Online Music Therapy Equivalency Program
Students with a bachelor’s degree in music may apply to an online music therapy equivalency program. These students enroll under the classification of “special student,” which is a non-degree program that allows them to complete coursework and internship requirements for professional certification without actually earning their degree.
The equivalency program in music therapy consists of core courses in addition to those required for a baccalaureate degree. These are designed to give entry-level competencies in music, clinical practice and theory, as well as knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to become an effective music therapist.
Coursework requirements are tailored to each student’s individual skill-related requirements. Individually designed plans for completing coursework and supervised internship help expedite completion while building the academic foundations necessary to pass the national music therapy board certification exam with ease.
Once students complete the equivalency curriculum and six-month internship, they are eligible to take the national music therapy certification examination administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). With this credential, students have earned what is referred to as Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC), which is equivalent to earning an AMTA-approved baccalaureate degree and can be used when seeking positions in community-engaged practice or medical settings.
Equivalency programs at several universities have been created to assist those without a bachelor’s degree in music but who wish to become certified as music therapists. These courses prepare students for the AMTA certification exam and allow them to work in various settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, hospices, clinics, community centers and other establishments that promote music therapy.
These programs require students to have completed music theory and history coursework, as well as courses in psychology and anatomy. Furthermore, there is a 6-month internship under the supervision of a licensed music therapist.
Universities across the United States and Canada offer several equivalency programs, each slightly unique depending on the school. For further details about these requirements and application procedures, prospective applicants should reach out directly to the appropriate university.
Undergraduate degrees and equivalency programs can be completed within two years of full-time study, including three semesters on-campus study as well as a six-month internship.
The Master of Music Therapy is a graduate-level program that prepares students for advanced practice in music therapy. It is available at 30 AMTA-approved degree programs throughout North America and Canada, with a minimum requirement of 120 semester hours of coursework.
Students must achieve a minimum grade point average of B in all coursework taken during the program, and faculty evaluate students on their interpersonal and professional skills appropriate to music therapy practice. Graduate assistantships are available to qualified full-time music therapy equivalency or master’s degree candidates; however, numbers are limited.