Music Therapy at UK
- The University of Kentucky School of Music houses Kentucky’s first and only graduate program in music therapy.
- Students who have an undergraduate degree in music therapy may pursue the 30-credit hour Master of Music in Music Therapy degree, which includes a thesis or clinical project.
- A combined equivalency/master degree program is available for students without an undergraduate degree in music therapy.
- Advanced clinical training opportunities are available at UK HealthCare and in the Lexington community.
- For more information on applying to the University of Kentucky music therapy program, read about admission to the music therapy program.
- Contact Dr. Olivia Yinger for more information.
- To learn more about music therapy, visit the webpages of the American Music Therapy Association, the Certification Board for Music Therapists, or the World Federation of Music Therapy.
- Stay connected by liking the University of Kentucky Music Therapy on Facebook
The master of music in music therapy degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, including a thesis or clinical project. Students in the MM music therapy program work with their music therapy faculty advisor to design an individualized program of studies. Students are able to select electives that best fit their desired area of specialized practice. The following outlines the requirements for the MM in music therapy.
Music Therapy (12 credits)
- MUS 633—Graduate Clinical Placement (1-3 credits) * Required
Other courses may include:
- MUS 630: Medical Music Therapy (3 credits)
- MUS 631: Music in Counseling (3 credits)
- MUS 664: Music for Special Learners (3 credits)
- MUS 706: Music Learning and Behavior (3 credits)
- MUS 730: Independent Work in Music Therapy (1-3 credits)
- MUS 732: Seminar- Topics in Music Therapy (3 credits)
- MUS 770: Psychology of Music (3 credits)
Music (9 credits)
- MUS 600: Research I (3 credits) * Required
- Thesis and Thesis Defense (6 credits) * Required
Electives (9 credits)
Earning board-certification in music therapy (denoted by the credential MT-BC) is required prior to completing master’s coursework in music therapy at UK. In order to become board-certified, students must have completed appropriate coursework in music foundations, clinical foundations, and music therapy, either during undergraduate studies or as part of a post-baccalaureate music therapy equivalency program.
A student who is not a board-certified music therapist but who studied music during their undergraduate training (either as a music major or, in some cases, as a music minor) may apply to the combined equivalency/master degree program at UK. The combined equivalency/master degree program at UK enables a student to complete all entry-level music therapy coursework not met at the undergraduate level in order to become a board-certified music therapist, before completing the master’s degree requirements.
The following list shows areas in which students must demonstrate competency in order to become eligible for board-certification and subsequent completion of master’s level coursework. Music foundations and clinical foundations courses may be completed during undergraduate coursework or as part of the equivalency training. Students in the equivalency program at UK must take all music therapy core courses at UK.
Music Foundations (54 credits)
- Music theory (aural and written)
- Music history
- Improvisation, movement, and percussion courses (Example: Orff Schulwerk)
- Applied lessons on primary instrument
- Ensemble participation
- Proficiency in guitar, piano and voice
Clinical Foundations (18 credits)
- Intro to psychology
- Abnormal psychology
- Developmental psychology
- Anatomy and physiology
- Other behavioral science courses
Music Therapy (18 credits)
* Equivalency students must complete all of the music therapy core courses at UK. Includes 1,200 hours of pre-internship and internship clinical training.
- Music therapy principles and foundations
- Music therapy applications
- Psychology of music
- Music learning and behavior
- Music therapy clinical internship (6 to 9 month full time internship)
A music therapy faculty advisor will work with each student in the combined equivalency/master degree program to create an individualized program of studies based on the entry-level coursework that the student needs to take. Courses taken to satisfy equivalency requirements do not count toward the 30 credit hour master of music in music therapy degree.