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Professional Studies Program for Music Therapy Certification Eligibility

What Our Program Offers You

What Our Students Learn/Skills you will acquire

Our program emphasizes music foundations; clinical foundations, including studies in psychology, human development, exceptionality, psychopathology principles of therapy and the therapeutic relationship; and music therapy foundations, where you’ll progress through courses that promote the development of specific competencies in clinical musicianship and application of therapeutic principles and skills in four clinical settings.

Our faculty guide you toward “best-practices” that are well-linked to theoretical foundations and supported in research, as well as toward new directions in music therapy, including prevention and wellness for individuals and communities.

You’ll also learn skills such as program development, proposal and grant writing, generating contracts, presenting workshops in the community and starting a music therapy group. 

Learning at all levels is guided by professional competencies established by the American Music Therapy Association. This emphasis is important in helping you succeed in obtaining National Board Certification and future employment.

What kind of issues/problems does this major prepare you to solve?

Our graduate program prepares you to begin new music therapy programs and conduct research in the field. It encourages and enables you to branch out into, or pioneer, new areas of practice and to bring music therapy into underserved areas.

What makes our program unique?

The music therapy program at Shenandoah University is one of only two programs in the state of Virginia, and our 40-year program has become a hub for music therapy activity in the community. Our partnerships with agencies such as the Adult Care Center, Winchester Memorial Hospital, Blue Ridge Hospice, NW Works, NREP and Westminster Canterbury offer numerous opportunities for you to gain hands-on experience beyond the classroom, and to increase your employment possibilities after graduation. 

Each faculty member in the music therapy department has established particular areas of expertise that are foundational to their expression as music therapists and music therapy researchers. You’ll learn from experienced and supportive professors, and benefit from access to music therapy clinic supplies with instruments and helpful technology, including neurobiofeedback software, state-of-the-art keyboard, iPods and other mobile technology.

The SU Music Therapy Association (SUMTA) provides links to state, regional and national organizations in music therapy, and provides you with service-oriented opportunities in the community, as well as opportunities to attend music therapy workshops and conferences in support of your education at Shenandoah.

Earning Potential

Based on the 2012 AMTA Member Profile, the average salary for a music therapist is $49,396. Salaries for music therapists have increased modestly over the last decade. Approximately 55 percent of music therapists are employed full-time. Many music therapists choose to be self-employed, and charges for individual music therapy sessions currently range from $53 to $70 per hour. Average rates for group service range from $57 to $79 per hour and assessment services range from $65 to $99 per hour.

Gainful Employment Information


Job Title Cohort Number of graduates Number of Students Graduated On Time On Time Graduation Rate
Music Therapist 8 8 100%


Length of Program Credits Credit Hour average Tuition Program Tuition
3 years 30 $428.00 $12,850.00


Books $45 per credit/Supplies Program Median Loan Debt
$1,350.00 0

* Link to entire Gainful Employment Information Table