Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
Music therapy interventions can be designed to:
- Promote wellness
- Manage stress
- Alleviate pain
- Express feelings
- Enhance memory
- Improve communication
- Promote physical rehabilitation
– American Music Therapy Association
Undergraduate requirements (varies by program):
Most programs require a Bachelor of Arts in music. Some require courses in psychology and/or human anatomy and physiology. Be sure to check the admission requirements for the specific programs you will be applying to!
Many programs require practical work or volunteer experience with individuals who have mental, physical, and emotional problems.
Graduate programs are two years.
Several colleges and universities offer a master’s degree in music therapy. It usually requires 30 semester hours or credits beyond the graduate equivalency program. The curriculum consists of advanced courses in music therapy, music, and supportive areas. A thesis or final project and a comprehensive examination are also required. Typically, a master’s degree takes two years to complete.
A few universities offer doctoral degrees in music therapy. Typically, these are housed in the music or music education department.