You may be asking yourself, what is Music Therapy? The American Music Therapy Association 2016 describes Music Therapy as, "the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”
Music therapists work with populations covering the entire lifespan including neo-natal intensive care units through hospice and end-of-life care. Some examples of settings where a music therapist might be employed include schools, hospitals, nursing homes, forensic settings, private clinics, physical rehabilitation facilities, addiction recovery centers, and hospices.
A professional music therapist holds a bachelor's degree or higher in music therapy from an approved college or university program. The curriculum for the bachelor's degree is designed to impart entry level competencies in three main areas: musical foundations, clinical foundations, and music therapy foundations and principles. In addition to the academic coursework, the bachelor's degree requires a 6-month supervised internship off campus. Graduate degrees in Music Therapy focus on advanced clinical practice and research.
Upon completion of the bachelor's degree (coursework and internship), music therapists are eligible to sit for the national board certification exam to obtain the credential MT-BC (Music Therapist - Board Certified) which is necessary for professional practice.
Illinois State University has both an undergraduate and graduate degree program in music therapy. Three credentialed full-time faculty members and a Board-Certified graduate assistant provide a wealth of clinical expertise and teaching experience. Five semesters of clinical experience provide students with hands-on experience with a wide variety of populations/settings including:
Graduate students with an undergraduate degree in music, may simultaneously take undergraduate deficiency courses in music therapy while pursuing a Master's degree. This is the Masters Equivalency program.