Music Therapy in the Community

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is the applied use of music to measurably improve people's lives by assisting them in making positive life changes. Music therapy is the functional and scientific application of music by a trained music therapist to enhance an individual's social, emotional, educational, and behavioral development. The music therapist is a credentialed, professional therapist and trained musician who generally functions as part of a treatment team in a medical, educational, or community-based program. He or she may also work as a private practitioner in a variety of clinical settings by developing contractual arrangements with therapy providers in diverse human service agencies and schools.

Where do music therapists work?

Music therapists work in a variety of clinical settings, including but not limited to psychiatric settings, general hospitals, skilled nursing and intermediate care homes, child and adolescent treatment centers, schools, and forensic and corrections centers. They are hired as music therapists, rehabilitation specialists, expressive arts therapists, recreation therapists, and even activity directors.

The Music Therapy Institute at Berklee

The Music Therapy Institute at Berklee (MTI) works with health care, education, and arts organizations to provide music therapy to a wide variety of clients. In the process of helping its community partners, Berklee also creates valuable training opportunities for its music therapy students, who work with qualified music therapists in diverse clinical settings. In addition to receiving rigorous classroom instruction, every Berklee music therapy student participates in a series of clinical practica under the supervision of a board-certified music therapist. While they learn, they provide an invaluable service to their clients.

The MTI is also committed to researching how music can be used to meet client needs in clinical settings. MTI-sponsored research furthers the understanding of what music is and what it does, helping to establish music therapy as an evidence-based practice.

Our Community Partners

The MTI at Berklee has worked with community health care, education, and arts organizations that serve the critical needs of Boston communities, and has introduced new music therapy programs and enriched existing ones. The MTI has also educated health care professionals about music therapy and demonstrated how it can improve quality of life across many populations.

Music Therapy Institute partners include:

Medical Facilities

Massachusetts General Hospital

Children’s Hospital of Boston

Floating Hospital for Children

Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Mental Health Facilities

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


Manville School

McLean Hospital

Nursing Homes

Goddard House

Rogerson House

Rogerson Egleston Adult Day Health

Sherrill House

Uphams' Corner Health Center

Schools and Educational Programs

Beebe School

Cambridge Public Schools

Carter School

Commonwealth Children's Center

Eliot Community Human Services

Head Start

Kennedy Day School

Little Sprouts

Newton Public Schools

Perkins School for the Blind

Roman Music Therapy Services

Umana Academy

Partner With Us

We partner with many institutions. Let us know if you are interested in partnership opportunities. We are also involved in fundraising efforts. If you are an interested donor, find out more about sponsorship and donation opportunities

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