Find a Certified Music Therapist

Certified music therapists are hired in different ways based on the setting in which they will work.

In many health care settings certified music therapists are members of the Health Sciences Association (HSA) or BC Government Employees Union (BCGEU) and therefore their wages and benefits will be set out in the paramedical professional collective agreements.

In settings where a collective agreement is not in place the employer and certified music therapist will need to work out an agreement of employment. See the table below for wage guidelines.

music therapist with child

Competencies to Look for When Hiring a Certified Music Therapist (MTA)

A certified music therapist (MTA) must have completed a minimum of an approved Bachelor of Music Therapy degree. After graduating, music therapists are certified by the Canadian Association of Music Therapists and if qualified, will obtain the certified music therapist (MTA) credential. A certified music therapist (MTA) must be a current member in good standing with both the MTABC and the CAMT.

Membership with the CAMT ensures that the music therapist adheres to the bylaws, code of ethics, and standards of practice of the profession.

A certified music therapist (MTA) should:

  • Have experience and the ability to articulate the skills and knowledge about the client population
  • Have the ability to play at least two musical instruments and have a solid repertoire of music therapy techniques and interventions appropriate to the needs of the people in the facility
  • Be able to describe their philosophy of therapy including interventions, style, approach, program plans, and expected benefits of music therapy in a given setting

Wage Guidelines

The following fee guidelines have been established by MTABC to assist employers and music therapists entering into contracts, in order to provide fair remuneration for work performed and expenses incurred.

Contracted certified music therapists (MTA) charge per hour of clinical work.  In addition, certified music therapists (MTA) may charge for other related work as outlined below. Certified music therapists (MTA) may charge G.S.T. according to the rules of Canada Revenue Agency (C.R.A). Some certified music therapists (MTA) may request that the employer cover their liability insurance, on-site instruments and/or mileage.

Please note: these fees do not include certified music therapists (MTA) who work under a unionized collective agreement and who are compensated according to their union’s wage and benefit grid.

Music therapist with client

Recommended Average Clinical Rate for Contract Music Therapy Services in BC

Independent Contractor Rate – $55 – $90 per clinical hour

A written contract outlining the responsibilities of the employer and certified music therapist (MTA), as well as the agreed upon wage, should be signed by all parties prior to the start of the contract.

Contracts are arranged with the individual certified music therapist (MTA) and may be an informal agreement, a letter of agreement, or for institutions, a formal legal contract. All fees and session expectations should be agreed to in advance and specified in the contract.

Private Practice Rate- $65 – $120 per clinical hour

Applies to individual therapy as well as privately-paid group therapy. Fees vary widely with therapist experience and training, and services offered. Certified music therapists (MTAs) may be required to charge GST additionally.

*Extended Health Care Plans and BC Medical Services Plan do not cover fees for contracted music therapists at this time. Other funding sources may be available.

Other Recommended Services and Rates

  • Initial Assessment…Full session rate
  • $45.00 (minimum charge) per 30 min for any of the following:
    • Progress report
    • Creation of session related materials (e.g. audio recordings)
    • Completion of forms
    • Consultation (in-person, phone, email, etc., with client/ care-giver/ case manager/ healthcare providers/ insurance adjustor / other parties with approval)
    • Review of records
    • Requested letters & proposals
  • Travel time…as negotiated by contractor
  • Cancelled appointment…Full session rate (with less than 24 hours notice)
  • Extended cancellation (due to GI or Flu outbreaks)…Full session rate
  • Court attendance and preparation time… as negotiated by contractor
  • Supplies… at cost

Become a Member

Membership Is Open To Anyone With An Interest In Music Therapy Who Lives In BC Or Beyond, Regardless Of Qualifications Or Experience.

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