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MA Music Therapy


Program posted by: Anglia Ruskin University

Posted on: October 31, 2013

Program description

This two-year grad degree provides you with a professional training in music therapy with an emphasis on clinical placements and an introduction to various music therapy approaches. The degree aims to train suitably experienced musicians as professional music therapists at Masters level, adhering to the general clinical definition of music therapy within the UK. The MA Music Therapy qualifies you to work as a music therapist in the UK (subject to visa requirements) and successful candidates will be eligible for registration with the Health Professions Council.

Music Therapy Research at Anglia Ruskin has recently been rated as world leading and degrees within the Department of Music and Performing Arts have been recognised as 'Excellent' for their learning and teaching.

You will be expected to involve yourself in self-reflection in small and large group activities, lectures and seminars which involve musical activity, case discussion and theoretical analysis. A significant component of experiential learning is through tutorials and supervision groups. Clinical placements are key to the experience.

You will benefit from learning about the most recent effective music therapy approaches with adults and children. Two aspects of music therapy are central to the music therapy approach in the UK: the use of improvised and pre-composed music; and the importance attached to the relationship between the patient and the therapist. These characteristics, which result in the need for rigorous clinical, musical and psychological training on the music therapy course, underpin the training.

Music therapy involves a relationship between patient and therapist with music forming the basis for communication within this relationship. Teaching includes:

• improvisation skills in small groups • music therapy theory • links between theory and practice • block clinical placements in at least three fields, including in the community schools, hospitals, and hospices • university-based small supervision groups • clinical supervision at clinical placements by qualified music therapists • experience within multidisciplinary teams • weekly experiential music therapy group where students reflect upon their clinical experiences and upon the process of becoming a music therapist • supervision and teaching by leading researchers in the field at professorial level, to prepare for the Major Project/Dissertation in the second year. The dissertation may be research or more clinically orientated, depending on each student's choice.

Core subjects:

• Music Therapy Practical and Clinical Skills (Year 1) • Music Therapy and Multidisciplinary Theoretical Studies (Year 1) • Clinical Placements and Experiential Development (Years1&2) • Music Therapy Clinical/Theoretical Major Project (Year 2)

Located in purpose-built accommodation, the Anglia Ruskin Music Centre includes lecture and practice rooms, a recital hall, a purpose-built music therapy clinic, plus the Mumford Theatre, a full-size receiving house for professional touring companies. There is also a group of five state-of-the-art computer music studios for the creation, recording and manipulation of acoustic and electronically produced sound. The studios house a range of technological equipment, including a wide selection of specialist computer hardware and software.

In terms of instruments, students have access to five grand pianos, including a new Steinway Model D, two harpsichords, a range of orchestral instruments including alto flutes, two cors anglais, an oboe d'amore, Eb, alto and bass clarinets, a contrabassoon and a bass saxophone and a selection of baroque and Renaissance instruments including a consort of crumhorns, cornetts and natural trumpets and a consort of recorders. The Department also has a range of traditional instruments from India (including two sitars), China (including a Chinese zither) and Africa (including a set of Ghanaian drums) and a Balinese Gamelan.

Investing in this course would enable students to have a qualification that is approved by the Health Professions Council (HPC). This is a legal requirement for music therapists in the UK.

The course is also recognised by The Association of Professional Music Therapists. Staff team members hold offices in this association and in other national allied health professional bodies. There are strong links with other practitioners such as psychiatrists and psychotherapists, and staff are employed in local National Health Service facilities as well as by the University, making for a strong international profile. We have established professional collaborations with institutions across the world, providing a rich interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary milieu.

The degree offers intensive clinical placements similar to that of a working music therapist. You will have the opportunity to work with two cases over a long period of time, gain experiential learning and experience of other arts therapies. The programme has strong international and research links.

Music therapists are employed within a variety of contexts, such as the health sector, in education and in community projects. Some also work privately or on a freelance basis.

A qualified music therapist is able to work with a broad range of clients, including adults and children with learning difficulties and mental health problems, and other special needs. Increasingly they are employed within hospices and related outreach settings, and within medical environments, working with patients.

How to participate

You will need a music degree and a very high standard of musicianship, demonstrated by a music qualification. You must also have relevant clinical experience with adults and children. An interview will be required.



East Road, Cambridge, United Kingdom