Music Therapy

Music Therapy

Conservatory of Music
Music Therapy
Lalene Kay, MT-BC
Department Chair
Boesel Musical Arts Center

Music Therapy News and Useful Information:


BW Music Therapy students in the Medina Gazette


"How to Choose a Music Therapy Program" on Majoring in


American Music Therapy Association


Artist Spotlight: BW Student Jaclyn Ford highlighted on Creative Compass, the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture website.

Post-Baccalaureate Music Therapy Equivalency Program

Already have a degree in music?

Learn about the MTE Program leading to Board Certification through CBMT.

Music Therapy Major

Music therapists assist people of all ages who require special services due to learning, behavioral, emotional or physical challenges.  The program conforms to the guidelines set by the American Music Therapy Association.  A six-month internship in an AMTA-approved facility is required for this major.  After successful completion of the national certification exam administered and monitored by the Certification Board for Music Therapists, you will gain your certification.

What is Music Therapy? 

Music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.  Specific goals and objectives are formed after assessing the clients' strengths and needs, and music is then used as the therapeutic tool with which to achieve these goals.

Some therapeutic interventions include:

  • Increasing memory and cognitive awareness through the retention of rhythmic patterns and song melodies
  • Increasing social skills through participation in drum circles, hand chime choirs, and other group musical ensembles
  • Encouraging the expression of emotions through lyric analysis, song writing, instrumental composition, and improvisation
  • Increasing gross motor abilities through movement to music
  • Increasing fine motor movement through playing hand-held or finger manipulated instruments
  • Increasing communication through vocal singing, signed songs, and musical improvisation

The Consortium

Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music and The College of Wooster (Wooster, OH) comprise the Cleveland Music Therapy Consortium.  This association was initiated in January of 1976 through a grant from The Cleveland Foundation.  This was the first music therapy degree offered in Northeastern Ohio and the first in the nation involving a cooperative arrangement among educational institutions. 

Music Therapy Course Curriculum 

All Baldwin Wallace music therapy majors graduate with a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree and are required to take conservatory core classes including large-group ensemble, music theory, music history and literature, and primary instrument lessons.  Liberal arts classes support the development of therapeutic skills emphases in psychology and sociology courses.  Click here to view the Music Therapy Curriculum.

Equivalency Program

Baldwin Wallace offers the option of an equivalency program in music therapy to those already possessing a music degree (at least Bachelors level) from a recognized institution.  In this non-degree program, the student completes all music therapy core courses as well as non-music courses required by the American Music Therapy Association ( .  After completion of all coursework and the six -month internship, the equivalency student is then eligible to sit for the national certification exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.  (

What Can You Do With a Music Therapy Degree? 

Upon the completion of the required six-month internship and conferral of their degree, music therapists take the Board Certification Exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.  (  Once board-certified (MT-BC), music therapists may work in a variety of clinical and independent settings including hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, rehabilitation centers, public schools, mental health institutions, and hospices.    

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