Overview

Many people possess excellent music skills and training, and a passion for wanting to help others through music. They discover music therapy and are thrilled to finally find a career that seems to fit! However, until now they could not pursue the dream of becoming a music therapist unless they lived (or moved) near an institution that offered a music therapy program. If you are one of those people, read on.

Approved by the American Music Therapy Association, this music therapy equivalency distance (MTED) program gives you the opportunity to pursue study in the field of music therapy through brief residencies and online classes. SMWC is proud to be the only college in the U.S. that offers the equivalency program in this format. Although three brief residencies per year are required, you can complete a majority of your coursework through online classes and participate in clinical training near where you live.

MTED is designed with you in mind 

With MTED, you can:

  • Work on your music therapy training primarily from where you live.
  • Come to campus at least three times for 3-day residency (Year One: Fall, Winter. Year Two: Fall); do your coursework and clinical training for each semester during the following 16 weeks.
  • Come for at least one 5-day residency in Summer, and do your coursework and clinical training for that semester during the following 8 weeks.
  • Finish the program in approximately 2 years.
  • Transition into the Master of Arts in Music Therapy graduate program if desired.

If you have questions about the Music Therapy Equivalency Distance Program, contact Program Coordinator Larisa McHugh.

Prerequisites and Program Requirements

The MTED program is open to individuals holding a bachelor’s degree in music. It is a highly competitive program with limited seating. Applicants are taken on a first come first serve basis.

Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in music from an NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) school
  • Minimum of 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • General Psychology (C- or better)
  • Proficiency on voice and at least one accompaniment instrument upon entry
  • Successful audition on major/primary instrument (2 pieces of contrasting nature)
  • Basic accompanying and vocal skills (piano and voice OR guitar and voice) on two songs
  • At least five MT-BCs in your geographic area (60-mile radius from your home)

Program Requirements

  • Ability to attend brief residencies on campus, three times in first year and at least once in second year
  • Completion of supportive courses at SMWC, or equivalent courses completed elsewhere (prior to or in conjunction with the MTED Program)
  • Specific technology including broadband internet connection, webcam, headset with microphone, digital recording device, current Microsoft Office Software, and Skype account
  • Successful completion of all proficiency examinations
  • Successful completion of all coursework and clinical training requirements (at least 1,200 clock hours of music therapy clinical training under the supervision of board-certified music therapists)
  • Participation in and adherence to an individual training plan developed with music therapy faculty. The ITP is a tool used to communicate expectations and outline the roles and responsibilities of the music therapy faculty and student.
Application and Audition Timeline
April 30 Deadline to apply and submit all materials including auditions
May 31 Deadline to pay $200 deposit
June 30 First payment or Financial Aid application due and introductory webinar completed

If you have any additional questions about the application process, contact Larisa McHugh, MTED Program Coordinator.

Audition Process

Auditions may be submitted electronically. Once your application is received you will receive instructions on how to submit either a MP3 recording or link to YouTube or Dropbox. Instrumentalists, pianists, and vocalists must perform two contrasting pieces with their primary instrument. In addition you should prepare two songs which demonstrate your ability to sing while accompanying yourself on piano or guitar.

Curriculum

Required Courses

Minimum of 29 credit hours required; all courses listed. Students are not required to take MU 243 if taken in bachelor's degree.

MU 282 Music as Therapy
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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An introduction to the history of music therapy and to the application of music in the therapeutic treatment of a variety of populations. Fall, every year. Course fee.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
MU 250 MTED Clinical Musicianship
Online | 1 Credit
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Assessment and continued development of functional music skills; development of percussion skills (basic techniques on several standard and ethnic instruments, and ability to lead rhythm-based ensembles); focus on cultural awareness throughout the treatment process. Course fee. Prerequisite: Admission to MTED program.

Online 1 Credit
MU 283 Therapeutic Processes in Music Therapy
Campus & Online | 2-3 Credits
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Designed to help students understand the process of music therapy from referral to termination. Special emphasis given to assessment and evaluation. Also investigates the dynamics and processes of music therapy groups. Spring, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: MU 282 and consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 2-3 Credits
MU 258 MTED Practicum I
Online | 1 Credit
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Level I pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy equivalency online students. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn various skills in music therapy through observation, assisting, assessing and co-leading music therapy sessions at a clinical site. Students will work under the supervision of an MT-BC at each clinical site and will experience the therapeutic process from observation and assessment to final evaluation of clients. Students will receive individual supervision (face-to-face) at clinical sites and group supervision (via Skype or other online methods) with course instructors and peers. Course fee. Prerequisite: Admission to MTED program.

