Homegrown Business: Jennifer Buchanan of JB Music Therapy

We all know music can move someone’s soul, and bring joy or make you cry. Music therapy is a way of intentionally harnessing that power to improve your life. Jennifer Buchanan of JB Music Therapy (JBMT) wants to help you do just that. Her experience and expertise goes back 30+ years and she wants to empower you to be your best self. We connected with her to learn more.

Homegrown Business: Jennifer Buchanan of JB Music Therapy

What is your business called and what does it do?

JB Music Therapy is a music therapy consulting company and private practice founded in Calgary, Alberta. Founded in 1991, JBMT has empowered thousands of individuals through evidence-based music therapy services, programs, and resources. Our Certified Music Therapists (MTAs) bring a comprehensive approach that re-imagines a new era in healthcare that elevates music as a cornerstone of healthcare, education, and workplace wellness. We will continue to do this through our three primary services: in-person clinical music therapy (individual and group sessions), nation-wide online music therapy groups, and education and outreach including workshops, seminars, keynotes, books, resources, and consultation.

What made you want to do this work?

When Jennifer became a certified music therapist in 1991 there were no music therapy jobs available in the public healthcare sector. To serve the clients she dreamed of, she created a model to reach them: a private, mobile, community-based business.

Creating demand for a profession no one had heard of was the first challenge to address. The solution was to speak regularly to the public via association meetings and conferences in the healthcare, education, and government sectors. The company experienced rapid growth, primarily propelled by word of mouth and referral and the exceptional quality of services.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

We are a company that empowers and connects every person to their best self regardless of circumstance. We champion music therapy through excellence in clinical practice and public education, transforming lives one note at a time.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

JBMT serves large and small organizations including all of Calgary’s primary hospitals, three boards of education, hundreds of individuals living in long–term and continuing care. We are also providing corporate wellness workshops and assessment services for Corrections Canada. The individuals and organizations we serve have witnessed music therapy’s remarkable outcomes from igniting creativity and motivation, to rejuvenating the memory of individuals with dementia, to healing the scars of trauma. Global studies underscore music therapists’ unmatched potential in transforming mental health, rehabilitation, and comprehensive wellness. Additionally, our Founder, Jennifer Buchanan, has been invited to present about music for health, wellness, and recovery in every province and territory in Canada.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We charge for our services – like other services. With that said we would not exist without our many partners – several of whom help fund the organizations we serve.

Homegrown Business: Jennifer Buchanan of JB Music Therapy

Where in the city can we find your profession?

We are mobile and travel all around our city – throughout all the quadrants.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

the best part are the relationships we make. Our core value is rooted in connection. Connection to music, connection to the therapeutic process, connection to our clients and their families, connection to our agency partners, and the team’s connection to one another. What’s not great about that 🙂 The worst part is the trailblazing of a relatively new profession.The feeling our progress doesn’t seem enough and the belief we can be better, do better, do more, and do it faster.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Why did the musician go to music therapy? Everyone thought it was to fix his broken guitar, but turns out he just needed someone to tune into his feelings!

Where can we follow you?


Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

Kate Hewko!


About Demian Vernieri 561 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.