HomeSchool of Arts and SciencesThe Healing Power of Music

The Healing Power of Music

For students seeking a career that combines a love of music and helping people, the university’s new Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy degree may be just right. The only program of its kind at any college in Connecticut, the B.S. in music therapy offers students comprehensive training in music therapy at an affordable price, with a well-defined path to achieving a degree and finding employment.

Music therapists are trained musicians and healthcare professionals working in a growing field. Nationwide, music therapy is practiced in 42,000 facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, and schools with clients across the human lifespan and with wide-ranging social, emotional, and physical needs and challenges. According to the American Music Therapy Association (musictherapy.org), music therapy can promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication, promote physical rehabilitation, and more.

Students in the music therapy program develop skills in voice, piano, guitar, and a major instrument; participate in large and small ensembles; and take coursework in music theory, history, technology, and psychology. Important aspects of the program are practicum experiences, where students observe practicing music therapists working with a variety of client populations, and the culminating clinical internship, a six-month experience in which students work under the supervision of a practicing music therapist.

Music therapy majors are eligible for scholarships up to $6,000 a year from the Stutzman Family Foundation.

This program prepares students for a career in music therapy with completion of a bachelor’s degree. Upon completing their coursework, students sit for the Board Certification exam in Music Therapy (MT-BC). In most states, including Connecticut, only someone holding the MT-BC credential can practice music therapy, so therapists are often in demand for their services. Music therapists can also work in jobs such as expressive arts therapist, creative art, creative therapist, activities therapist, and rehabilitation therapist.

In the New Haven area alone, music therapists are currently employed at the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Bridgeport Hospital, Gaylord Hospital, ACES Village School, Franciscan Life Process Center, Manson Youth Institution, Avery Heights Retirement Community, among other locations. Music therapists are also frequently employed in private practices operated by themselves or other practitioners.

Music therapy is a growing field. In 2020, twice as many new positions were created in music therapy as were eliminated, reflecting increasing interest in the use of music therapy services.

For more information about the degree program, visit https://www.southernct.edu/music-therapy

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