Jeremie Tucker didn’t know much about music therapy when she took the very first course offered at what was then Capilano College in 1976. That course led to a 37-year career filled with love, laughter, and—of course—music.

“I was a single mom and I needed a job,” says Jeremie. “A friend told me about a new program they were offering at Cap. I loved music, so I applied and was accepted.”

As one of the first graduates of Capilano’s Music Therapy program, which was the first such program to be offered in Canada, Jeremie was a pioneer in many ways so there was lots of room for creativity and innovation.

“Jeremie has always had a great deal of curiosity, a love of life, and she really cares about people,” says Nancy McMaster, the co-founder of the Music Therapy program and an instructor in the program. “She never stopped learning. She would come up with new songs every week, and even started taking violin lessons in her 40s.”

She has won numerous awards and recognition for her innovative programming and committed service and supervised close to 40 student music therapists during her career, says Nancy. A lot of her work has been with seniors and people with disabilities. Over the years, she has put together bands and choirs, helped people write songs, and even built and sold instruments like guitars and ukuleles.

“Music therapy is about much more than music,” says Jeremie. “It is about encouraging self expression, creativity and confidence. It is also about building community and helping people feel comfortable in a group.”

Many of Jeremie’s clients lived in some type of long-term care facility. Music therapy helps them adjust to their environment by building their relationships within the community.

Jeremie has just retired but she says she feels privileged to have had a career in music therapy and she will miss the many fascinating interactions she had with her students and clients every day.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Music Therapy program.

Submitted by Marketing & Communications

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