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Dr. Laurel Young, PhD, MTA

Associate Professor, Music Therapy, Creative Arts Therapies

Dr. Laurel Young, PhD, MTA
Office: S-ER 127  
ER Building,
2155 Guy St.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4682

Laurel Young is an accredited music therapist (MTA) and a certified practitioner in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (FAMI). Prior to joining the Department of Creative Arts Therapies, she was the Professional Leader of Creative Arts Therapies at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (Toronto). She has taught music therapy courses at Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo) and Temple University (Philadelphia) and received awards from both institutions for her outstanding contributions to the field of music therapy. She has over 23 years of clinical experience in various areas including geriatrics/dementia, cancer, HIV, palliative care, community mental health, and developmental disabilities. Dr. Young has published in several peer-reviewed journals and books, and served as Editor in Chief in 2012 and 2013 for Barcelona Publishers’ Qualitative Inquiries in Music Therapy Monograph Series. In 2014, Dr. Young received the Research & Publications award at the Canadian Association of Music Therapists (CAMT) 40th national conference and was a Spotlight Speaker at the World Congress of Music Therapy held in Krems, Austria. In 2015, Dr. Young was an invited keynote “Focus on Canada” speaker at the CAMT’s 41st conference and in March 2018 was a featured speaker for the Scottish Music Therapy Trust. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund and the CAMT. She served on the editorial board for the Journal of Music Therapy (US) and is a member of Concordia's University Research Ethics Committee. She is the Associate Director of engAGE, Concordia's Centre for Research on Aging ( and part of the Arts in Health Research Collective ( She is a research member of the Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology (CREGÉS; and PERFORM (  She was a Co-Investigator and Sub-theme Leader of Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS) – a major collaborative research initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (


  • PhD in Music Therapy, Temple University
  • Master of Music Therapy, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Bachelor of Music Therapy, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Bachelor of Music (piano), Mount Allison University

Professional affiliations

  • Professional Member, l’Association québécoise de musicothérapie
  • Music Therapist Accredited (MTA #0169) Canadian Association of Music Therapists
  • Music Therapy, Psychothérapeute (N0 de permis 61453-15)
  • Fellow, Association for Music & Imagery
  • Associate Director, engAGE, Concordia's Centre for Research on Aging
  • Member, Concordia's Arts in Health Research Collective (ARHC)
  • Research Member, CREGÉS
  • Research Member, PERFORM

Research interests / expertise

  • Works in both qualitative and quantitative paradigms.
  • Singing and Health/Well being
  • Assessment
  • Aging, Dementia Care, Palliative Care, and Bereavement
  • The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery & Music
  • Music Therapy Advocacy, Scope of Practice, Training, & Supervision

Clinical practice experience

  • Palliative Care; Grief and Bereavement
  • Geriatrics/Dementia
  • Autism
  • Community Music Therapy (various populations including cancer, HIV, persons with developmental and/or physical disabilities, adult mental health)
  • Individual and Group Bonny Method Guided Imagery & Music Sessions

Theoretical orientation

  • Eclectic but influenced by humanistic, analytical, and music centred approaches. Integral theory.

Honours / awards / grants

  • 2017: Regular member of research supported by: Réseaux thématiques du FRQS. Gagnon P (Directeur),Savard J (Co-directrice), Gauthier L (Co-directeur), DumontS (Co-directeur), Cohen R (Co-directeur) Réseau québécois de recherche en soins palliatifs et de fin de vie (RQSPFV).
  • 2016: Team co-investigator on CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grant (T. Sussman and S. Kaasalainen, Co-PIs): Working Together to Support a Palliative Approach in Long-Term-Care: A Pan Canadian Initiative
  • 2015: Raschkowan Creative Arts Therapies Outreach Award. To support research.
  • 2014: Research and Publications Award from the Canadian Association for Music Therapy. Awarded to no more than one individual per year for contributions made to the field of music therapy through research or publications.
  • 2011: Award from Temple University for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Music Therapy
  • 2011: Inaugural Outstanding Graduate Award from Wilfrid Laurier University. Awarded to a former WLU MMT graduate who has gone on to make significant contributions to the field of music therapy.

Teaching activities

Research activities

Participation activities


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