This course is designed as a senior seminar and will provide an overview of major clinical and professional issues within the music therapy and medicine field. Topics will include cultural comptetency, ethical, administrative, historical, research, and financial aspects of music therapy. Specific issues related to music therapy private practice will be explored, including legislation and government relations, reimbursement, standards of practice, and ethical dilemmas. Students will design, develop, and implement their own music therapy programs to carry out in clinical settings. In additions, the course will help integrate training from other music therapy courses and prepare students for their clinical internships.
This course involves 1,040 hours of full-time music therapy experience at a clinical internship site approved by the American Music Therapy Association. Enrollment is permitted after the completion of all course work and after the student applies and is accepted to a site. Successful completion of the internship is required before receiving the degree or sitting for the Music Therapy Board Certification Examination. International students in F-1 status must obtain authorization on their Form I-20 from the Counseling and Advising Center prior to beginning an internship.
Carl Sagan wrote: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” This course on research opens a road to discovery. This course is designed to help students grow their scientific thinking and writing skills towards becoming a researcher. This course enables students to develop expertise that supports original, scholarly inquiry. Additionally, scientifically sound research is an integral part of good professional practice. Research and practice go hand in hand as evidence-based practice relies on what is discovered through research. With adept knowledge of varied methods and approaches, students support and justify their research by gathering, storing, organizing, evaluating, generating, and disseminating research literature. They develop new strategies for unearthing literature, from traditional library searches to online explorations, consistently using technologies that facilitate the acquisition and expression of new knowledge. They learn to connect research and practice within the field of music therapy. Students scrutinize a myriad of studies, survey the research history and evaluate current investigations. With careful review and analysis, they develop competency, sharpen their critical thinking skills, and deepen their grasp of clinical applications of music therapy research. They advance the field by designing ethically and scientifically sound inquiries. By the end of this course, students will have written a research proposal for a new study. This proposal could serve as an initial outline for the culminating experience project, which will be further developed in MTH-690, and completed in MTH-695. Those opting for the research track will continue their research through MTH-550 and MTH-551.
This course explores neuropsychology and neuroscience as it relates to the clinical practice of music therapy. Students learn about the ways human function (e.g. language, memory, movement) is affected by pathologies (e.g. aphasia, dementia, apraxia), as they come to understand how irregularities inform us about regular brain function. Students explore the way functions of the brain engage in various musical elements (rhythm, melody, preferred music). Students also review published case studies as they evaluate both the historical and modern research findings in neuroscience and music. In addition, students distinguish the brains of musicians from non-musicians, analyze how the arts impact neural development, and explore how music perception and production research can be applied to clinical practice.
Clinical music improvisation is an indispensable, powerful, and effective tool for music therapists. It supports therapists in assessing and evaluating clients’ progress, building clinical relationships, and creating shared music experiences with their clients. This course is designed to help students grow not only as music therapists, but also as musicians and individuals, by expanding their clinical skills, building upon their music abilities, and deepening their understanding of musicianship. Students learn how to assess, observe, and evaluate clients' responses to music through improvisation and develop their clinical music improvisation techniques by learning various music idioms, modes, formats, instrumentation, rhythms, and styles.
This is the first course in the music therapy research specialization. The course informs students about many of the ways that they can test their beliefs and hypotheses. In MTH-510, students learned that there are quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods that can frame inquiries. In this course, students read about various specific types of research designs that have been used by fellow music therapists to advance the profession. These include principles and approaches in qualitative health research, including responsibilities, ethics, and values; interviews; phenomenological research approaches; observational methods/documentary sources; reflexive methods such as participant observer, case studies, single subject studies, and small-n research; applied behavior analysis; survey research and correlation regression; experimental design and pre-experimental design (as well as feasibility/pilot studies and concepts in health research). In this course, students sample various behavioral and empirical research genres in order to address key research questions about music therapy.
This course builds on the research methodology foundation introduced in MTH-510 and MTH-550 with an emphasis on quantitative data analysis, statistical testing, and interpreting research results. Students learn procedures for categorizing, organizing, coding, and cleaning data. Additionally, they learn how to best present their data through visual displays such as tables and graphs. They also learn how to compute, interpret and present both descriptive statistics about their sample and inferential statistics to generalize to the population of interest. These statistics are explained both computationally as well as theoretically. Students learn basic probability theory and its connection to hypothesis testing. The course also examines how to evaluate research critically for potential artifacts and the process of meta analysis for quantitatively synthesizing other research studies. Students have hands-on practical experience using SPSS student software to analyze real data throughout the course.
This course enhances a student’s ability to practice music therapy in conventional medical settings. Students build upon studies in neuroscience and apply neurological music therapy protocols in clinical practice. They connect neuroscience with the elements of music that have the power to commit change that is measurable, meaningful, and relevant to the patient’s treatment plan and overall well-being. Students also explore key needs of various medical populations and select appropriate clinical interventions. As students analyze music therapy in medical literature, they cultivate an ability to communicate about the music therapy profession with medical colleagues. Students also synthesize knowledge of medical terminology and constructs as they analyze situations and apply ethical choices in clinical practice.
This course prepares students for specialized music therapy practice within integrative medical centers. Students take a personal journey along a path of illness to optimal health in order to understand the needs of individuals as they encounter five stages: first signs of imbalance or discomfort; diagnosis; treatment; recovery; and optimal health and prevention. Throughout the course, students learn music and music therapy techniques for building a healthy mind, body, and spirit. They learn how music therapy interfaces with yogic teachings, breath work, chant, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. This course explores integrative medical paths like traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda and investigates how music can accompany individuals on their healing journeys. Students also learn about the theories underlying the psychoneuroimmunology of health and review the current medical literature to identify how music therapy addresses the needs of people as they take a healing journey.
This course explores the world of digital and communications technology—such as mobile apps, social media, recording technology, and digital imaging—and shows how these resources can be of value to a music therapist. Students assemble a collection of skills—a toolbox—that can be used in their practice or research in music therapy. It is understood that students are likely to vary greatly in their knowledge of and skills with these technologies, both as part of their practice of music therapy and in their lives in general. The course design offers flexibility so that all students, regardless of technical proficiency, will find this educational journey interesting and of value to their studies.
This course supports an understanding of international trends in music therapy research, theory, and practice. Students explore contextual understandings of health and illness and focus on the notion of the social self and social health. Within this framework, students explore world issues that impact health and illness globally and examine the role of music as a medical and social contribution in other cultures. Students build skills to apply music therapy practice and treatment for the purpose of addressing major problems that impact the planet and learn what it means to provide culturally appropriate care, which includes an understanding of culturally influenced health behaviors. Students also explore how music is utilized in various cultures. The skills emphasized in the course are transferable and provide a paradigm for building music therapy programs all over the world.
This course supports and guides students through the process of developing their culminating experience proposal. This includes proposing a topic that is important to the student personally and that ultimately contributes to the body of knowledge in the field of music therapy. The culminating experience/thesis proposal serves as a blueprint for the student's research or clinical project.