Online 1 Credit
MU 358 MTED Practicum II
Online | 1 Credit
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Level II pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy equivalency online students. This course will provide students with opportunities to refine skills learned at the previous level, and learn the skills of treatment planning, implementation, documentation and leading music therapy sessions at a clinical site. Students will work under the supervision of an MT-BC at each clinical site and will experience the therapeutic process from observation and assessment to final evaluation of clients. Students will receive individual supervision (face-to-face) at clinical sites and group supervision (via Skype or other online methods) with course instructors and peers. Course fee. Prerequisite: Admission to MTED program.

Online 1 Credit
MU 458 MTED Practicum III
Online | 1 Credit
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Level III pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy equivalency online students. This course will provide students with opportunities to refine skills learned at the previous level, and learn the skills of evaluation and termination in music therapy sessions at a clinical site. Students will work under the supervision of an MT-BC at each clinical site and will experience the therapeutic process from observation and assessment to final evaluation of clients. Students will receive individual supervision (face-to-face) at clinical sites and group supervision (via Skype or other online methods) with course instructors and peers. Course fee. Prerequisite: Admission to MTED program.

Online 1 Credit
MU 344 Clinical Improvisation
Campus & Online | 2 Credits
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Development of therapeutic skills on voice, percussion, piano and guitar used in clinical improvisation. Normally reserved for upper-level music therapy students. A lab is required as part of this course. Fall, alternate years. Course fee. Prerequisite MU 283 and consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 2 Credits
MU 383 Music Therapy Clinical Skills I
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Music therapy methods and treatment goals/objectives for children and adults with varied developmental and intellectual disabilities in group homes, schools, day programs and other residential settings. Also includes the development of assessment, evidence-based treatment planning and music therapy clinical skills for the purpose of effective treatment. Fall, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: MU 282.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
MU 384 Music Therapy Clinical Skills II
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Music therapy methods and treatment goals/objectives for individuals in long-term care, medical, rehabilitation, mental health, hospice and residential settings. The development of assessment, evidence-based treatment planning and music therapy clinical skills for the purpose of effective treatment. Spring, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite :MU 282.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
MU 350 Conducting
Online | 1 Credit
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Students will learn basic conducting skills (conduct basic patterns with technical accuracy; conduct ensembles); begin the process of internship application and preparation. Course fee. Prerequisite: Admission to MTED program.

Online 1 Credit
MU 450 MTED Seminar
Online | 2 Credits
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Introduction to music therapy service reimbursement and financing sources (e.g. Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance, state and local health and/or education agencies, grants); development of professional skills and attitudes. Course fee. Prerequisite: Admission to MTED program.

Online 2 Credits
MU 455 Expressive Movement
Online | 1 Credit
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Introduction to basic dance techniques as well as creative and expressive movement techniques for use in music therapy. Students will learn to direct structured and improvisatory movement experiences, move in structured rhythmic and improvisatory manners for expressive purposes, and move expressively and with interpretation to music within rhythmic structure. Course fee. Prerequisite: Admission to MTED program.

Online 1 Credit
MU 484 Music Psychology
Campus & Online | 2 Credits
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An investigation of topics such as: the influence of music on human behavior; physiological responses to music; neuromusical research; hearing and music perception; human musicality. Includes individual projects. Normally reserved for juniors and seniors. Requires instructor’s consent. Spring or Fall, every year. Course fee.

Campus & Online 2 Credits
MU 485 Research in Music Therapy
Campus & Online | 2 Credits
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The study of various types of music therapy research. Exploration of research types in the literature. Qualitative and quantitative methods are investigated. Includes development of an original research proposal. Normally reserved for juniors and seniors. Requires instructor’s consent. Spring or Fall, every year. Course fee.

Campus & Online 2 Credits
MU 490 Music Therapy Internship I
Campus & Online | 2-6 Credits
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Supervised internship for music therapy students who have successfully completed at least 180 hours in pre-internship clinical training. Student must have passed all music proficiency exams prior to enrolling in this course. Admission to the internship requires consent of the Director of Music Therapy and a “C-” or better in all music therapy courses. The internship placement is based on the student’s clinical and personal needs. The student must: 1) accrue at least 900 hours in internship training, 2) accrue a total of at least 1200 hours in pre-internship and internship hours, and 3) demonstrate entry-level knowledge and skill in all AMTA Professional Competencies. No text. As needed. Course fee.

