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Music Therapy Major

Make a difference through music!

This degree is designed for students who wish to be employed as music therapists in a variety of clinical settings. Upon successful completion of the requirements for this degree, students are eligible to take the exam given by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. When students pass this exam, they will be granted the title Music Therapist — Board Certified (MT-BC).

Music therapy is 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 therapy students receive practical training experience at the Drury University Center for Music Therapy & Wellness.  

How is Music Therapy Used?

Music Therapy uses music and music related strategies, presented by a qualified music therapist, to assist or motivate a person towards specific non-musical goals. Music therapists use their training as musicians and clinicians to bring about changes in cognitive, physical, communication, social, employment, and emotional skills.

Who Benefits from Music Therapy?

Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, etc.

A music therapy student plays the guitar

Program Requirements

Bachelor of Music Therapy students should pass all coursework required for the major with a C or better. Students who fail to pass courses required for the major with a C or better after two attempts will no longer be allowed to continue in the major.

All students interested in majoring in music must perform and pass an audition before the music faculty. Students who fail to pass this audition after two attempts will not be allowed to continue as a music major. The audition must be completed before the end of their first semester as a music major.

After four semesters of study in music, all music majors must pass a sophomore review which includes performing their applied major jury before the music faculty. If the student fails this review, they will no longer be allowed to continue as a music major. Details of the sophomore review can be found in the Music Major Handbook available in the music office or online.

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.

The bachelor of music therapy major requires a minimum of 90 credit hours.

MTHP 101: Field Studies I
1 credit hours

In this course, students will work with a board-certified music therapist to advance their clinical practice skills through experiential learning in upper level clinic and community based practicum settings. Students will write a client assessment, develop an evidence- based treatment plan, document progress, and write a treatment summary. Students will also complete self-evaluations, engage in weekly individual supervision, and explore program development.

MTHP 102: Music Therapy Orientation and Accountability
2 credit hours

Exploration of the history of music therapy and introduction to current practices, approaches, and populations served. Includes an introduction to the treatment process, writing goals and objectives, and documentation procedures. Requires twelve clock- hours of pre-internship and clinical observation.

MTHP 130: Beginning Class Guitar
1 credit hours

Beginning class guitar instruction for music therapy majors with focus on basic chords, finger-picking, repertoire development and song-leading.

MTHP 131: Intermediate Class Guitar
1 credit hours

Prerequisite:  MTHP 130. 
Intermediate class guitar instruction for music therapy majors with focus on bar chords, advanced finger-picking patterns, and advanced repertoire. Emphasis on playing and singing popular music with stylistic accuracy.

MTHP 200: Psychology of Music
3 credit hours

Introduction to the field of music psychology, overview of musical acoustics, music and emotion, and affective responses to music.

MTHP 201: Field Studies II
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: MTHP 101.
In this course, students will work with a board-certified music therapist to advance their clinical practice skills through experiential learning in upper level clinic and community based practicum settings. Students will write a client assessment, develop an evidence-based treatment plan, document progress, and write a treatment summary. Students will also complete self-evaluations, engage in weekly individual supervision, and explore program development.

MTHP 202: Medical Music Therapy
3 credit hours

Orientation to the medical music therapy model including geriatric, rehabilitation, hospital and hospice settings.

MTHP 301: Field Studies III
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: MTHP 201.
In this course, students will work with a board-certified music therapist to advance their clinical practice skills through experiential learning in upper level clinic and community based practicum settings. Students will write a client assessment, develop an evidence-based treatment plan, document progress, and write a treatment summary. Students will also complete self-evaluations, engage in weekly individual supervision, and explore program development.

MTHP 310: Recreational Music
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Pass piano and guitar proficiency examinations.
Materials and methods in music therapy, nontraditional piano, guitar, hand bell and percussion techniques, musical movement, music activity leadership, arranging and improvisation techniques in music therapy.

MTHP 340: Music Therapy in Developmental and Behavioral Health
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: PSYC 334
Music therapy objectives and interventions for children and adults in the developmental disability and behavioral health settings. Includes orientation to counseling approaches and techniques.

