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October 16, 2018

Roberts to Launch Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy

Program begins next fall; students also earn a minor in social welfare through program

Roberts Wesleyan College will launch a new Bachelor of Science program in music therapy beginning in the fall of 2019. All program graduates will also earn a minor in social welfare, which will prepare students to use their skills as musicians to work as board-certified music therapists. 

According to Careers in Psychology, demand for music therapists is expected to go up, with an expected 5,870 new jobs by 2018. Program courses include psychology, biology, physiology, behavior sciences, counseling and therapy, and music theory, history and performance.

“The addition of a music therapy program is yet another example of strengthening our academic offering within the music department,” said Dr. Daniel Barta, chair of the Department of Music and Performing Arts and professor of music theory and composition at Roberts Wesleyan College. “The purpose of this program is to prepare students for clinical positions in the ever-growing industry.”

Graduates will help clients in a variety of clinical settings, including psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, agencies serving people with developmental disabilities, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools and private practice.  

Music therapists work with everyone, from children to the elderly, Alzheimer’s patients, and clients with substance-abuse issues, brain injuries and mental health problems. They use musical performance, lessons, songwriting and music listening as therapy to address the physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapy interventions can be designed to promote wellness, alleviate pain, manage stress, improve communication, enhance memory and provide unique opportunities for interaction.

Upon completion of the program, students will have been prepared for future careers through hands-on learning, observation and practicum experiences. Music therapy majors are required to complete an internship at a university-affiliated or national-roster placement following completion of coursework. All music therapy majors must perform a senior recital and may elect to perform a junior recital. They will also advance on their primary instrument, as well as gain skills on piano, guitar and voice.

“Our diverse faculty’s expertise and clinical experience guide students in their calling of helping others through music,” Barta said. “The goal of the Roberts Wesleyan music therapy degree is to prepare students for serving others, which aligns to our Christian mission.”

Students will learn how to use music as a therapeutic tool in this 128-credit-hour program and will receive national certification upon completion of an internship and board exam. Internship experience will be with experts in the field.

For more information on this program, click here.

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