Music therapy is one of the newest undergraduate degrees offered at Pacific University, and for good reason.
The field is expanding rapidly, as hospitals, schools, rehab centers and other therapeutic facilities recognize the power of music in healing and comfort.
In a July 2016 piece, “How Music Therapy Can Lift Body and Soul for Patients,” ABC News explored the power of music as it is being used in some of the country’s top hospitals:
- At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, music therapists offer individual and group sessions, along with art and movement therapy to ease pain, expand social connections, and bring peace and comfort to patients.
- At Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai Hospital, music therapy allows patients to express and cope with their mood, pain and need for sleep.
- Mount Sinai St. Luke’s employs music therapists to work with adolescent psychiatric inpatients.
- And, researchers at Harvard Medical School are investigating the connection between music and the brain.
Music therapists typically require a bachelor’s degree offered through a school accredited by the American Music Therapy Association. Therapists also must complete 1,200 hours of clinical training before earning national certification.
Pacific University launched its undergraduate degree in music therapy in 2014. It is an in intense five-year program that includes coursework in music, as well as psychology, neuroscience, anatomy and healthcare ethics and philosophy. The fifth year of the program is spent completing the required clinical hours under the supervision of a board certified music therapist.
Pacific’s program is one of only two AMTA-accredited music therapy degrees offered in Oregon and only five on the West Coast.