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B.M. in Music Therapy

School of Fine Arts and Communication

Overview

Music is more than an opportunity to connect, express and create –– it can be used as a treatment to improve the lives of people with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. Now, you can earn your B.M. in Music Therapy to develop your musical and clinical skills to assist people toward a healthier quality and adjustment to life. Music therapy is a creative arts therapy similar to others such as art, dance and drama therapy. It is a healing art, based on scientific principles, grounded in research and is constantly expanding as a profession. Please note, this degree program is pending AMTA approval.

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Why Choose Music Therapy at Biola?

Biola's music therapy program offers several key advantages:

  • Musical Reputation. Become part of Biola’s internationally regarded Conservatory of Music, performing and growing artistically alongside talented musicians committed to creative excellence.
  • Interdisciplinary Study. Develop clinical excellence and advanced skills working with clients of diverse experiences and abilities through courses offered in partnership with Biola’s Rosemead School of Psychology.
  • Biblical Integration. Discover how thinking theologically about suffering, disability, service and the creation of humanity in God’s image fuels humility and excellence as we treat clients and make music.
  • Strategic Location. Broaden your experience in one of the most culturally diverse metropolitan areas in the world. Secure internships in Southern California’s hospitals, schools, senior centers, mental health facilities and beyond.
  • Dedicated Community. Community is a cornerstone of Biola’s Conservatory of Music. Through intentional faculty investment and student collaboration, you’ll forge relationships that will shape your identity and future.
  • Semester Internship. As part of your program, you’ll complete a 6-month internship following the completion of your classroom studies. This internship will give you hands-on experience and prepare you for professional success.

What Will I Study?

Your degree is composed of training in multiple disciplines, including music, Bible and theology, psychology and clinical music therapy. You’ll cover topics such as:

  • Music therapy theoretical orientations
  • Techniques and best practices of music therapy
  • Practical application of classroom learning in the real world
  • Psychology of music (offered in partnership with Rosemead School of Psychology)
  • Music therapy research
  • Music theory, history and performance

Career Paths

You’ll be empowered to promote rehabilitation, enhance memory and improve communication as a music therapist within a wide range of settings, including:

  • Mental health centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Hospice care
  • Medical and psychiatric hospitals
  • Oncology treatment centers
  • Private practice
  • Pain/stress management clinics
  • Schools
  • Senior centers and nursing homes
  • Substance abuse programs
  • Wellness programs
  • Day programs
  • Specialized classrooms for students with special needs

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I go to get more information about music therapy and job opportunities in the field?

It is difficult to find literature in general bookstores and even many libraries are deficient in this area. I recommend going to www.barcelonapublishers.com to find  resourceful books on the field of music therapy. The Journal of Music Therapy may be available at your library, or contact the American Music Therapy Association at (301) 589-3300 or on the web at www.musictherapy.org.

What are some of the personal qualifications of a music therapist?

A music therapist must possess the following traits: a) strong musical talents and abilities, b) balanced emotional and social attributes, c) a commitment to assisting people toward healthier adjustments to life, and d) a dedication to the study of music and its functional adaptations for influencing the human condition based on scientific research in music psychology and clinical practice. Becoming proficient on functional guitar, piano and ukulele are required, as well as being able to sing in tune.


Hannah Gallagher

Even though I did not enter into the field of music therapy until after my years at Biola, the knowledge I gained was immensely important. I received a high-quality music education, which allowed me to enter into the field of music therapy with confidence and ease. Now, I get an opportunity to serve marginalized individuals with music every day. I am able to walk alongside people, using music to decrease their anxiety, help them express their emotions, or simply give them a voice to be heard.

Music Therapist
Performance (Cello), B.M. ‘13
4.5
Standard Duration
This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary depending on transferred coursework and preferred courseload.
142
Total Program Credits
Total program credits include a combination of major/concentration, Bible/theology and general education credits.
WSCUC / NASM / Pending AMTA Approval
Accreditation
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

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