Overview

If you have a degree in music, you may be ready for your next challenge: empowering others by becoming a music therapist. The music therapy equivalency program is tailored to meet the needs of each person who attends. You may be exempted from one or more of the requirements if you have previously taken an equivalent course or courses.

A professional music therapist must complete (a) an undergraduate degree in music therapy, or (b) an undergraduate degree in a related area and a music therapy equivalency program. Academic requirements include courses in music, music therapy, psychology, and related areas. Professional music therapists have also completed at least 1200 hours of clinical training, and have passed a board examination. This leads to the entry-level credential, MT-BC (Music Therapist-Board Certified).

Program Information and Prerequisites

Students begin observing music therapy sessions, conducted by professional music therapists and/or other music therapy students, in the first semester of Music Therapy practicum experience. Over the course of several semesters, students become more involved in the treatment process. These pre-internship (practicum) experiences will total approximately 200 hours. After completing course requirements, students must successfully complete a music therapy internship of approximately 1000 hours. Practicum and internship experiences are supervised.

 

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 (link) on major/primary instrument (2 pieces of contrasting nature)
  • Basic accompanying and vocal skills (piano and voice OR guitar and voice) on two songs
  • Complete and send in the special application
Curriculum

Required Courses

29 credit hours total. Students are not required to take MU 243 if taken in bachelor's degree. MU 457 is optional.

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 242 Clinical Musicianship
Campus | 1 Credit
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Provide applied practice of clinical music therapy interventions and methods for use in medical, long-term care, educational and rehabilitation settings. Focus on the functional skills needed on: guitar, voice and piano, as well as non- symphonic instruments. Spring, every year. Course fee. Prerequisites: MU 282 and MU 342.

Campus 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 157: Music Therapy Practicum I
Campus | 0.5-1 Credits
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First pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy majors. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn various skills in music therapy through observation of 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 through observation. Meets the American Music Therapy Association requirements for obtaining pre-internship clinical hours. Primarily develops observational skills. Students will receive small group supervision with faculty MT-BC. Fall, Winter, every year. Course fee. Pre-requisite: instructor consent.

Campus 0.5-1 Credits
MU 256: Music Therapy Practicum IIa
Campus | 0.5-1 Credits
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Level 2a pre-internship first clinical experience for music therapy majors. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn various applied skills in music therapy through co-leading and/or leading group music therapy sessions at a designated clinical site (typically older adults or children in school setting). Students will work under the supervision of an MT-BC and will experience the therapeutic process from observation and assessment through developed treatment plan and preliminary data collection. Meets the American Music Therapy Association requirements for obtaining pre-internship clinical hours. Students will receive weekly group supervision with faculty MT-BC. Fall, Winter, every year. Course fee. Pre-req: MU 157 and/or instructor consent

Campus 0.5-1 Credits
MU 257: Music Therapy Practicum IIb
Campus | 0.5-1 Credits
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Level 2b pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy majors. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn various applied skills in music therapy through co-leading and/or leading group music therapy sessions at a designated clinical site (typically children/adults with developmental disabilties or older adults). Students will work under the supervision of an MT-BC and will experience the therapeutic process from observation and assessment to developed treatment plan and data collection. Meets the American Music Therapy Association requirements for obtaining pre-internship clinical hours. Students will receive weekly small group supervision with faculty MT-BC. Fall, Winter, every year. Course fee. Pre-req: MU 157 and/or instructor consent

Campus 0.5-1 Credits
MU 356: Music Therapy Practicum IIIa
Campus | 0.5-1 Credits
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Level 3a pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy majors. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn various skills in music therapy through co-leading, and/or leading group or 1:1 music therapy sessions at a clinical site. Students will work under the supervision of an MT-BC and will experience the therapeutic process from assessment through final evaluation of treatment. Meets the American Music Therapy Association requirements for obtaining pre-internship clinical hours. Students will receive 2:1 supervision with faculty MT-BC. Fall, Winter, every year. Course fee. Pre-req: MU 157 and/or instructor consent

Campus 0.5-1 Credits
MU 357: Music Therapy Practicum IIIb
Campus | 0.5-1 Credits
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Level 3b pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy majors. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn various skills in music therapy through co-leading, and/or leading group or 1:1 music therapy sessions at a clinical site (typically 1:1). Students will work under the supervision of an MT-BC and will experience the therapeutic process from assessment through final evaluation of treatment. Students will receive 2:1 supervision with faculty MT-BC. Meets the American Music Therapy Association requirements for obtaining pre-internship clinical hours. Fall, Winter, every year. Course fee. Pre-req: MU 157 and/or instructor consent.

Campus 0.5-1 Credits
MU 456: Music Therapy Practicum IVa
Campus | 0.5-1 Credits
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Level 4a pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy majors. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn various skills in music therapy through observation, co-leading, and/or leading group or 1:1 music Level 4a pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy majors. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn various skills in music therapy through observation, co-leading, and/or leading group or 1:1 music therapy sessions at a clinical site (typically medical or psychiatric setting). Students will work under the supervision of an MT-BC and will experience the therapeutic process from observation through final evaluation of treatment. Students will receive 1:1 supervision with faculty MT-BC. Meets the American Music Therapy Association requirements for obtaining pre-internship clinical hours. Fall, Winter, every year. Course fee. Pre-req: MU 157 and/or instructor consent.

Campus 0.5-1 Credits
MU 457: Music Therapy Practicum IVb
Campus | 0.5-1 Credits
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Level 4b pre-internship clinical experience for music therapy majors. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn various skills in music therapy through co-leading, and/or leading 1:1 or group music therapy sessions at a clinical site (typically similar setting as a pending internship placement). Students will work under the supervision of an MT-BC and will experience the therapeutic process from observation through final evaluation of treatment. Students will receive 1:1 supervision with faculty MT-BC. Meets the American Music Therapy Association requirements for obtaining pre-internship clinical hours. Fall, Winter, every year. Course fee. Pre-req: MU 157 and/or instructor consent.

Campus 0.5-1 Credits
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 243 Conducting I
Campus | 2 Credits
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Introduction to basic conducting patterns and techniques with practical experience in choral/vocal and instrumental music. Prerequisite: MU 115 or consent of instructor.

Campus 2 Credits
MU 386 Music Therapy Seminar I
Campus | 0.5 Credits
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This required course provides necessary preliminary music therapy internship preparation, as well as addresses professional role and ethical issues in music therapy. Spring, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: MU 257 or consent of instructor.

Campus 0.5 Credits
MU 486 Music Therapy Seminar II
Campus | 0.5 Credits
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This required course provides more in-depth internship preparation, as well as addresses supervision, administration, employment options and reimbursement issues in music therapy. Fall, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: MU 386 or consent of instructor.

Campus 0.5 Credits
MU 352 Percussion Techniques
Campus | 1 Credit
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Developing a fundamental understanding of terminology and cultural uses, as well as basic skill and technique with multicultural percussion (e.g. African hand drumming, Latin-based instruments, etc). Fundamental skill and performance on Western traditional percussion instruments (e.g. trap set, marimba, etc) will also be included. Prerequisite: Music major or consent of instructor.

Campus 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 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
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
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