Violin for Wellness


The Violin for Wellness program is no longer available.

Facilitator Carolyn Canfield Cole is moving to New York to work in her violin performance field. However, research is ongoing, and she and Pippa Hodge will continue to work towards writing a paper to describe the found data from the 2017 Study. Carolyn also intends to continue to bring Violin for Wellness to other therapeutic riding facilities wherever possible.

Thank you, all parents and riders, for participating and enjoying the live violin voice during your sessions. And a huge thank you to the board and Valley Therapeutic for being brave to adding this pioneering program to their offerings. Enjoy those horses!!!

Using live violin as a gateway tool to augment therapeutic outcomes for disabilities, PTSD, grief, and other at-risk populations

Carolyn Canfield ColeIn the Violin for Wellness program, Carolyn plays her violin on the ground while the riders have their session. Carolyn and the instructor or physio-therapist work together to achieve more dynamic actions and experiences for the riders. Staff have found that Carolyn’s ability to use the expression and vibrations of her violin in thStudent smilinge same space as the rider acts as a unique emotional tool that can get in close to the client, close enough to touch their core and awaken their brain.

Many areas of the brain respond to music, and the language part of the brain is more active when music is happening. When the brain is lit up, vocalization increases, physical engagement occurs, broadening the reach of the staff. Using music in the therapeutic riding arena adds another dimension to the simultaneous development of an individual riding a horse.

Violin for Wellness™ is very affordable and a stimulating addition to your child’s time in the saddle.


“When my daughter first started Hippotherapy (physiotherapy on a horse) I was thrilled. It quickly became our favourite weekly therapeutic activity.  Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Carolyn and her violin showed up. Now my daughter rides the horse to beautiful violin music.

In observing both my daughter and other clients, I have seen (and experienced for myself) that Carolyn’s music increases their overall engagement during their Hippotherapy session. Carolyn and her violin music provide another sensory input that truly makes therapy more holistic. I believe the music will continue to help my daughter get the most out of her Hippotherapy sessions, as it provides individualized and dynamic opportunities for auditory feedback, promotes concepts of cause and effect, is a stimulus for improving deep breathing and lung capacity, and adds to an environment a sense of warmth and safety. My daughter thoroughly enjoys hearing the music as well as interacting with it.

Carolyn provides a wonderful complementary service that she willingly customizes for every individual, both young and old. It has been a great addition to my daughter’s therapy!”


Visit the Violin for Wellness™ website to watch videos and listen to music used in the therapeutic program.

Violin for WellnessPhone or email Carolyn Cole to set up an appointment:

  • Or, phone the VTEA office at: (604) 857-1267


Families may be eligible for funding to help cover costs for the Therapeutic Riding and music listening through various assistance and distributed learning programs, including the SelfDesign Learning Community. Please contact your local services provider for more information.