Music Therapy Degree Programs and Schools

Music therapy helps patients with stress or disabilities recover by listening to music, writing songs and putting on musical performances. Completing an accredited bachelor's degree program in this field is required to practice as a therapist, though graduate programs are available as well. Keep reading for information on coursework and certification. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a music therapist, you may use music to help patients explore particular feelings and life events, overcome developmental disabilities or reduce stress. Music therapy degree programs are designed to give you a working theoretical knowledge of the history and function of music therapy and help you develop clinical skills.

Degrees Bachelor and Master of Music in Music Therapy; Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. of Music Education: Music Therapy Specialization
Certificates Graduate Certificate in Music Education, Graduate Equivalency Certificate in Music Therapy
Courses Composition of music therapy for practitioners, neuroscience, music composition, ear training, solfege, percussion for music therapy, music technology

What Will I Learn in a Degree Program?

Music therapy programs are typically divided into three areas of study: general education, music and music therapy. Music therapy programs often have general education requirements that consist of classes in math, science, humanities and social science. Music therapists are required to be skilled musicians, so you might take courses in the history, theory and practice of classical music. You may participate in ensembles, conduct orchestrated music and compose your own work.

You will learn techniques for documenting and assessing patient needs and creating individualized, goal-oriented therapy sessions. You may also learn how to incorporate musical activity into psychological and physical therapy, substance abuse counseling and stress reduction techniques. During your supervised clinical work, you will gain experience in an actual clinical role by working with clients under the guidance of certified music therapists. Some courses in a bachelor's degree program in music therapy might include the following:

  • Advances in neuroscience
  • Assistive music technology
  • Mind-body disciplines
  • Behavioral assessment

Can I Earn a Master's Degree in Music Therapy?

In addition to the bachelor's and equivalency programs required to be a practicing music therapist, there are master's degree programs in music therapy. If you are already a certified music therapist, a 2-year master's degree program can offer you advanced coursework in music, music therapy and psychology, and also provide you with additional clinical practice. These schools offer master's degrees:

  • Berklee (MA)
  • Temple University (PA)
  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • Colorado State University
  • Indiana University

What Can I Learn in a Doctorate Program in Music Therapy?

Doctoral degree programs in music therapy might allow you to conduct original research and develop your own theoretical perspective on music therapy practice and pedagogy. You may also be prepared for work in music therapy education and clinical supervision. Areas of specialization include music medicine and music psychotherapy. The following schools offer doctorate programs in music therapy:

  • Temple University (PA)
  • New York University
  • University of Kansas
  • Drexel University (PA)

What Kinds of Music Therapy Degrees Are Available Online?

Online music therapy degrees are typically offered only at the master's level. These programs are designed to provide additional graduate study to those who have already become certified music therapists and wish to pursue a degree from home. You may conduct research, learn about new therapeutic techniques or learn to treat specific conditions with music therapy.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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