About Arts Education

North Van Arts offers arts education in the form of courses, workshops, and camps programming for all ages, interests and abilities.

Rhythm Word Music Therapy Programme

North Van Arts has offered the Rhythm & Word programme in a partnership with the North Vancouver School District #44 since 2002. Rhythm & Word uses music to foster the well-being of marginalized youth, offering a valuable social service through an art form easily embraced by young people. Programme participants develop and improve fundamental social skills, such as listening, communication, teamwork, leadership, anger management, trust, respect and positive self-expression – and they have lots of FUN!

The benefits achieved in music therapy expand to the greater community by providing supervised opportunities for creative self-expression, alternative activities to street life, constructive team building skills and development of positive interpersonal relationships.

The program is led by Calista Switzer, BMT, MTA, MT-BC, Music Therapist

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Calista relocated to Vancouver to complete her Music Therapy degree from Capilano University. She has worked with a variety of individuals including the autism community and addictions recovery as well as at risk youth. Calista’s music therapy approach is humanistic and client centered, striving to nourish strengths and empower challenges to reach each individual’s goals with the power of music.


Music therapy is the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotional qualities. These are used in the therapeutic relationship to facilitate contact, interaction, self-awareness, learning, self-expression, communication, and personal development. Canadian Association of Music Therapists

Learn more about music therapy from Music Heals Foundation.


We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia, the Music Heals Foundation, and TELUS Friendly Future Foundation