Campus & Online 2-6 Credits

Supportive Courses

Required for Equivalency. Choose either BI 230 or BI 101.

BI 230 Basic Anatomy and Physiology
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Examines the form and functional relationships of all the major organ systems of the human body. Designed for music therapy majors and fulfills the general studies science requirement for them. Course is available to others, but does not meet their general studies science requirement. Two one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisite: Appropriate score on mathematics placement exam or completion of MA 101.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
BI 101 Biology: Unity and Diversity
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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This is a one semester non-majors course in biology. Students will practice science, science methodologies, critical thinking and problem solving techniques. Students will become informed on the basic biological processes important for maintaining life and diversity. In addition, they will become familiar with the diversity of biological organisms and how they interact with each other as well as understand evolutionary theory as a unifying concept in biology. Students will become practiced in the applications of scientific methodology through laboratory activities. Student comprehension of these concepts will help them make better informed decisions about their bodies and the environment. Two one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Fulfills Woods Core Requirement. Course fee. Prerequisite: Appropriate score on mathematics placement exam or completion of MA 101.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
MA 253 Statistics
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Elementary introduction to statistical reasoning, including sampling, organization and presentation of data, elementary probability, statistical inference and data analysis. In particular, topics covered include: the nature of probability and statistics; organization and presentation of data; measures of central tendency, variation and position; probability; binomial, normal and t distributions; estimation and confidence intervals; hypothesis testing; z and t tests, correlation and regression, and chi-square tests; applications to the natural and social sciences, business, education, and government. Use of appropriate computer software and technology resources. Fulfills Woods Core requirement. Prerequisite: MA 105 or placement.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
PS 260 Developmental Psychology
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Studies human physical, cognitive, personality, emotional, social and moral development and change from conception to death. Prerequisite: PS 111.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
PS 360 Abnormal Psychology
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Studies the dynamics of abnormal behavior including etiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of emotional disorders, psychoses, substance abuse and childhood disorders. Prerequisite: PS 111.

Campus & Online 3 Credits

Choose one of the following:

ED/PS 237 Educational Psychology
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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The study and application of psychological concepts as they apply to teaching and learning from childhood through adolescence. Topics include: learning theory; motivation; physical, emotional and sociological development; individual differences; intelligence; evaluations based on behavioral objectives; and types and uses of standardized tests. Spring, every year. Prerequisite: ED 109 or PS 111.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
PS 285 Techniques of Counseling
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Theoretical and practical knowledge needed to make use of basic counseling skills. Emphasis on process in utilizing these skills. Activities include role playing and video presentations.

Campus & Online 3 Credits

Internships

Internships must be arranged with the Program Coordinator and will begin after final courses are completed. Music Therapy students will to complete at least 4 credits in internship and remain enrolled in an internship course until satisfactory completion of hours and competencies.

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Career Paths

What Does a Music Therapist Do?

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapists assess a person’s “emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses”. In addition, music therapists design music sessions based on client needs. Applications and techniques may include:

  • Instrumental or vocal improvisation
  • Receptive music listening
  • Song writing
  • Song lyric discussion/analysis
  • Music and imagery
  • Music performance
  • Learning through music
  • Music and movement
  • Music and other expressive arts

Who Does a Music Therapist Help?

A music therapist can work with a wide range of population and in a myriad of facilities. Music therapy can be used with individuals with:

  • Developmental disabilities
  • Mental health needs
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Physical disabilities
  • Chronic or terminal illnesses
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Autism

Music Therapy Jobs

A music therapist is trained to work in individual, small group, or large group settings at a myriad of facilities, including:

  • Medical Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Nursing Homes
  • Assisted-living Facilities
  • Psychiatric Facilities/units
  • Pediatric Units
  • Rehabilitation Units
  • Private Homes
FAQ

Do I have to have a degree in music to be eligible for this program?
Yes.

What types of music degree should I have?
Your degree can be a BA, BS, BM or BFA. The specific degree title can be any area of music. For example: BA in Music Education. BS in Music Business. BM in Music Composition.

I have a family and a full time job. Can I do this program?
That depends on many factors including flexibility of your job, support from family and friends, etc. Most people in the program are working full- or part-time jobs while progressing through the program and many have family responsibilities as well.