Conservatory of Music

From Bach to Broadway

Click here to read about BW Music Therapy students in the Medina Gazette

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 Program

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, along with The College of Wooster (Wooster, OH) and Cleveland State University (Cleveland, 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 degree and are required to take conservatory core classes including large-group ensemble, music theory, music history and literature, and applied instrument lessons.  Liberal arts classes emphasize therapeutic skills with an emphasis in psychology and sociology courses.  Among this core curriculum, the following music therapy classes are required:

Introduction to Music Therapy
Recreational Music/Programming & Leadership*
Beginning Practicum*
Practicum II*
Advanced Practicum*
Music Therapy with Developmental Disabilities
Music Therapy in Psychiatry and Rehabilitation
Program Development and Administration in Music Therapy
Psychology of Music
Research Seminar in Music Therapy
Six Month Internship upon completion of all course work*

*Denotes class consisting of hands-on field experience

What Can You Do With a Music Therapy Degree?

Upon graduation and the completion of the required six-month internship, music therapists take the Board Certification Exam as outlined by the American Music Therapy Association.  Once board-certified, music therapists can work in a variety of clinical and independent settings including hospitals, nursing homes, MR/DD group homes, rehabilitation centers, public schools, psychiatric institutions, and hospices.  

Among Baldwin Wallace students, there is a 100% job placement rate.  Some successes of former students include:

  • Dr. Deforia Lane, MT-BC; University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH (Alzheimer/Stroke Patients)
  • Kathy Louis, MT-BC; Heather Hill, Chardon, OH (Alzheimer/Stroke Patients)
  • Marcy Nero, MT-BC; Southwest Care Center, Middleburg Heights, OH (Geriatric Rehab)

Cleveland Music Therapy Consortium Faculty


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