You know the feeling when your favorite song is playing – you turn up the volume and bask in the glory of the moment. There is no doubt that music can be transforming and empowering, but it can also be therapeutic.
Music therapists use different kinds of musical experiences, such as singing, playing instruments, writing songs, and listening to and talking about music, to meet clients’ needs using the unique relationship between the client, the music and the therapist.
As a music therapy major at Immaculata, you’ll take music, music therapy and psychology courses in a liberal arts program. These courses develop your core musicianship, your clinical skills, and your understanding of the psychology of music and psychopathology. At the conclusion of the program, you are eligible to take the Board Certification exam (MT-BC), administered through CBMT, leading to a nationally acknowledged credential.
To gain professional experience, you will complete supervised internships in different clinical settings to observe, assist, and lead music therapy sessions. There will be opportunity to learn how music therapy applies to diverse clinical populations, including children with special needs, people with medical or psychiatric problems, and adults in hospice or palliative care.
You can also participate in a range of co-curricular activities and enrichment programs, including the Music Therapy Club, regional and national conferences, and national and international guest presentations.
Immaculata also offers a masters degree in music therapy for students wanting to continue their education.
Recent faculty-mentored research projects have explored questions such as:
- Does live versus recorded music have different physiological effects on listeners?
- Is instrumental pop or classical music more relaxing to college music majors?
- Does music played on a Steinway piano versus a digital piano have different effects on listeners’ heart rate variability?
- Does background music help or hurt students’ ability to focus and learn?
Where Can I Work
Music therapists work in a wide variety of clinical and educational settings: hospitals, psychiatric institutions, nursing homes, community mental health centers, prisons, schools, private practice, and hospice facilities. As the profession continues to grow, there is an increasing demand for music therapists with clinical experience and advanced degrees to serve as advanced practice clinicians, particularly in psychiatric settings and hospitals. Immaculata receives many requests for assistance in finding music therapists to fill positions, and these are shared with interns and graduates.
The Music Therapy program at Immaculata is accredited by the National Association for Schools of Music (NASM), the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT).