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Equivalency Program in Music Therapy

Equivalency Program in Music Therapy

Program Description

The Music Therapy Equivalency program is designed for individuals who already have bachelor’s degrees in music (e.g., performance, music education, composition, etc.) or related fields (e.g., psychology, special education, etc.). It does not require students to earn a second bachelor’s degree. The Equivalency program focuses on the completion of all required courses in music foundations, music therapy, and health/behavioral sciences, as well as the six-month clinical internship, all required as prerequisites to sit for the board certification examination, administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). Passing the board certification examination certifies individuals to begin their professional practice with the MT-BC credential (Music Therapist-Board Certified). This is recognized as the professional standard throughout the United States as well as in many other countries.

The Equivalency program offers a popular and flexible learning option tailored to mature individuals hoping to make a career change by entering the field of music therapy. The number of courses required for the completion of the Equivalency program varies according to the academic background and musical skills of those who apply. However, students must complete all of the required music therapy courses at the University of the Pacific, or demonstrate equivalent coursework from another AMTA-approved academic program. The music therapy faculty works closely with potential Equivalency students to design an individualized plan for successful study, and to document completion of all courses, supervised clinical training (minimum 1200 hours), and demonstration of the AMTA competencies required for eligibility for the Board Certification examination.

Program Requirements

Music therapy core courses must be completed at the University of the Pacific or other programs approved by the AMTA. Total units for course requirements are approximated and may vary slightly according to the college or university where courses are completed. Equivalency students must maintain a minimum grade point average of B in all coursework taken during the program, must earn a B or higher in all music therapy courses, and must demonstrate interpersonal and professional skills appropriate to the clinical profession as evaluated by the Music Therapy Program faculty, in order to remain in the program.

Music foundations courses completed at a NASM-approved college level program may be applied to fulfill Music Therapy Equivalency requirements, subject to evaluation by Conservatory faculty.

1.   Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in music at a NASM-Accredited institution will be considered to have completed music foundation coursework.

2.   Students who have completed theory coursework at an institution not accredited by NASM will be assessed for knowledge and skill level. Failing to meet competencies in theory and musicianship, students will be required to take additional theory coursework.

3.   Students who need to complete theory coursework at Pacific will be evaluated for placement in music theory.

Students must provide official college transcripts documenting any courses they wish to be applied to the Equivalency requirements. Course descriptions and syllabi may be required to support the evaluation of the course equivalence.  Courses with a grade lower than C+ will not be accepted for credit toward Equivalency requirements.

Behavioral/Health Science courses may be transferred from other accredited college level institutions. Courses with a grade lower than B- will not be accepted in this category.     

Required Courses

The following courses constitute the Equivalency program in music therapy at the University of the Pacific, as approved by the AMTA (American Music Therapy Association). 

I. Music Theory Foundation Courses

Minimum 16 units

MCOM 009Introduction to Music Technology1
MCOM 010Music Theory and Aural Perception I4
MCOM 011Music Theory and Aural Perception II4
MCOM 012Music Theory III: Chromaticism2
MCOM 013Aural Perception III1
Select two of the following:4
Introduction to Orchestration
Music Theory IV: Twentieth Century
Aural Perception IV
Music and Computer Technology
Jazz Theory and Aural Training

II. Music History Courses (3 semesters)

Minimum 9 units

Select three of the following:9
Music of the World's People
Survey of Music History I
Survey of Music History II
Introduction to Jazz

Note: 1) One semester may consist of world music or jazz/contemporary music.(Recommended)

III. Music Performance & Skills Foundations

MAPP 010 Applied Music2
MEDU 105Percussion Instruments1
MPER (Four semesters of Ensembles)4
MPER 151Principles of Conducting2

IV. AMTA level Proficiencies

Piano Proficiency
Voice (All students must take MAPP 001E)
Guitar Proficiency

Note: 1) Individual assessments by the faculty determine whether the AMTA required music skills competencies have been met. 2) Course instruction at Pacific is available in any music foundation area if needed.

V. Health/Behavioral/Natural Science Courses

Minimum of 20 units

PSYC 111Abnormal Psychology4
SPED 123The Exceptional Child3
BIOL 011Human Anatomy and Physiology4
Additional courses to reach minimum of 20 units11

Note: 1) Recommended; other college level Anatomy courses are also accepted by AMTA)

VI. Music Therapy Courses

MAPP 001EVoice Class1
MTHR 011Music as Therapy: A Survey of Clinical Applications3
MTHR 018Basic Skills for Music Therapists and Allied Professionals3
MTHR 020Observation and Assessment in Music Therapy2
MTHR 135Music with Children in Inclusive Settings: Therapeutic and Educational Applications3
Select one of the following:3
Psychology of Music
Psychology of Music (For students concurrently enrolled in the MA in Music Therapy program)
MTHR 141Music Therapy in Mental Health and Social Services3
MTHR 142Music Therapy in Medicine and Health Care3
MTHR 150Fieldwork in Music Therapy1-2
MTHR 187Internship in Music Therapy1

Music Therapy Courses

MTHR 135. Music with Children in Inclusive Settings: Therapeutic and Educational Applications. 3 Units.

