Music Therapy Area

Overview

Music Therapy is the application of music for rehabilitation of brain function and development and maintenance of mental and physical health. The qualified music therapist creates therapeutic music exercises to facilitate functional non-musical outcomes, training and retraining abilities in cognition, speech and language, motor control, academic performance, emotional growth, and social skills. There is strong scientific evidence that music is a powerful tool in therapy, engaging and changing the brain, and promoting behavioral learning and change.

Colorado State University has a long tradition in clinical education, research, and scholarship in music therapy. With an outstanding music program and an academic focus on evidence-based practice, graduates from Colorado State University learn necessary tools to be an integral member of a treatment team or pursue a career in private practice. Students also have the opportunity to gain experience on a biomedical or clinical research team.

In addition to the clinical core, music therapy majors take a wide variety of courses in music theory, music history, music performance, and coursework emphasizing the research aspects of music therapy. In addition, the program requires courses in psychology, neuroscience, and medical terminology. A total of 120 credits are required for the degree. Successful completion of all curricular requirements, plus a six month clinical internship, qualifies a graduate to sit for the National Board Certification Examination.

All degree programs are approved by the American Music Therapy Association.

Study With

Blythe LaGasse

Coordinator of Music Therapy
Associate Professor of Music Therapy

(970) 491-4042

Blythe.Lagasse@colostate.edu

Andrew Knight

Assistant Professor of Music Therapy

(970) 491-3722

Andrew.Knight@colostate.edu

Lindsey Wilhelm

Assistant Professor of Music Therapy; Coordinator of Clinical Practicum

(970) 491-0984

Lindsey.Wilhelm@colostate.edu

Undergraduate Degree

B.M. in Music Therapy

This degree prepares the student for a career using music for restoration, maintenance, or improvement in mental and/or physical health. Music therapists generally work with other health care professionals to create interdisciplinary programs for improving their clients’ well-being. The music therapy curriculum includes a strong emphasis in music, the neurosciences, and psychology. Colorado State University is the only university in the central Rocky Mountain region providing undergraduate or graduate education in music therapy. Students can also be involved in the music therapy research center, where faculty are researching the impact of music and music therapy on brain and behavior.

Contact

For more information about this degree, please contact Dr. Andrew Knight.

Graduate Degrees

Develop Your Clinical Skills
You will develop your skills as a music therapist, with focus on evidence-based music therapy techniques that promote changes in cognitive, sensorimotor, speech and language, and psychosocial functioning. This degree develops your use of music therapy techniques to:

  • Rehabilitate individuals with neurologic disease and disorders
  • Maintain functioning with older adults
  • Improve the communication, academic performance, and social skills of children with disabilities
  • Promote cognition and enhance memory
  • Facilitate motor development in children with disabilities
  • Improve treatment outcomes

Requirements

  • Plan A – 30 credits are required.
  • Plan B – 32 credits are required.
  • A minimum of 24 credits must be earned at Colorado State
  • University (up to six transfer credits accepted).
  • Up to nine credits may be taken before formal admission to
    the degree program. The degree is available with a thesis
  • (Plan A) or a non-thesis (Plan B) option in which the student completes a final project and written exam.

Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization

The Master’s degree program in music therapy at Colorado State University is intended to provide Board Certified music therapists with advanced training in clinical skills and research. Our curriculum specializes in evidence-based practice and neuroscience of music therapy. Specifically, the study of music therapy at Colorado State University is to prepare music therapists for advanced clinical work in music therapy, to supervise music therapy clinics, and to teach music therapy.

Two master's curriculum tracks are offered: the first is a thesis program of 30 credit hours designed to provide students with the opportunity to complete a substantial research project in our research center, or in the Fort Collins community. The second track is a 32-hour program that requires, in lieu of a thesis, additional course work in music therapy. Either program prepares the student to pursue doctoral study. Our academic curricula are approved by both the American Music Therapy Association and the National Association of Schools of Music.

Applicants are expected to be Board-Certified Music Therapists (or eligible to sit for the exam) and demonstrate excellent musicianship and interpersonal skills.

Contact

For more information about this degree, please contact Dr. Blythe LaGasse.

Music Therapy Equivalency and Master’s Degree

The program is designed for the person who has earned an undergraduate degree in a music field and desires to study music therapy at the graduate level. Students in this program take the necessary undergraduate prerequisite coursework to fulfill requirements for entry-level practice concurrently with graduate coursework in advanced clinical practice and research. After completion of all course work, a six month clinical internship, and an advanced clinical placement, the student is eligible to sit for the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) exam.

The CSU Music Therapy Equivalency plus Master's Degree program is only offered on campus in Fort Collins, Colo. Our program is focused on the evidenced-based practice in music therapy, including courses in science, psychology, counseling, and music therapy. Students have opportunities to join a research team or complete a research project in the music therapy research center.

Entrance Requirements:

Contact

For more information about these degrees, please contact Dr. Blythe LaGasse.

Online Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization

Colorado State University is committed to providing you flexible, convenient, and high quality degrees and courses online and at a distance. Advance your career as a music therapist while maintaining your current work placement. Through your course of study, you will learn how to use music as a form of therapy to address the physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.

Learn to work with people who have neurological disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, developmental disorders, and multiple sclerosis.

As this degree is delivered mostly online, earn your music therapy degree at your own pace and still maintain full-time employment. The program requires only one on-campus session, typically during the second year of the program. These weekends, from Thursday to Sunday, include training that is not possible to receive online.

