The Nordoff-Robbins Center offers an advanced training program for credentialed music therapists leading to certification as a Level 1 Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapist. The training is clinically based and unique in its concentration on the creative application of music and the development of musical resources for clinical practice. Video recording and comprehensive documentation of every session is standard practice, and provides trainees with a modality for supervision and self-evaluation.
For the Onsite Certification track, candidates conduct sessions in group and individual music therapy, have weekly individual supervision and attend special classes in clinical improvisation, Nordoff-Robbins clinical theory, and group music therapy. In addition there is a weekly Certification seminar. The training course runs from approximately September 1 to June 30 each year.
Eligibility: This training is only open to those music therapists with a Masters degree in music therapy or who possess an undergraduate degree in music therapy and are undertaking this training concomitant to enrollment in a music therapy Masters program. It is essential that certification candidates have prior clinical experience. In some cases a successful music therapy internship may qualify. Certification candidates are expected to have already utilized improvisation in their clinical work.
The interview-audition at this level serves to assess a candidate's capacity to fulfill the requirements of advanced training. In some instances it may be necessary to assign a candidate supplemental course work within the NYU music therapy masters program. Please note: The length of the training is typically one year but the need for continuing supervision may require clinical practice at the Center to be extended further in order to attain certification standards.
Onsite Training Course Components:
I. Clinical Practice
Candidates will participate in the following clinical and related activities: individual and group music therapy with experiences as primary therapist and co-therapist; video/audio documentation (indexing) and analysis of therapy sessions; conferences with parents of child clients; communication with professionals involved in clients' treatment; report writing; development of video technique in filming and producing clinical oriented video recordings of therapy sessions; compilation of video excerpts and/or research studies of music therapy processes; presentation of one case study of individual therapy including video examples and spoken commentary.
Candidates have a clinical supervisor with whom they meet for a minimum of one hour of individual supervision each week. At times, the trainee and supervisor will conduct clinical work as a team. Supervision is used to facilitate the candidate's integration of the various experiences in Nordoff-Robbins coursework and clinical work. Support is offered in a variety of areas: musical skill-building and enhanced listening ability through review of audio/video recordings; addressing clinical issues emerging from sessions; and, processing personal reactions and their emergence in music.
Our training program is unique in its comprehensive focus on the clinical application of music, and the development of musical resources. In addition to clinical work, there are instructional classes, which meet weekly. There are 4 classes offered in the course:
- Clinical Improvisation
- Introduction to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy
- Practice and Theory of Group Music Therapy
- Certification Seminar
Graduate Interns take the first three classes. Certification candidates take all four courses. These courses run throughout the training. Supervised clinical practice takes place concurrently. Readings will be assigned throughout the training.
Introduction to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy offers lectures that articulate the philosophical foundations of this work and illuminate empirically the process of music therapy through detailed analysis of individual therapy case presentations. Whenever possible, ideas from the lectures are worked on practically on piano or guitar.
Clinical Improvisation focuses on developing musical resources and practical skills, studying various musical styles, idioms and forms. Goals include increasing responsiveness and learning to improvise with a sense of compositional form and clinical intention. Individual reactions to music, as well as students' personal musical styles, will be explored.
Certification Seminar provides participants with an opportunity to share excerpts of their ongoing work and receive practical feedback on their clinical-musical interventions. It will also be a place to follow up in more depth on some of the philosophical foundations addressed in the class on Clinical Musicianship.
Practice and Theory of Group Music Therapy covers a variety of topics through practice and direct application: Clinical considerations including goals, stages of development of the individual & group, the place of improvisation and composition in group process; leadership styles; Techniques involved in improvising songs and developing instrumental improvisations; Techniques involved in both leading and playing composed or arranged songs and instrumental pieces; Composing vocal and instrumental pieces based on the needs of specific clients; Selection,care and use of a large number of specially-designed and general instruments. Trainees will have the opportunity to present original material in class. In addition, students are encouraged to bring in videotape excerpts of on-going group music therapy for discussion and feedback.