Berklee Music Therapy Department Launches Undergraduate Minor in Music and Health

The new program, the first of its kind in the nation, offers students professional opportunities within the growing field of music and health.

August 30, 2022

Berklee College of Music is launching a new music and health minor for the 2022 fall semester, the first such program of its kind offered by a higher education institute in the nation. Housed within Berklee’s Music Therapy Department, and in collaboration with the Berklee Music and Health Institute, the minor is for musicians who are looking to develop knowledge and skills in research, community engagement and program development, and/or entrepreneurship within the music and health landscape.

Through uniquely designed coursework, students have the opportunity to explore key intersections between music, health, and overall well-being while developing a deep understanding of the scientific and cultural concepts that create powerful arts-based experiences. Students will be informed on and positioned to develop the most effective trends in practice that continue to reshape the landscape of medicine, healthcare, and art. They will also gain access to professional opportunities in the healthcare and wellness industries, and to community organizations focusing on improving quality of life through music-based experiences.

“Our department is extremely proud to be the first institution offering a robust and highly applicable minor that focuses on music and health,” said Dr. Joy Allen, chair of the Music Therapy Department. “For students looking to explore music and health–related job opportunities, either from a community music, neuroscience, or entrepreneurial lens, this minor will give them the skills and experiences needed to influence positive change.”  

As part of the curriculum, students have access to Music and Health Innovation Studio, a lab course that empowers students of all backgrounds to confront contemporary health challenges through curiosity, creativity, and strategy. Using the Impact Thinking model, the course provides students with a well-rounded understanding of how to apply fundamental clinical problem-solving to human-centered product design within the music and health space. Students will gain foundational knowledge and the skills necessary to achieve workable solutions while interfacing with leading experts within the music and health ecosystem.

Berklee’s music therapy program is one of the largest and most well known in the world, with established training and research partnerships with hospitals, community health centers, and educational and healthcare facilities across the country. Building from this foundation, and with an understanding that innovative solutions require cross-disciplinary approaches, Berklee launched the Music and Health Institute (BMHI) in 2018 to help foster interdisciplinary collaboration across the college and among experts in academia, healthcare, technology, music, and public policy. The BMHI seeks to accelerate ideation of music-based solutions that improve health and well-being for individuals and communities. This new minor offering is a concrete step towards that overarching goal.

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