Music Therapy Master's Program

Music Therapy Master's Program

Prepare to be a leader in the field of music therapy

This American Music Therapy Association-approved master of arts program combines practical clinical experiences; advanced coursework in music therapy methods, theory, and research; and a unique focus on the student’s personal growth to prepare you to work with the full range of people seen by music therapists. You will apprentice with leading professionals in music psychotherapy and upon graduation be qualified to sit for the examination for Board Certification in Music Therapy (MT-BC). The program is approved by the New York State Education Department and qualifies you for Licensure in Creative Arts Therapy (LCAT) after graduation and 1500 hours of post-graduate supervised practice.

For experienced music therapists looking to develop research skills, we also offer two options for doctoral study: a PhD  in Music Education with a specialization in Music Therapy and a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences for students wishing to work in an multi-disciplinary context.

What You'll Learn
  • How to design and implement a treatment plan for clients across the life span with a diversity of physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges
  • How to employ a wide range of methods employing improvised and composed music to meet the needs of clients in individual and group therapy
  • How to work within a music psychotherapy framework to meet the holistic needs of clients in medical, educational, and rehabilitative settings

The program ranges from 48 to 60 points, or credits, based on your experience and background. You can choose to study full- or part-time.

See the curriculum and requirements for this degree. 

How You'll Learn

Music Therapy Coursework with Internationally-Recognized Experts
You will take courses with active clinicians who are experts in their area of clinical practice, theory, and research. When you finish the program you will have developed your own advanced specialization in an area of music psychotherapy that represents the area in which you would like to pursue your music therapy career.

Advanced Clinical Training and Hands-On Learning Opportunities
You will apprentice with leading professionals in the heart of New York City beginning in your first semester and lasting for the duration of the program. You’ll put theory to practice through supervised internship and observation opportunities in hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation centers, and schools throughout the New York metropolitan area.

Small Classes and and Individualized Study
Our program is highly selective in order to keep our classes small and the training individualized. The student to faculty ratio is about 4 to 1. Class size varies from 5 to 18 students according to the design and goals of each course.

Degree Details
Notes for Prospective Students

This graduate program is designed for students who are just beginning their study of music therapy as well as those who are already certified in music therapy and want to develop specialized skills beyond the competencies that are gained in an entry-level training program.

We seek prospective students who share our excitement for the practice of music therapy who demonstrate readiness for training based on a belief in the power of music for therapy and healing, personal maturity, sensitivity to others, a deep love of music making, and openness to self-exploration. Our students come from a wide variety of undergraduate backgrounds. While degrees in music and related fields such as psychology offer foundational skills and knowledge for the practice of music therapy, there is no requirement for an undergraduate degree in any particular area of study.

There are formal prerequisites for the MA music therapy program in the areas of musical foundations and psychology:

  1. Musical foundations
    • Technical competence on piano, guitar, and voice
    • Flexibility of style on these instruments
    • Ability to improvise
    • Music theory
    • Music history
  2. Psychology study
    • Abnormal psychology
    • Developmental psychology

It is recommended that psychology prerequisites be taken prior to the first semester. They must be completed prior to starting internship. A prospective student is not expected to have all the prerequisites to apply for training as we admit students who demonstrate a capacity to attain these skills by the end of the first stage of training.

In addition to the formal prerequisites, we look for candidates who have engaged in practical work or volunteer experience with individuals with various health-related or social challenges, and those who demonstrate self-awareness and a willingness to examine oneself for the purpose of helping others.

All prospective students must complete an audition and interview before being admitted to the program.

For more information on application requirements, deadlines, and how to apply, see the Application Guide for the MA in Music Therapy

If you are offered admission and matriculate in the program, you may be asked to complete a criminal background check before you begin your clinical or practicum placement. Certain criminal convictions may prohibit you from being placed into clinical sites and completing your degree program, from obtaining licensure or certification, or from being employed in certain settings. For more detailed information, please refer to the certifying/licensing body with which you wish to seek certification/licensure.

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Judi Rubin Bosco