the She.Lee.Music team provides individual and group music therapy sessions, adapted music lessons, and group music classes. Sheila is also the Centre Director of Richmond Music Together®, an early childhood music and movement program.

Michelle Oucharek-Deo is a registered art therapist and has been in private practise in the field of creative arts and mental health for 23 years along side her husband and business partner Brian Deo, MTA. Throughout her colourful career, Michelle has been a pillar in her community offering support, consultation and educational opportunities to both new and seasoned creative arts therapists looking to start a private practise and the build the kind of life that they want for themselves and their loved ones. Michelle is a Past President of the BC Art Therapy Association, current Vice-Chair of FACT BC and sits as an adjunct faculty member at Adler University teaching courses on current business practises as well as several other topics. Michelle is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, therapist, writer and Lily owner (my therapeutic pet companion) and has somehow managed to balance it all while owning and running two successful businesses.

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