MTHP 380: Internship Experience
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Completion of all undergraduate coursework, with a minimum grade of C in all Music Therapy coursework and permission of instructor.
A capstone applied experience in the Music Therapy program. Students must complete at least 510 clock hours of internship in an approved clinical setting. MTHP 380 terminates with the 510 hour (midterm) internship evaluation. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

MTHP 480: Internship Experience
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Completion of all undergraduate coursework, with a minimum grade of C in all Music Therapy coursework and permission of instructor.
A capstone applied experience in the Music Therapy program. Students must complete at least 510 clock hours of internship in an approved clinical setting. MTHP 480 terminates with the 1020 hour (final) internship evaluation. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

MTHP 401: Field Studies IV
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: MTHP 301.
In this course, students will work with a board-certified music therapist to advance their clinical practice skills through experiential learning in upper level clinic and community based practicum settings. Students will write a client assessment, develop an evidence-based treatment plan, document progress, and write a treatment summary. Students will also complete self-evaluations, engage in weekly individual supervision, and explore program development.

MTHP 430: Behavior Measurement and Research
3 credit hours

Scientific writing, elementary statistical tests, research ethics, and evaluation of results of music therapy treatments. Includes techniques for behavior measurement, reliability, and charting in music therapy. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

MTHP 475: Music Therapy Capstone
1 credit hours

Career planning in music therapy including preparation of internship application materials, interview techniques, and topics in professionalism and ethics. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

MUSC 105: Recital Attendance
0 credit hours

Music majors are required to attend weekly recital class and ten concerts each semester. Attendance will be taken at each event. S/U grading.

MUSC 117: Music Theory I
3 credit hours

Introduction to the basic music vocabulary. Elements of tonal music approached through hearing, writing and analytical; work in diatonic harmony and basic species counterpoint. All students must enroll in Ear Training and Sight Singing I.

MUSC 118: Music Theory II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  MUSC 117. 
Continuation of diatonic harmony with an emphasis on 4-part writing. Analysis of Bach chorales and an introduction to musical forms.All students must enroll in Ear Training and Sight Singing II.

MUSC 120: Voice Class
2 credit hours

Basic physical and psychological principles of voice production, with particular attention to problems of tone, diction, development of vocal range and sight reading. Offered fall semester.

MUSC 121: Ear Training and Sight Singing I
1 credit hours

An aural skills course to be taken concurrently with music theory. Each corresponding aural skills course reinforces the skills being taught in written theory through interval, melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictation as well as through the preparation and sight singing of music.

MUSC 122: Ear Training and Sight Singing II
1 credit hours

An aural skills course to be taken concurrently with music theory. Each corresponding aural skills course reinforces the skills being taught in written theory through interval, melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictation as well as through the preparation and sight singing of music.

MUSC 211: Sophomore Review
0 credit hours

All music majors are required to pass the sophomore review. Requirements are found in the Music Major HandbookS/U grading.

MUSC 217: Music Theory III
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: MUSC 117, MUSC 118.. 
Introduction to chromatic harmony and discussion, writing assignments and analysis of musical excerpts from the Baroque and Classical periods. All students must enroll in Ear Training and Sight Singing III.

MUSC 218: Music Theory IV
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: MUSC 217.
Continuation of chromatic harmony and introduction to twentieth century compositional techniques. Discussion, writing assignments and analysis of musical excerpts from the romantic era and the twentieth century. All students must enroll in Ear Training and Sight Singing IV.

MUSC 219: Ear Training and Sight Singing III
1 credit hours

An aural skills course to be taken concurrently with music theory. Each corresponding aural skills course reinforces the skills being taught in written theory through interval, melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictation as well as through the preparation and sight singing of music.

MUSC 220: Ear Training and Sight Singing IV
1 credit hours

An aural skills course to be taken concurrently with music theory. Each corresponding aural skills course reinforces the skills being taught in written theory through interval, melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictation as well as through the preparation and sight singing of music.

MUSC 321, 322: History of Music I and II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  MUSC 118. 
A survey of the history and literature of music from Greco-Roman times to the present. Emphasis upon the study of musical forms and styles against the background of historic, artistic and cultural developments. This course requires 3 hours each semester. 

