Music Therapy Equivalency Distance Education
Some colleges and universities offer an equivalency program that enables students to complete the necessary courses for professional certification as a music therapist without needing a bachelor’s degree in the discipline. These programs typically take less time to finish than a bachelor’s in music therapy, plus there’s no extra master’s degree required.
Students seeking an equivalency program in music therapy typically possess or plan to attain a bachelor’s degree related to music, such as education or psychology with a minor in music. The exact courses required will differ between schools, and an assessment of the student’s previous undergraduate work and skill-related needs will help determine the most suitable approach.
In addition to core coursework, students will take a variety of supportive psychology and research courses that enhance music therapy practice and lay the foundation for advanced studies in areas such as assessment, clinical improvisation techniques, group music therapy (experiential/client-centered), teaching, and supervision. The program culminates with a culminating thesis seminar as well as two relevant electives.
Some schools offer a combined master’s program that combines music therapy and graduate-level psychology degrees, leading to licensure as a clinical mental health counselor. To apply for this program, the student must first gain acceptance into both programs; some counseling courses can then be counted towards core music therapy requirements.
The equivalency program is an ideal option for students who wish to pursue music therapy but lack the time or financial resources for a full bachelor’s degree. It will prepare the student to meet all academic requirements necessary for professional certification as a music therapist and allows those who may not be ready to begin full time study at university to start their career in this field.
For those with an undergraduate degree in another subject, obtaining a music therapy equivalency can be achieved by taking required coursework at a university or college and completing a six-month internship supervised by faculty members from the field. After having successfully completed this requirement, the student will be verified by the music therapy program director as eligible to seek professional certification and take their board exam.
In many states, music therapy equivalencies are necessary to practice in this field. Students can find employment in a variety of settings such as general and psychiatric hospitals, community mental health agencies, schools, rehabilitation centers, elder care communities and private practice agencies.
While some students begin the equivalency as first-year music majors, others take at least one semester longer to finish coursework and internship requirements. For these individuals, it is recommended that they include a statement of purpose in their application materials outlining why they wish to pursue the music therapy equivalency.
In addition to coursework, music therapy students must complete a six-month full-time internship at an approved music therapy facility. Through this supervised, hands-on experience, they will acquire the practical skills needed for providing efficient service to their clients. The internship is one of the most essential and challenging aspects of their training as a music therapist; additionally, it presents them with an invaluable chance to network with other therapists and gain insight into different practices within this multi-disciplinary profession.