A degree in music therapy requires proficiency in guitar, piano, voice, music theory, music history, reading music, improvisation, as well as varying levels of skill in assessment, documentation, and counseling. The undergraduate curriculum includes coursework in music therapy, psychology, special education, music, biological, social and behavioral sciences, disabling conditions and general studies. Students are required to complete fieldwork in facilities serving individuals with disabilites in the community and/or campus clinics.
To become a music therapist, one has to do an approved internship of approximately 1040 supervised clinical hours. In the internship, the student works in a clinical agency under the direct supervision of music therapists, and learns to assume the full range of responsibilities of a professional.
Upon successful completion of the music therapy bachelor’s degree an individual is eligible to sit for the national certification exam to obtain the credential Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC) which is necessary for professional practice. The national exam is administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Over 5,000 music therapists currently maintain the MT-BC credential, and participate in a program of recertification designed to measure or enhance competence in the profession of music therapy.