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Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Counseling

There's still time to apply! Deadline for applications is May 1, 2017.

Program

The Master of Arts in Music Therapy & Counseling is a 90 quarter-credit program that integrates advanced music therapy and general counseling coursework with hands-on clinical experience and research opportunities, preparing graduates for a variety of career paths in the music therapy profession.    Faculty include dedicated, knowledgeable music therapists as well as other creative arts therapists, clinical psychologists and counseling educators, offering a curriculum focused on in-depth study of foundational and innovative music therapy and mental health theories and approaches. The program is designed to be completed in two years (7 quarters) of full-time study. Classes held during the regular academic year (Fall, Winter and Spring quarters) are taught in-person at our Center City Philadelphia campus, while coursework in the Summer term can be completed remotely.

Founded in 1975, the MA in Music Therapy & Counseling is one of the few music therapy  academic programs in the country housed on a health sciences campus. This setting provides a unique perspective on the merging  of arts and health sciences, with an emphasis on culturally responsive interprofessional education.  Students have opportunities for clinical experience, research and more at several University- related facilities, including Hahnemann University Hospital, Parkway Health & Wellness, the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center and the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

Our program is designed both for students who have a Bachelor’s degree in another field, and are seeking the required education and clinical experience to become a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC), as well as current Bachelor’s-level music therapists who wish to pursue advanced study in music therapy and counseling. All courses are taught at the graduate level; we do not offer an equivalency program.

The Music Therapy and Counseling Curriculum is approved by the American Music Therapy Association. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the examination of the Certification Board for Music Therapists, to earn the MT-BC credential. Our program also meets the Pennsylvania Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) education requirements. Please note that licensure requirements vary from state to state, and may change at any time. Therefore, if you are considering counseling licensure in the future, you are strongly advised to review educational requirements for any state(s) in which you may seek counseling licensure. It is the student’s responsibility to know and understand the requirements for any type of future licensure.

What you'll learn

  • Integration of music therapy methodologies with mental health counseling and medical sciences theories and approaches.
  • Daily interaction with music, art and dance/movement therapists, psychologists, neuroscientists, physicians and other health professionals as teachers and supervisors.
  • Clinical applications of  instrumental and vocal improvisation, composition,  re-creative and imagery methods within music psychotherapy and counseling, medical music therapy and developmentally-focused treatment models.
  • Multiple supervised adult and child clinical placement opportunities in a variety of settings, including medical and psychiatric hospitals, inpatient and outpatient behavioral health facilities, schools, continuing care facilities, community health centers, correctional facilities and more.
  • Basic understanding of art and dance/movement therapies and their relationship to music therapy.
  • Interaction with students and educators representing all the health sciences.
  • A culminating project (traditional research thesis or capstone project) focused on a student’s chosen area of interest, and guided by a multidisciplinary advisement committee.
  • Student presentation of research at local, regional, and national conferences.

What makes the Drexel Music Therapy and Counseling program unique?

  • Housed in Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, on the University’s health sciences campus.
  • Mental health counseling component of curriculum, which covers topics such as Human Psychological Development, Clinical Diagnosis, Group Dynamics, Theories of Psychotherapy, and Social and Cultural Foundations in Counseling and Psychotherapy, and prepares students for professional counseling licensure in Pennsylvania.
  • A strong emphasis on multicultural perspectives and social justice.
  • The opportunity to study alongside art therapy and dance/movement therapy students, creating opportunities for interdisciplinary engagement and collaboration.
  • Students complete coursework and clinical experiences simultaneously, allowing for synthesis of theoretical and practical knowledge throughout the program.

There's still time to apply! Deadline for applications is May 1, 2017.

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Admission Requirements

Background checks:

As a student of the College of Nursing and Health Professions you will be required to satisfactorily complete a criminal background check, child and elder abuse checks, drug test, immunizations, physical exams, health history, and/or other types of screening before being permitted to begin clinical training.

You will not need to submit documentation of these requirements as part of your application to the master’s program. Failure to fully satisfy these requirements as directed upon enrollment may prevent assignment to a clinical site for training.  A background check that reflects a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor may affect your ability to be placed in certain facilities, and later, to become board certified and licensed.

Deadline:

We accept and review applications on a rolling basis through May 1st for entry the following Fall. We encourage you to apply as early as possible, as the incoming class often reaches capacity before May 1st.

Degree:
Baccalaureate degree and demonstrate musical competencies in performance, music theory, and music history. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or above on all previous coursework.

Standardized Tests:
N/A

Transcripts:

  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
  • If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions

Prerequisites:
Volunteer or paid experience in a helping relationship preferred.

References:
Three letters of recommendation required. Letters should address academic and musical background. At least one letter should be from a music instructor. Letters of recommendation should be requested and submitted electronically through your online application.

Personal Statement/ Essay:
A 300-750 word essay that focuses on the role of music in your development and family, and how your life path led you to music therapy.

Interview/Portfolio:

Audition: At the audition, applicants will:

  1. Prepare two works from different musical periods or in different music styles that demonstrate moderate to advanced level of proficiency on principal instrument/voice.
  2. Sing a traditional, folk, or popular song while accompanying self on piano (please prepare three different songs; faculty may request more than one song).
  3. Sing a traditional, folk, or popular song while accompanying self on guitar (please prepare three different songs; faculty may request more than one song).
  4. Play the basic chord progressions (I-IV-V-I; I-vi-ii-Vi) in several keys on piano and guitar. 
  5. Demonstrate aural skills by playing the melody of a given well-known song and providing the harmonic progression.
  6. Demonstrate sight-reading skills on piano. 
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of music theory related to transposition, constructing chords.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of one or more of the following topics: basic periods of Western music; jazz history; Wold music.

