Music Therapy Curriculum

The curriculum at The University of Alabama develops musical skills and therapeutic strategies which equip graduates to be full participants in a therapeutic team. Music therapists trained at UA must be admitted to the University and then meet the entrance requirements for music majors in the School of Music (successful audition and music theory placement test). Once fully admitted at both the university and School of Music levels, they take courses in music, psychology/related areas, and music therapy which synthesize the music and non-music coursework.

The music therapy curriculum at UA has been approved by the American Music Therapy Association, the national organization for professionally trained music therapists.

Clinical Training

While at UA, music therapy students have clinical placements as part of their coursework.  Students are involved at varying levels throughout the program starting their freshmen year. The coursework is followed by a six month full time internship under the direct supervision of an experienced, board certified music therapist. MTs must be prepared to offer a wide variety of services to a large number of recipient populations, so the intense training in music and in therapy is essential.

Board Certification

After completing the internship, music therapists are eligible to take a Board Certification examination administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapy. You can identify people who have completed the academic/clinical curriculum and passed this examination by the initials MT-BC following their professional signatures.

Current Catalog

Please see the university Undergraduate Catalog: https://catalog.ua.edu/undergraduate/arts-sciences/music/therapy-bm/#text

Music Therapy Courses

MUS 180 – Introduction to Music Therapy 2 semester hours
MUS 182 – Observation,Orientation to M.T. 2 semester hours
MUS 280 – M.T. Skills and Repertoire 2 semester hours
MUS 281 – Music Recreation Techniques 2 semester hours
MUS 282 – Clinical Practicum 1 credit; 2 semesters
MUS 380 – Psychology of Music 3 semester hours
MUS 382 – Clinical Practicum 1 credit; 4 semesters
MUS 480, 481, 482 – Music in Therapy I, II, III 9 semester hours
MUS 487 – Seminar in Professional Practices 2 semester hours
MUS 488 – Comprehensive Exam in M.T. 0 credit; required
MUS 489 – Music Therapy Internship 6 semester hours

Music Core Courses

MUS 115, 117, 215, 217 – Music Theory Total of 16 semester hours
MUS 250 – World Music 3 semester hours
MUS 251, 252, 323 Music History Total of 9 semester hours
MUS 351 – Conducting 2 semester hours
MUA 010 – Music Convocation (5 semesters) 0 credit; required

Principal Applied Music Study and Class Instruments

Principal Applied Instrument Total of 16 semester hours
MUA 199 – Sophomore Qualifying Exam 0 credit; required
MUA 399 – Recital 0 credit; required
MUA 299 – Piano Proficiency Exam 0 credit; required
Ensembles Every semester (min. 8)
MUE 251 – Class Instruments 3 semester hours

Other Instrumental Study (select track corresponding to principal)

Voice Principal

MUS 121-124, MUA 271 – Piano Total of 5 semester hours
MUS 228, 229 – Jazz Piano Total of 2 semester hours
MUS 220 – Class Guitar 1 semester hour

Instrumental Principal

MUS 121-124- Class Piano Total of 4 semester hours
MUS 228, 229 – Jazz Piano Total of 2 semester hours
MUS 220 – Class Guitar 1 semester hour
MUE 381 – Vocal Methods Lab 1 semester hour

Piano Principal

MUS 228, 229 – Jazz Piano Total of 2 semester hours
MUS 335 – Accompanying 2 semester hours
MUS 406 – Keyboard Techniques 2 semester hours
MUS 220 – Class Guitar 1 semester hour
MUE 381 – Vocal Methods Lab 1 semester hour

UA General Studies Curriculum

EN 101, 102 Total of 6 semester hours
Sequence of Literature Courses Total of 6 semester hours
One approved HU Course 3 semester hours
MUS 250, FA (fine arts; not MUS 121) 3 semester hours
Sequence in Foreign Language Total of 8 semester hours
One HI (history) course 3 semester hours
PY 101 – Introduction to Psychology (SB) 3 semester hours
Two approved SB courses Total of 6 semester hours
MA 110 (or other MA course) – Finite Math 3 semester hours
BSC 108, 109- Intro to Biology (N) Total of 8 semester hours

Courses in Related Disciplines

PY 358 – Abnormal Psychology 3 semester hours

Freshman Advising for Music Therapy Majors

Fall Semester

Voice Principal Instrumental Principal Piano Principal

Students interested in pursuing a B.M. in Music Therapy with a Voice Principal should register for the following:

Course Title Credit
MUS 115 Music Theory I 4
MUS 180 Introduction to Music Therapy 2
MUA 174 Principal Applied Voice 2
MUS 121 Class Piano* 1
MUA 150…169 Ensemble of choice 1
MUA 010 Music Convocation 0
EN 101 Freshman Composition 3
Choice One 3 or 4 hour required academic course 3 or 4
*After placement audition, MUS 123 or MUA 271 may be substituted

(16 or 17 hrs. total)

Students interested in pursuing a B.M. in Music Therapy with an Instrumental Principal should register for the following:

Course Title Credit
MUS 115 Music Theory I 4
MUS 180 Introduction to Music Therapy 2
MUA 1– Principal Applied Instrument 2
MUS 121 Class Piano* 1
MUA 150…169 Ensemble of choice 1
MUA 010 Music Convocation 0
EN 101 Freshman Composition 3
Choice One 3 or 4 hour required academic course 3 or 4
*After placement audition, MUS 123 or MUA 271 may be substituted
(16 or 17 hrs. total)

Students interested in pursuing a B.M. in Music Therapy with a Piano Principal should register for the following courses:

Course Title Credit
MUS 115 Music Theory I 4
MUS 180 Introduction to Music Therapy 2
MUA 171 Principal Applied Piano 2
MUA 150…169 Ensemble of choice 1
MUA 010 Music Convocation 0
EN 101 Freshman Composition 3
Choice One 3 or 4 hour required academic course 3 or 4
(15or 16 hrs. total)

NOTE: Students will not be allowed to register for more than 17 hours in a term. Because of the varying number of credit hours for required courses which must be sequenced in a particular order, a student should plan to take three 3-4 credit hour courses during summer(s) at some point in the college career.