Music Therapy Area


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.

Music Therapy Professor Blythe LaGasse spoke at Music and Mind, the first public initiate of the Sound Health Partnership between the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Institute of Health in association with the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. LaGasse’s presentation begins at 1:24:30.


Study With

Blythe LaGasse

Professor of Music; Music Therapy; Coordinator of Music Therapy

Andrew Knight

Associate Professor of Music; Music Therapy

(970) 491-3722

Lindsey Wilhelm

Assistant Professor of Music; Music Therapy; Coordinator of Clinical Practicum

(970) 491-0984

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.

Undergraduate Music Therapy Audition/Interview Process

Students applying to the B.M. in Music Therapy are required to interview with members of the Music Therapy faculty, in addition to auditioning on their principal instrument. Interviews will take place on the same day you audition.

What to expect:

Interviews will be approximately 10 minutes in length.

The faculty will ask about the student’s reasons for pursuing music therapy, personal goals, and experience working with people.

Students will also be asked to:

  • Sing a children’s song (while the music therapy faculty accompany)
  • Match pitches with their voice


Blythe LaGasse

Professor of Music; Music Therapy; Coordinator of Music Therapy

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


  • 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 neuroscience and evidence-based music therapy to improve sensorimotor, speech and language and cognitive function in children and adults who have disabilities. Specifically, the study of music therapy at CSU is designed to prepare music therapists for advanced clinical work in music therapy, as music therapy supervisors and administrators and for teaching positions at the college or university level.

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. The second track is a 32-hour program that requires, in lieu of a thesis, additional course work in music therapy, a final project, and a common final exam. 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.

Application Information (PDF)


Blythe LaGasse

Professor of Music; Music Therapy; Coordinator of Music Therapy

Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization, with Equivalency

The Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization, with Equivalency is designed for the person who has earned an undergraduate degree in music and desires to study music therapy at the graduate level. Students in this program concurrently take the necessary undergraduate prerequisite course work to fulfill requirements for entry-level practice and graduate course work in advanced clinical practice and research. As in the Master of Music Therapy program a thesis or additional course work is required for graduation.

Students entering the equivalency program must have completed an undergraduate music degree or, at a minimum, four semesters of music theory, two semesters of music history and four to five semesters of applied study. After completion of all course work and a six-month clinical internship at an approved site the student is eligible to sit for the Certification Board for Music Therapists exam. Following completion of the internship the student will complete an advanced clinical practicum.

Entrance Requirements:


Blythe LaGasse

Professor of Music; Music Therapy; Coordinator of Music Therapy

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.

Entrance Requirement: Applicants to the Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization are expected to be Board-Certified Music Therapists (or eligible to sit for the exam) and demonstrate excellent musicianship and interpersonal skills. The Equivalency degree is offered on-campus only.

For more information, visit


Blythe LaGasse

Professor of Music; Music Therapy; Coordinator of Music Therapy

Music Therapy News

Promotional Photo of University Center for the Arts External Spring

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance COVID-19 Policies


All information and health protocols provided are based on information and CDC, local government, and CSU guidelines available at the time of posting. This website will be updated frequently to account for changes in CDC, local government, and CSU guidelines and protocols.  Read the complete list of School of Music, Theatre, and Dance COVID-19 policies […]

American Music Therapy Association logo

Blythe LaGasse new editor-in-chief of Journal of Music Therapy


Dr. Blythe LaGasse Appointed Incoming Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Music Therapy The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Blythe LaGasse as the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Music Therapy (JMT). She will assume her duties as Editor-in-Chief when the next term begins in January. Dr. LaGasse brings […]

brightly colored children's instruments pictured

Impact of Music Therapy on Attention


Study Participants Needed: Impact of Music Therapy on Brain Responses in Children with Autism We are seeking children ages 6-12 for a study on the impact of a music therapy attention protocol on the brainwaves and behaviors of individuals on the autism spectrum. Purpose of this study: This is a research study to examine if […]

Music Therapy Clinic

Student pictured leading a music therapy class


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



Lindsey Wilhelm

Assistant Professor of Music; Music Therapy; Coordinator of Clinical Practicum

(970) 491-0984

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

Music Therapy session pictured


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.



Blythe LaGasse

Professor of Music; Music Therapy; Coordinator of Music Therapy

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)