Berklee’s Music and Health Institute Launches Community Health Musician Certificate

The program gives musicians of all backgrounds new tools to use for music engagement in community settings.

April 26, 2024

The Music and Health Institute at Berklee College of Music has launched the Community Health Musician Certificate program to continue to strengthen the connection between music, public health, and community well-being.

This past weekend, a select group of 12 musicians from across the country traveled to Boston to participate in the inaugural pilot program and begin their training on how to design and implement inclusive music-based experiences that target specific needs within their respective communities, including the detrimental effects of isolation, stigmatization, lack of agency, and other issues related to well-being.

“We developed this one-of-a-kind program to improve access to meaningful and culturally relevant music-based programming,” said Dr. Joy Allen, director of the Music and Health Institute and chair of the Music Therapy Department at Berklee. “The larger-picture goal is to improve public health outcomes and support a diverse network of musicians that are dedicated to fostering community health and well-being.”

The nine-month program fielded applications from musicians of all skill levels and backgrounds and will include accommodations for a hybrid learning environment. The central focus of this initiative is to develop each participant's ability to connect with people through music in a way that prioritizes the well-being of individuals on a localized level.

“It’s invigorating to be participating at the launch of the program, especially as a musician who likes to learn by doing,” said one of the participants at the pilot launch. “I appreciate how it has potential to break down unintentional silos that have been dividing clinical practice and community impact.”

The Community Health Musician Certificate program was developed by the leadership of the Music and Health Institute in collaboration with experts in music therapy, community music, and arts in public health, to meet the overwhelming demand heard from artists interested in learning how to use their talents in service to their community. Coursework provides an overview of music, health, and well-being; research and practice within the arts-in-health landscape; ethical and cultural considerations; musicianship tools and resources; and community program development to ensure a solid foundation regardless of participant background. For more information visit the Music and Health Institute website

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