This course presents specific music therapy techniques and skills for development of programs for children's successful integration within home/school/community environments. Students will identify and create therapeutic music strategies to effect changes in children's academic, social, motor, and leisure skills development. This course also acquaints students with relevant music therapy/education research and current legislation regarding children within inclusive settings. Open to non-majors. Prerequisites: SPED 123 and either MTHR 018 or MCOM 002; or with instructor permission.

MTHR 140. Psychology of Music. 3 Units.

This course introduces the psychological foundations of music that include the study of acoustics, perception of sound, and physical and psychosocial responses to music. Students survey current research in music/music therapy and develop skills in applied research methodology. The course is open to non-majors. Prerequisite: MCOM 002 or permission of the instructor.

MTHR 141. Music Therapy in Mental Health and Social Services. 3 Units.

MTHR 141 examines theory, research, and clinical skills related to music therapy for adults, children, and adolescents in various mental health and social service treatment settings. It also includes an introduction to current DSM criteria for mental disorders commonly encountered by music therapists, and an overview of major theories of psychotherapy as they relate to music therapy. The course introduces music therapy techniques for group treatment which includes music improvisation, songwriting, and basic relaxation methods. This course is for music therapy majors only and it must be taken concurrently with Fieldwork in Music Therapy. Prerequisites: MTHR 011, MTHR 018, MTHR 135, and MTHR 140, PSYC 111 and completion of Voice, Guitar, and Piano competencies.

MTHR 142. Music Therapy in Medicine and Health Care. 3 Units.

This course provides an overview of music therapy with children, adults, and older adults in medical settings. Students survey theories, methods, and empirically supported treatments in settings such as acute care, physical rehabilitation, gerontology, palliative care, preventative medicine, and health maintenance. It also includes the study of physical and psychosocial processes natural to aging and end of life, and assists students in developing skills in improvised music for relaxation and palliative care. The course is for music therapy majors only. Prerequisites: MTHR 141, BIOL 011 and completion of Voice, Guitar, and Piano competencies.

MTHR 143. Supervisory Techniques. 1 or 2 Unit.

This course offers techniques in the supervision of music therapy fieldwork. The course is only open to music therapy majors by permission of the instructor. Prerequisites: MTHR 020, MTHR 140 and MTHR 150.

MTHR 150. Fieldwork in Music Therapy. 1-2 Units.

Fieldwork provides students with structured clinical experiences in music therapy under the supervision of a music therapist in varying community settings. This course repeated for credit and taken concurrently each semester students are enrolled in MTHR 135, MTHR 140, MTHR 141 and MTHR 142. Prerequisites: MTHR 011 and MTHR 018. This course is open only to music therapy majors, and a minimum of 4 units of Fieldwork (MTHR 150) is required for completion of the music therapy degree program.

MTHR 187. Internship in Music Therapy. 1 Unit.

This course consists of clinical training experience at an internship site approved by the AMTA. Successful completion of required hours and competencies allows students to sit for the Music Therapy Board Certification Examination. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all coursework and functional music skills, competency evaluation and individualized internship training plan. Students are required to enroll in MTHR 150 within the period of one year prior to the start of internship.

MTHR 191. Independent Study. 1-2 Units.

MTHR 197D. Undergraduate Research. 1-4 Units.

MTHR 230. Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music Level I Training. 3 Units.

Intensive 5-day residential seminar introduces theory and clinical applications of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM) and other music and imagery techniques. Participants gain intensive personal experience with BMGIM. Hands-on experiential exercises, demonstrations, and clinical examples introduce simple imagery techniques to add to participants' existing repertoire of therapeutic interventions. This residential phase of the course meets the Association of Music and Imagery (AMI) requirements for introductory training in the Bonny Method. The on-line learning component extends and deepens the student's understanding through exposure to literature in the Bonny Method, sharing of discoveries from readings and music listening, as well as personal reflection and integration of experiential learning. Due to the experiential nature of this course, participants must be willing to participate in all learning activities and in the group sharing process, and attend all seminar sessions as listed in the residential seminar course schedule. All students and instructors are expected to maintain confidentiality of personal material shared by group members. Prerequisites: Evidence of clinical experience and permission of instructor.

