Karlene M. Francis ~ Music Therapist

About  Your Music Therapist

Karlene M. Francis, BA (Mus), Cert. Mus T, MTA, MT-BC

I trained and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Music) from  Western University and with a Certificate in Music Therapy

(Cert. MT) from a recognized university music therapy program (Acadia '15) to learn how to use music skillfully to promote positive effects on the wellness of individuals in all stages and conditions of their lives. I have also completed the required 1000 hours internship in the areas of long term care,  rehabilitation, oncology and palliative care and am a certified music therapist with designations recognized in Canada (MTA) and the United States (MT-BC).

In therapy sessions, I implement primarily live music using a combination of pitched instruments (piano, guitar, cello), non-pitched instruments (hand drums, shakers) and singing. A music therapist typically will play at least one instrument competently at an advanced level. I studied classical piano for 13 years,

I am self-trained in playing popular music on keyboards and I also studied cello for over 11 years.

Music therapists are expected to learn and play secondary instruments well-enough to support the therapeutic process. Guitar and harp are two effective choices to use in sessions and therefore at least one of these instruments are usually learned if not studied as a primary one previously. I have used guitar as part of music therapy sessions very often.

People interested in trying this very unique therapy, should not be put-off by having no music training. Music is a natural part of all human beings and music therapy is for everyone!

    What Music Therapy is Not

  •  A process to train and develop

      instrumental or vocal ability towards mastery

  •  A performance, entertainment

      show for an audience

  • Passive. Individuals take an active role

       in the treatment process on some level.

Applications for Music Therapy


Autism spectrum disorders

Behavioral disorders


Chronic Pain

Developmentally disabled

Hearing impaired

Health and Wellness

​​Neurologically impaired


Mental health

Multiply disabled

Physically disabled

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)


School-age children

Speech impaired


Substance abuse

Terminally ill

Traumatic Brain Injury

Visually Impaired



Where I have clinical experience/areas of specialty

The selected list above of Applications for Music Therapy indicates areas where individuals are most  served by this unique therapy.

I have clinical experience and areas of interest in practice with adults living with Alzheimer's, dementia and other neuro-degenerative conditions such as  Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis. I have also worked with  youth and adults dealing with mental health challenges such as anxiety and situational depression as well as adults in palliative care.

Music therapy is effective for many reasons and there is growing evidence based research that shows that

applications of music skillfully by a music therapist can: 


Boost cognitive function, regulate mood states, regulate breathing and heart rate, and so much more!


Canadian Association of Music Therapy

Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research