Music Therapy

Music is a fun and effective facilitator for achieving therapeutic goals. Music therapy uses music as a tool to achieve individual goals in areas such as speech, motor and social behaviour. Clients with special needs are often highly motivated by music and many can participate in musical activities with success.

Almost all children respond to music. Music is an open-sesame, and if you can use it carefully and appropriately, you can reach into that child’s potential for development (Dr. Clive Robbins).

Music has unique qualities that stimulate our brains, emotions and physical responses like no other medium. It can be a very effective motivator to learn academic material, to provide positive sensory experiences, decrease self-stimulatory behaviours, improve social behaviours and relationships, enhance motor coordination and improve communication skills. Because of these factors music therapy can be a very valuable tool for learning and social success.

The brain that engages in music is changed…by engaging in music (Dr. M. Thaut, 2005).

Music Therapy Sessions

In music therapy sessions the therapist and client create music together by singing and playing various instruments. They engage in musical activities that the child enjoys and is attracted to which could include vocalization, singing, chanting, body percussion, exploring hand held musical instruments and assisted guitar and piano. Music therapy uses music as a tool to work on various therapeutic goals; the therapist discovers what engages the student and includes therapeutic intentions as part of the music making.


Goals such as improving communication, forming relationships, improving
motor skills and reducing behavourial habits can be motivated and encouraged through music.
 For example, a non-verbalchild who is motivated by music can be encouraged to use their voice to make sounds and sing syllables which can lead to speech outside of the music sessions. The main emphasis of any session is to provide an enjoyable musical experience for the child which furthers their therapeutic goals.

Adapted Music Lessons

For students who wish to become proficient in an instrument but are unable to tolerate regular lessons, adapted music lessons may be an appropriate option. In an adaptive music lesson the music therapist provides musical instruction with adaptations to accommodate the student’s needs and helps the student to develop the skills required for a successful music lesson. These skills may include increasing attention span, improving the ability to follow directions, regulating emotions and behaviour, and improving fine motor skills. Once the student is comfortable with these skills, an instructor in the preferred instrument can be approached to begin regular music lessons.

Music Therapist

Antonia Pigot is an accredited music therapist (MTA) with the Canadian Association of Music Therapy and a Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT). She has been working with clients with special needs since 2007. (read more)

Disney on the Spectrum

A Singing Group for Youth on the Autism Spectrum

Breathing • Vocal Skills • Self Expression • Enjoyment • Relaxation • Discussion with Peers

Sing favourite disney songs, learn how to use your voice, talk about Disney themes

Who: Young teens on the autism spectrum

With: Music Therapist, Antonia Pigot

Where: The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts

When: Thursdays 6:30 – 7:30, September 27th – January 24th

Cost: $48 per month + registration fee

For more information contact The Conservatory at 902-423-6995 or


A Singing Group for People with Parkinson's

• Vocalizing • Breathing • Articulating

The Parkin’Singers meet weekly to exercise the voice and enjoy singing with peers. Led by music therapist and singing teacher Antonia Pigot, this group works on improving respiratory function and maintaining speaking abilities. No singing experience necessary.

When: Mondays 10:30 – 11:45am

Where: Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts

Date: September 24 – January 28

Cost: $51 per month + $35 registration fee

For more information contact The Conservatory at 902-423-6995 or