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Fact Sheet

MUSIC THERAPY FACT SHEET                     

What is music therapy?  Music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic context to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social goals. The music therapist uses the components of music; singing, listening, rhythm, movement, self-expression, in combination with appropriate treatment interventions to meet the therapeutic goals of individuals.

Music therapists study in the areas of music, psychology, anatomy, and music therapy.  Students interested in entering the B.S. in music therapy need to have a strong background in music beginning in at least high school, if not earlier. Applicants must audition in music prior to being accepted into the program.

The B.S. in music therapy was the first program established in the School of Health Professions. Established in 1972, the program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and approved by the American Music Therapy Association.

There are two full-time faculty in music therapy, Dr. Soo-Jin Kwoun and Dr. Cynthia Briggs.  Dr. Briggs has been the Director since fall 2004.  The program has five adjunct faculty who bring their areas of expertise to the classrooms and clinical sites.

Music therapists who successfully complete the board Certification examination in music therapy carry the Credential MT-BC.  This is a national credential.

The M.M.T. in music therapy was established in the fall of 2004.  The first master’s degree recipient graduated spring 2006. This program is designed primarily for individuals who have already completed a B.S. in music therapy and are board certified. Board certified music therapists may also apply to the Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and complete a specialization in music therapy as a part of their counseling studies. 

There is an additional program which is called the Equivalency Program in music therapy. This program is for individuals with a degree in music who would like to move into a career in music therapy. They are required to complete all the music therapy certification requirements (approximately 50 credit hours, which includes a 1000 hour clinical internship). They are then eligible for admission to the board certification examination in music therapy.

Maryville students graduating in music therapy are currently gaining employment at a very rapid rate, some being hired prior to completing their internships with employers waiting for them to finish. In the St. Louis area, recent graduates have been hired at Children’s Hospital, St. Anthony’s Medical Center, Parc Provence, BJC Hospice Care, St. Louis County Special School District, Ranken Jordan, The Villages of St. Peters, Jefferson Memorial Hospital and other sites.

Both regionally and nationally, there are more music therapy positions than there are music therapists.  There is a need to let young musicians know that the profession not only exists but is a viable profession with many employment opportunities. 

If you would like further information on the music therapy programs

at Maryville University please contact:

Dr. Cynthia Briggs, Psy.D., MT-BC
Director, Music Therapy Programs
Maryville University
650 Maryville University Drive
Saint Louis  MO   63141

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