How did you start in Music Therapy?
I did a cooperative education class in high school, where I worked at 2 nursing homes and also taught music to English as a Second Language students. I saw older adults who did not know their name be able to sing songs in their long-term memory. I saw how music connected them to their identity and I was convinced that this was the career for me: using music to help people with a variety of healthcare issues.
Your career is very wide. Many articles, books, recordings and performances in major theaters. You have worked with children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities and developmental delays, in psychiatry, dementia, long-term care, palliative care, Parkinson’s. Which of them you’ve seen better efficiency of Music Therapy?
Music therapy interventions have the potential to help persons across the lifespan with a variety of goals. I do not think there is one population that benefits more than others. I have published on my work with persons in palliative care, those having dementia, autism, stroke, Parkinson’s and more. I have advanced trainings in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music and Neurologic Music Therapy. I am very eclectic in my approach and select the music therapy model and interventions that will best meet the needs of the clients.
You’ve also been teacher and supervisor of future professionals in Toronto. What features should be a good music therapist?
There are so many. I think being a strong musician is very important, alongside having an understanding of a variety of healthcare issues and diagnoses. Compassion is also important, as well as being observant to client progress, and skills in assessment and clinical writing. Continuing to develop your skills as a music therapist is also key, so by this I mean keeping upto date on the latest research and clinical writing.
What it meant for you be President of the WMTF? What is the work of the WMTF?
It was an honour to serve the WFMT as the President. I was able to meet music therapists from around the world in person and virtually to help them establish programs and standards of clinical practice. “The World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT) is an international nonprofit organization bringing together music therapy associations and individuals interested in developing and promoting music therapy globally through the exchange of information, collaboration among professionals, and actions. Founded in 1985 in Genoa, Italy, it is the only worldwide professional organization representing music therapy in many areas of the world. The members of the Federation are music therapy organizations, training programs, certified music therapists, music therapy students, and individuals associated with music therapy. WFMT is an international body, with officers, commissioners, and regional liaisons in all regions of the world.”
As President, I worked on the strategic plan for the WFMT and a number of projects like the World Congress of music therapy, student scholarships, membership benefits and more.
Here is my last blog as President in July 2017:
Dear WFMT Members & Site Visitors.
I can’t believe it has been 3 years since I became the Presiden of the WRMT. I am so proud of the 2014-2017 WFMT Council for the numerous accomplishments made during the past 3 years towards advancing the discipline of music therapy as a science and art. Below you will see a short list of some WFMT highlights from the past fiscal year. This year was the final year wwhere the WFMT focused on completing the tasks and goals outlined in the 3-year stretic plan. A final stretegic planning report was published on the website at the start of May. You can access it here in the WFMT Documents section of the Publication Center. I hope to see many wonderful colleagues at the World Congress of Music Therapy (WCMT), July 2017 in Tsukuba, Japan, and I look forward to running the triennial WFMT General Business Meeting ang overseeing the election of the new 2017-2020 WFMT Council Members during the Congress.
For my master works I have read your works on Music Therapy in hospice care. With them I have learned a lot. What is your impression about the use of the Music Therapy in this area?
It is a privilege to work in palliative care music therapy. People welcome you into their lives at such a challenging time. Music therapy has the potential to help in so many healthcare domains, such as emotional, social, motor, spiritual and more. I have seen how it is so important for persons to complete their relationships at end of life, and music is a modality that allows for the expression of feelings that are too challenging to speak.
You have recently been in Spain, at the Congress of Music and Medicine at Barcelona. How do you see the evolution of Music Therapy in our country?
Spain has many music therapy associations, and several well known Universities offering training. These academic institutions invite speakers from around the globe and really expose students to world leaders. I feel Spain has well established music therapy and will continue to expand their impact through increased research.
In 1995 you create Note for Amy. What is it exactly?
Notes By Amy operates in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan and surrounding areas as well as through service provision online and via distance when possible around the globe. Professional services include:
Notes By Amy Music is owned and operated by Amy Clements-Cortes, PhD, RP, MTA, MT-BC, FAMI, NMT, a prominent music therapy clinician, registered psychotherapist and educator, private voice instructor, performing and recording artist, music festival adjudicator, and researcher. She is an accredited and board certified music therapist, registered psychotherapist, GIM fellow, NMT Trained, Past-President of the World Federation of Music Therapy, Managing Editor of the Journal of Music and Medicine, Past-President of the Canadian Association for Music Therapy (CAMT), and an approved provider for the Certification Board for Music Therapists, (CBMT).
Notes By Amy is committed to providing Professional Services to persons across the lifespan to enhance well-being, personal growth and development. The mission embraces advancing the field of music therapy, music education, and health and wellness through creating a culture of academic excellence and innovation in teaching and research for students, clients, practitioners, and researchers.
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University of Windsor Alumni Magazine. Harnessing the Healing Power of Music
How do you see the future of Music Therapy around the world?
I think we will see more training programs being established in smaller countries which do not have official programs at present. I think music therapy research is evolving and the music therapy journals continue to excel in their impact factor and clinical reach. The rigor is continually improving and music therapy is being recognized as more than just an art. There is a scientific basis for the work we do. I also think more countries will require therapists to have Masters level of education as the entry to the profession in the coming years. There will also be more global equivalency of trainings. Further, I see that more music therapists will continue to develop their practice and take advanced trainings, such as Neurologic music therapy and the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music.
Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview and spend a bit of your time to answer it. Thanks for your kindness. It is a great honour for me that you are present in my blog!