USU Offers a Master”s Degree in Music Therapy

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USU Offers a Master”s Degree in Music Therapy

Music therapy is a branch of clinical psychology that utilizes music along with other therapies to promote healing and rehabilitation in various populations. It encourages self-expression, helps manage pain and anxiety, enhance memory and communication skillsets, as well as improving physical health.

Utah State University is the only college in Utah and much of the Intermountain West to offer a graduate degree in music therapy, according to Brian Abrams, acting director of USU’s Music Therapy program. Furthermore, USU stands as the only college in America that requires its students to pass the national board certification exam before practicing as music therapists.

Abrams noted that music therapists possess a master’s degree and can work in many settings, such as hospitals, prisons, mental health facilities, schools, rehabilitation centers and private practices. With an aging population and increasing number of children with disabilities, their services are increasingly in high demand.

Music therapy also facilitates communication, according to Mr. Johnson. Music therapists can be found in schools, nursing homes and other settings to assist children and adults with special needs in finding ways to express themselves through music.

Jessop and Campbell report that music therapy is on the rise across America. Although it has a slower start in Utah and the Intermountain West, the field is seeing growth across other regions of America.

BYU does not yet offer a music therapy program, but hopes to do so soon. Jessop noted that BYU and USU are working together in an atmosphere of “cooperation rather than competition” between their campuses.

USU has achieved accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities for its general college programs, meaning it has met certain criteria such as having a strong mission, resources for all students, plans for the future, and an adaptability to change to become an outstanding education provider.

The school’s faculty consists of professional musicians and educators with years of expertise. These instructors are highly competent at guiding and supporting students through the curriculum, dedicated to helping them reach their educational objectives.

Coursework is designed to prepare music therapists for a variety of careers, providing an in-depth foundation in theory, human development, anatomy, psychology, statistics and current research trends in music therapy. In addition to core music courses, students also explore clientele and intervention techniques across many fields.

Students of USU Music Therapy learn to design and conduct therapeutic music interventions for a range of clientele. Working in various settings, these students offer treatment to exceptional individuals, older adults, and psychiatric populations through techniques such as wellness promotion, stress management, pain relief, expression of feelings, memory enhancement, communication enhancements and physical rehabilitation.

The school is a member of the American Music Therapy Association, providing students with opportunities to get involved in professional organizations and events. Furthermore, several scholarships are available for music therapy students.

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