MUSC 356: Conducting
3 credit hours

This course introduces the fundamentals of conducting technique and pedagogy; greatest emphasis will be placed upon the acquisition of kinesthetic awareness and foundational control of conducting gestures.

Choose one course from the following (3 hrs.)

MUSC 116: History of American Pop Music
3 credit hours

This course examines the historical significance of popular music in the United States from the mid-19th century to the present. We will focus on the musical, cultural, social, political, and economic dimensions ("the context") of genres ranging from the Minstrel Show and Tin Pan Alley to blues, jazz, swing, country, folk, soul, rock, disco and hip-hop.

MUSC 221: African-American Music
3 credit hours

The course is a study of the musical and cultural influence of African-Americans, from their West African roots to the present day, on American musical styles. Attention will be given to the mixing of these components with traditional European influences to shape such American musical genres as ragtime, blues, Dixieland, jazz, bebop, rhythm and blues, soul, jazz-rock, fusion and rock and roll.

MUSC 224: Jazz History
3 credit hours

This course is a survey of the history of jazz from its origins as African- American slave music to the present day. Topics will include musical trends, influential musicians and discussion of political, racial and social factors that have contributed to the development of the genre.

Applied Piano (1 hr.)
Ensembles (8 hrs.)
Major Instrument (to Level 4)
Music Therapy Guitar Proficiency
Music Therapy Piano Proficiency

Psychology courses required:

PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology
3 credit hours

This is a survey course providing a study of the behavior of living organisms, particularly human behavior. Typical problems are methods and measurement in psychology, theoretical systems, learning, motivation, perception, personality and psychopathology.

PSYC 230: Lifespan Development
3 credit hours

Study of the major theories of and influences on human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social and cultural dimensions of development. Special emphasis on change processes.

PSYC 334: Abnormal Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101
Following a brief introduction to personality theories, the course focuses on the etiology, classification and treatment of behavior disorders.

Biology course required: 

BIOL 206: Human Physiology
4 credit hours

This course examines the organization and function of the human body as a whole and the interrelations of its various systems, organs, tissues, and cells. Lecture and laboratory.

*Applied Voice will fulfill the Voice Class requirement.


Equivalency In Music Therapy

Equivalency students will be students who already have a bachelor’s degree in music and who will be seeking board certification without getting another bachelor’s degree. Such students will be required to take coursework equivalent to that required for the music therapy degree. The specific coursework taken will be determined in much the same manner as for transfer students. The music therapy program director will evaluate the transcripts of equivalency students and outline any transfer credits accepted. The music therapy program director will verify that all coursework transferred is equivalent to that offered by Drury University.

The music therapy program director then will outline in advance the coursework the equivalency student is required to take. Courses on the student’s transcript plus courses the student is required to take must meet the curricular standards of Drury and AMTA in addition to the requirements of the Certification Board for Music Therapists. As with transfer students, the equivalency student must demonstrate all music proficiency examination requirements required of music therapy students at Drury. The equivalency program will require a minimum of two semesters in residence at Drury plus internship.


Each student majoring in music is expected to:  

  1. Complete the prescribed course of study for the particular degree.
  2. Complete at least eight semesters of an ensemble in a principal instrument.
  3. Complete at least eight semesters (or every semester registered as a music major, excluding semesters enrolled in internship or student teaching) of Drury Singers, Drury Chorale, Wind Symphony or Orchestra.
  4. Register for MUSC 105 each semester and attend a minimum of 10 concerts or recitals during the semester including all faculty recitals, senior recitals, and all “Guest Artist Series” concerts.
  5. Pass the piano proficiency examination.
  6. Achieve the required applied music level for the major. Information concerning applied music levels can be obtained in the music major handbook.
  7. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5. If a student’s GPA falls below 2.5, the student will have one semester to re-achieve the 2.5. Failure to do so can result in removal from the major.

Additional information and requirements are available in the music major handbook available in the music office or online.


Drury University Music Therapy Classroom


Benefits of Music Therapy & Geriatric Care


Mommy and Me: Developmental Music Class