Brian Jantz

Brian Jantz, MA, MT-BC, LPMT, is an assistant professor of music therapy at Berklee College of Music who has been active as a practicum site supervisor and course instructor for nearly 20 years. He became full-time faculty in 2017. He has extensive experience working and supervising within mental health and substance abuse facilities, including McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts; Bournewood Psychiatric Hospital in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Jantz is currently involved with research and clinical work at Boston Children’s Hospital on the neurology, hematology, and child psychiatry units. A primary focus of his current research is examining the potential impact that music therapy has on the need for sedating medications during procedures and opioid use for chronic pain management. His recent regional and national conference presentations have focused on clinical applications of the blues genre and the American Music Therapy Assocation's national roster trainings for internship directors.

  • Career Highlights
    • Practicum/internship supervisor and clinician/researcher at Boston Children's Hospital for the past 18+ years
    • Practicum supervisor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's inpatient psychiatric unit 
    • Former staff music therapist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Bournewood Psychiatric Hospital, and the Community Music Center of Boston
    • Former director of music therapy for All-Newton Music School and Brookline Music School
    • Former music therapy consultant at Boston College Campus School
  • Education
    • M.A., Berklee College of Music, music therapy (2017)
    • B.M., Berklee College of Music, music therapy (1999)

In Their Own Words

"Music therapy is a process with our clients, and it’s also a process for our students. They’re going through this personal process of figuring out who they are as musicians, perhaps on a deeper level than they have in the past. It’s no longer just about how they can use music to impress or wow an audience, or express their own emotions. They’re going to be using music to impact someone’s life in a very profound way and will hopefully gain a new perspective on the power music has."

"Berklee has a truly unique music therapy program in that it is certainly music-centered, but at the same time it focuses on evidence-based practice. We have such a diverse faculty with diverse backgrounds and specialties, so it’s a very special place to study, and I think there’s a certain creative energy in a Berklee classroom that you might not be expecting from a music therapy course. This is true even for the intro classes. I have students writing songs collaboratively about the material they’re studying in the textbook and  learning through class lectures, and of course they write these amazing songs that could be stand-alone compositions. Students from diverse cultural backgrounds contribute to the collaborative learning environment in wonderful ways every week. I’m not sure you would have that exact experience elsewhere."

"I always aim to include the students in the process of learning, often breaking them into smaller groups and having them learn from one another. I use different types of media as learning tools, always looking to maintain their energy and attention while keeping them inspired. I also regularly share clinical examples based on my own experience in the field as a professional and as a former Berklee student therapist. I think the students really can relate knowing that I’ve been exactly where they currently are in their training."

"I try to help students really focus on what they have to offer, even in the very beginning. They all have strengths, and they all have things that are naturally going to be more challenging for them. I focus on helping students stay connected to skills they can already start to offer in a clinical setting while improving competencies and their awareness of new skills they are developing. There are going to be some settings where students feel more connected and can see themselves as professionals one day, and other settings that are just not quite the right fit for them. I think it’s important early on to help students understand that this is okay. We’re using music clinically in every setting, but how we go about doing it can really vary, and part of my job is helping students understand that most of us as music therapists find our niche. We tend to specialize in a certain setting with a specific population, and that process needs to unfold over time."