Your interaction with the faculty and fellow students depends on the specific course. Online courses do provide you with online office hours and email contact. Collaborate on projects and exchange ideas with fellow classmates through email and discussion board postings. 

Click here for more information.

Contact

For more information about these degrees, please contact Dr. Blythe LaGasse.

Music Therapy News

Music Therapist Lindsey Wilhelm Announced as New CSU Faculty Member

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In Fall 2016, Lindsey Wilhelm will join the music faculty at Colorado State University as an assistant professor of music therapy. In this role, she will teach music therapy coursework and coordinate music therapy clinical practicum. Lindsey Wilhelm, A, MT-BC, holds degrees in music therapy from Colorado State University (B.M.) and the University of Iowa […]

Amanda Scirabba Music Therapy

Music is a Mindful Therapy

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By Samantha Bufmack, UCA Marketing Intern What if there was a way that music could cure the mind? Wouldn’t you be a tad skeptical? Well, prepare to be convinced as you step into the world of a student who believes music can do just that. Meet graduating senior Amanda Sciarabba, an individual who has dedicated her love […]

Grammy Grant

GRAMMY Foundation supports autism research in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance

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Aided by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation® Grant Program, two School of Music, Theatre and Dance professors at Colorado State University are set to lead a study on musical creativity in children with autism spectrum disorder. With a $19,697 GRAMMY Grant, combined with an additional $20,132 from Colorado State University (CSU), Erik Johnson, Ph.D. […]

Music Therapy Clinic

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At Colorado State University we are dedicated to providing quality music therapy services and conducting clinical music therapy research. The CSU music therapy clinic serves as a training site for music therapy students. All students work with a board-certified music therapist who assists the student with completing an assessment, treatment plan, and weekly documentation. The board-certified music therapist also provides weekly supervision of clinical sessions, providing feedback and showing examples for the use of music therapy methods and techniques.

The music therapy program provides community services in the music therapy clinic located in the University Center for the Arts (1400 Remington Street, Fort Collins). We also provide services at facilities in the Fort Collins area including assisted living centers and schools. At the CSU music therapy clinic we have two research/clinical spaces that are appropriate for large group, small groups, and individual treatment sessions. We strive to provide this professional service in a supportive environment.

The CSU music therapy clinic offers music therapy services to a variety of populations for a range of needs. The student music therapist can use music to address motor, cognitive, social, emotional, or speech/language needs. In collaboration with a board-certified music therapist, the student music therapist:

  • Conducts a music therapy assessment
  • Formulates an individualized treatment plan
  • Leads individual, small group, or large group sessions
  • Collaborates with schools, staff, support team members, or allied health professionals (as appropriate)
  • Completes a final progress note after the 12-week treatment period

Persons interested in music therapy services need no musical experience. Our clinics are equipped with all necessary musical instruments and technology. For more general information about the benefits of music therapy please visit www.musictherapy.org.

 

Contact

For more information about CSU’s clinical services, please contact Lindsey Wilhelm.

Weekly Rehabilitation Groups

Since 1996, CSU has offered music therapy-based neurorehabilitation groups for members of the local community with mobility/motor needs. The weekly therapy groups typically consist of eight to fifteen participants who have experienced a stroke, brain injury, MS, or other neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. A board-certified music therapist and physical therapist conduct the hour-long sessions with assistance from music therapy and pre-physical therapy students. Sessions involve motor or speech exercises facilitated by music.

Open-attendance Exercise Group

  • Mondays, 9-10 a.m.
  • Rm. 145, University Center for the Arts
  • Download a flyer (PDF)

Parkinson’s Outreach Singing Group

  • Tuesdays, 2:15-3:15 p.m.
  • Rm. 145, University Center for the Arts 
  • Download a flyer (PDF)

Parkinson’s Outreach Exercise Group

  • Tuesdays 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Rm. 145, University Center for the Arts
  • Download a flyer (PDF)

Music Therapy Research Center

Dr. Blythe LaGasse, coordinator and associate professor of Music Therapy at Colorado State University and her staff work with students at the University Center for the Arts, Februrary 10, 2015.

 

The goal of the CSU Music Therapy Research Center (MTRC) in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance is to create new knowledge in music neuroscience and clinical music therapy. The MTRC is a teaching research center, providing undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to work collaboratively with faculty members on research projects. The MTRC is equipped to conduct research using behavioral and physiological measures including motor kinematics and electromyography (EMG).

Faculty members at Colorado State University are actively engaged in laboratory and clinical research project. The faculty, along with undergraduate and graduate research students, are conducting research on:

  • Early childhood
  • Persons on the autism spectrum
  • Motor and speech rehabilitation

Faculty members in the MTRC are also engaged in interdisciplinary research, conducting studies with faculty and students in Human Development and Family Studies, Occupational Therapy, and Music Education.

 

Contact

For more information about MTRC, please contact Dr. Blythe LaGasse.

Volunteer for Music Therapy Research

We are recruiting participants for the following research studies:

  • The Effect of Group Vocal and Singing Exercises for Individuals with Parkinson's Disease (download a flyer)
  • Investigating Music Therapy for Children with Autism (download a flyer)
  • The Impact of Peer-Assisted Learning on Social Responsiveness and Music Achievement in Persons with Autism (download a flyer)
  • Impact of External Cues on Arm Movements of Individuals with Parkinson's Disease (download a flyer)