The Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Therapy is designed to help students acquire basic clinical competencies. Upon completion of coursework, students enter a six-month, full-time clinical internship. When the internship requirement has been met, candidates can take the board certification examination in music therapy and begin practice as a clinician.
The curriculum for the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Therapy is built upon the clinical and research paradigm known as Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT). This model utilizes scientific evidence regarding human perception and production of music to treat disorders of the human nervous system, such as autism, mental illness, or Parkinson’s Disease. The NMT approach is becoming increasingly recognized and accepted by the medical community and is currently only available at seven universities nation-wide.
Courses for this degree program are drawn from four main categories:
MUSIC: Being a competent music therapist requires a solid foundation in all areas of music. Consequently,
roughly half of the total credit hours required for the degree are allotted to studying music and acquiring specific
Courses in music include:
• Applied instruction on principal instrument or voice
• Piano skills
• Music Theory
• Music History and Literature
• Music Technology
• Functional Music Skills (percussion, voice, guitar, autoharp, recorder, piano and improvisation)
• Performing Ensembles
MUSIC THERAPY: Using music effectively as a therapeutic tool is based on knowing how the human brain and
body utilize musical information. Through these interactive and experiential courses, students learn about the
theory and research that supports the use of music in therapy. In addition, students have multiple opportunities
to practice and refine their therapeutic skills. Before leaving campus to complete the internship, students take six
semesters of practicum, which involves working with different clinical populations in the community. All clinical
experiences are carefully supervised by board-certified music therapists.
Content areas for music therapy coursework include:
• Overview and History of the Music Therapy Profession
• Music and Development
• Music in Rehabilitation
• Psychology of Music
• Music in Psychotherapy
BEHAVIORAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES: To work successfully with clients, music therapists rely on an in-depth
understanding of the human body and the intricacies of human behavior. Students take several psychology
courses, including child and adolescent development, statistics and abnormal psychology. Additional courses
include human biology and psychobiology.
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: To achieve a well-rounded education, students also complete
requirements in college algebra, English composition and the social sciences.
The curriculum for the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Therapy is approved by the American Music Therapy Association, the National Association for Schools of Music and the University
For more information on this degree program, please contact:
Shannon K. de l’Etoile, Ph.D., MT-BC
Program Director, Music Therapy