The Children’s Right to Music Project


  • Sandi Curtis
  • Guylaine Vaillancourt



Music, Music Therapy, Social Justice, Children, Disabilities


Sponsored by the Canadian Heritage Human Rights Grants and Contributions Program, the Children's Right to Music Project is an innovative program which increases awareness of the rights of children with disabilities as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, in the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and in the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Its focus on the rights of children to music represents a creative approach which moves beyond "mere accommodation" to genuine community engagement; it moves the focus from special education and social welfare to a focus on human rights; it increases an understanding  of the implication of these rights as they pertain to children with disabilities' rights to music, music making, and active participation in the community, within the full scope of its social and cultural life; and it increases understanding of, resources for, and skills in making music accessible to children with disabilities.

Author Biographies

Sandi Curtis

Sandi Curtis, PhD., MT-BC, MTA, Vice-President, American Music Therapy Association, is Professor, Graduate MT Program Director, and founder of the music therapy programs at Concordia University. Dr. Curtis is an internationally-trained music therapist with over 25 years' experience in clinical practice, teaching, research, and multidisciplinary/multi-institutional collaborations. She specializes in work with survivors of violence, people with differing abilities, and in palliative care, with current research interests in Feminist and Community Music Therapy. She is recipient of a University of Windsor Social Justice Person Award.

Guylaine Vaillancourt

Guylaine Vaillancourt, Ph.D. MTA , Music Therapy Assistant Professor Concordia University, Montreal, Canada Creative Arts Therapies Department Ph. D. in Leadership and Change in the Profession, Antioch University, OH (2009); MA (Music Therapy), New York University (1993); BA (Music Therapy) Université du Québec à Montréal (1990) Guylaine Vaillancourt is an accredited music therapist (MTA) and has extensive experience in oncology/palliative care, mental health, internship supervision and in private practice. Her research interests are related to mentoring apprentice music therapists for peace and social justice through community music therapy, focusing particularly on arts-based research and participatory action research particularly. She has worked in Switzerland, Venezuela and the U.S. and has taught in Cuba and Martinique. She is past President of the Canadian Association for Music Therapy and  Association québécoise de musicothérapie. She is a North-America co-editor for Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy ( and is the author of Musique, musicothérapie et développement de l’enfant, which has been translated into Italian, Spanish, and English. She is a Bonny Method Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM) Fellow. 




How to Cite

Curtis, S., & Vaillancourt, G. (2012). The Children’s Right to Music Project. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 12(3).



Original Voices