MTHR 231. Individual Music Therapy: Advanced Theory and Techniques. 3 Units.

This course explores current theories and techniques of music-centered psychotherapy for supportive, re-educative/rehabilitative, and re-constructive levels of clinical practice with a variety of populations. The course includes development of therapeutic relationship through music improvisation, and focused music-evoked imagery to address supportive and re-educative goals for individual clients. Experiential learning includes classroom simulations and supervised clinical practice. Prerequisites: MTHR 187 (or an AMTA-approved clinical internship) and MTHR 230 (or Level I training in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music) or permission of instructor.

MTHR 232. Group Music Therapy: Advanced Theory and Techniques. 3 Units.

This course examines theories and models for group music therapy with applications for a variety of clinical populations. The course includes approaches for quick group assessment and brief treatment environments. The focus in on therapist and member roles and tasks within group development processes. Students refine group facilitation skills that use music-centered techniques of improvisation and music-evoked imagery through in-class simulations and supervised clinical practice. Prerequisite: MTHR 231 with a "B" or better or permission of instructor.

MTHR 240. Psychology of Music. 3 Units.

Students examine the psychological foundations of music. Topics include the study of acoustics, perception of sound, and physical and psychosocial responses to music. Students survey current research in music/music therapy and develop skills in applied research methodology. Students enrolled for graduate credit also complete a formal research project proposal and mock IRB proposal as preparation for eventual research activities within the graduate program or professional venues. This course is recommended for graduate students in music therapy or music education, but it is open to students in other majors. Prerequisite: competency in basic music reading skills.

MTHR 245. Clinical Clerkship in Music Therapy. 1-4 Units.

As an alternate requirement for Thesis, Clinical Clerkship is designed for students who may want to focus on clinical skills and knowledge. Students complete a major project related to an applied therapeutic or educational setting.

MTHR 251. Music Therapy Supervision I: Introduction to Theory and Applications. 1 Unit.

This course provides a foundation for effective music therapy clinical supervision. It introduces multicultural, ethical, and legal considerations and explores factors unique to music therapy supervision. Readings, workbook assignments, field observations and in-class discussion of theories and techniques prepare students for MTHR 252, and practical experience supervising undergraduate students in clinical training settings. Prerequisite: MTHR 187 or an AMTA approved clinical internship.

MTHR 252. Music Therapy Supervision II: Applied Experience. 1 Unit.

This course provides mentored practice in clinical supervision and it supports individualized skill development of competencies for professional participation in clinical management and student, volunteer, or peer supervision situations. Learning experiences include direct on-site supervision of undergraduate music therapy students in fieldwork placements, maintaining the on-site learning environment, monitoring student progress, conducting formal evaluations, conducting group student supervision and regular participation in supervisors group consultation meetings with faculty. Prerequisite: MTHR 251 with a "B" or better.

MTHR 260. Advanced Clinical Practice in Music Therapy. 1 Unit.

This course provides individualized experiences for development of advanced clinical skills in music therapy. Students may focus on a new area of specialization, or may work within a familiar clinical environment that develops skills at a more advanced level. Experiences may include supervised practice in advanced music therapy techniques, interdisciplinary collaboration, new program development, or expansion of an existing clinical program. Prerequisites: two semesters of MTHR 187 or clinical internship.

MTHR 265. Human Research in Music Therapy: Supervised Experience. 1 Unit.

This course offers individualized experiences for development of advanced research skills in music therapy. It provides faculty oversight and supervision of human research in clinical or laboratory settings. Students may focus on their own independent research project or may work within a collaborative or faculty-directed research environment. It is required for students who conduct summer research activities with human subjects and includes projects that contribute to completion of the master's thesis or clinical clerkship. This course may be repeated. Prerequisites: Completion of University Human Subjects (IRB) training for student investigators, and permission of instructor.

MTHR 275. College Teaching in Music Therapy: Curriculum, Competencies and Classroom. 3 Units.

Students review the AMTA requirements for music therapy undergraduate program curriculum and for competency-based education and clinical training. The course provides mentored practice in teaching foundational level music therapy college courses, and it supports individualized skill development for professional participation in academic music therapy programs as an instructor. Permission of instructor.

MTHR 291. Graduate Independent Study. 1-4 Units.

MTHR 299. Thesis. 1-4 Units.

Students create an original monograph that embodies original research.

General Music Courses

MUSC 202. Introduction in Music Research. 3 Units.

This course is designed for the graduate level student to develop music research skills.

MUSC 203. Contemporary Issues in Music Education and Music Therapy. 3 Units.

Graduate students research, analyze, and reflect on current values, philosophical issues, and contemporary trends in the professions of music education and music therapy.