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BM in Music Therapy

Music therapy student with child
Music Therapy is a dynamic profession that gives accomplished musicians the opportunity to use their music skills to support the empowerment and development of others. Board certified music therapists (MT-BC) use a wide variety of instruments and music experiences to help babies, children, adolescents, adults and older adults work toward non-music goals related to education, health, rehabilitation, and wellness needs. The profession offers opportunities in a variety of settings including medical hospitals, rehabilitation centers, community mental health agencies, senior living communities, schools, and private practice. Music therapists provide services for persons with various diagnoses and are usually members of an interdisciplinary healthcare team. 

The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) have strict standards for music degrees including music therapy. The music therapy program at WVU structures learning outcomes to meet the accreditation standards set by both NASM and AMTA. 

The music therapy plan of study includes courses in fundamental musicianship, music therapy, psychology, special education, health sciences, and human development. Students who wish to major in music therapy audition on the principle instrument of their choice and will learn piano, guitar, and voice skills within the plan of study. In addition, the program includes six clinical practica with a variety of populations and a 900 clinical hour (approximately 6-month, full-time) internship experience. These practica begin during the sophomore year and are taken concurrently with lecture-based courses in music therapy, providing both in-class and community-based interactive components. 

The successful completion of the internship experience is required for the degree to be awarded and to be eligible for the national board certification exam (MT-BC) through the Certification Board for Music Therapists.