International and long-distance candidates may submit a recorded audition on DVD or online  in lieu of items 1-4 above. International and long distance candidates should request instructions about all these requirements with their admission materials and are advised to begin the admission process early.

Interview: An in-depth in-person interview with the faculty of the graduate music therapy program, consisting of a review of personal, academic, interpersonal and creative aptitudes. Applicants will also be asked to demonstrate knowledge of one or more of the following topics: basic periods of Western music; jazz history; World music. For international and long-distance applicants, a phone interview or video chat may be substituted for the in-person interview.

CV/Resume:
Required.  Include relevant education, work and service/volunteer experience.

Clinical/Work/Volunteer Experience:
A social service work or volunteer history and cross cultural experience is highly valued.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

  • Transcript Evaluation: All international students applying to a graduate program must have their transcripts evaluated by the approved agency: World Education Services (WES), 212.966.6311, Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087, New York, NY 10274-5087, Web site: www.wes.org/.
  • TOEFL: Applicants who have not received a degree in the United States are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An official score report must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. For more information visit the Web site: www.ets.org, then click on TOEFL.
  • I-20/DS-2019 and Supporting Financial Documents (international students only): Please print, complete, and submit the I-20/DS-2019 Application Form (PDF). 

International Consultants of Delaware, Inc.
P.O. Box 8629
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8629
215.222.8454, ext. 603

Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
3600 Market St., Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651
215.349.8767

World Education Services, Inc. (WES)
Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
212.966.631

Tuition and Fee Rates
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central

Application Link (if outside organization):
N/A


Curriculum

The MA in Music Therapy & Counseling is a 90-quarter credit curriculum that can be completed on a two year full-time plan of study or a three year decelerated plan of study (per-term credit loads still meet university full-time minimums for financial aid eligibility). The majority of classes are taught in-person on Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions campus in Center City, Philadelphia with select classes offered online.

The coursework consists of both Music Therapy-specific and general mental health counseling coursework. Music Therapy-specific topics include:

  • Music Therapy theories and methods for child, adolescent, adult and older adult populations
  • Clinical musicianship and improvisation skills
  • Social and cultural foundations in music therapy
  • Technological applications
  • Imagery methods
  • Group dynamics in music therapy
  • Theories of music psychotherapy

Mental health counseling coursework covers theories and skills in:

  • Human psychological development
  • Psychopathology and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Social and cultural foundations in counseling
  • Behavioral research
  • Group dynamics in counseling
  • Theories of counseling and psychotherapy
  • Career counseling
  • Clinical appraisal and diagnosis
  • Professional ethics
  • Foundations of Creative Art Therapies

Clinical experience is integrated with classroom learning, with students participating in two practicums and one internship throughout the course of the program. For more information on the clinical education component of the Music Therapy program, click on the "Clinical Practices" tab above. 

A Culminating Project rounds out the curriculum. Second-or third-year students conduct a Culminating Project that integrates practice with theory and/or research. Under the guidance of their Culminating Project advisor, students design a project that explores aspects of both their respective Creative Arts Therapies discipline and counseling. Examples of Culminating Projects include development of a method, a community engagement project, research thesis or artistic project. Culminating Projects may be connected to a student's internship, but it is not a requirement. At the end of each academic year, students present their Culminating Projects to peers, faculty, friends and family at their respective program's Colloquium. Students are also encouraged to submit projects to regional and national conferences when applicable. 

Accreditation

The Music Therapy and Counseling program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association.

http://www.musictherapy.org/ 

Clinical Practice

Students complete more than 1,200 hours of graduate clinical practicum and internship experiences under the supervision of a board-certified music therapist. Placements include pediatric and adult psychiatric and general hospitals, recovery and wellness programs, therapeutic day care, preschool intervention programs, rehabilitation settings, long-term care facilities, forensic settings, schools, and community music therapy programs.

Students begin their clinical experience as soon as they enter the program. The clinical education is enhanced by 3 to 3.5 hours of individual and group supervision per week.

First-year students gain practical and theoretical knowledge regarding a range of clinical populations across two placements assigned by the Director of Field Education.  During practicum experiences supervised by on-site board-certified music therapists, students are guided through observation, assisting and co-leading of music therapy sessions in preparation for the second-year internship.

Clinical internship lasts the entire second year and offers an opportunity for students to mature and develop advanced skills with one or, in some cases, two populations. The internship is chosen by the student with assistance from the Director of Field Education and approved by the Music Therapy Program Director.  The practicum and internship fulfill the clinical training requirements of the American Music Therapy Association. 

Katy Hutchings, MA ‘15 - Music Therapist

Hometown: Piedmont, CA

Undergraduate: BA, Music (Minor in Educational Studies), Haverford College; MM, Voice Performance, Temple University

Current Employment:  Music Therapist at Young Children's Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

How did the MTC program help you discover and gain experience in your areas of interest? 
I loved that I had clinical experience throughout my two years at Drexel. While other programs make you wait to start clinical work, Drexel allowed me to dive right in and immediately start enhancing my education by seeing and participating in actual music therapy in the real world. As someone who was new to music therapy, this was incredibly valuable. Integrating clinical work and course work deepened my understanding of music therapy. I especially appreciated being able to find and choose my own internship my second year, allowing me to focus on working with children with developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other neurological diagnoses. 

How did your musical identity transform while you were in the Music Therapy program?
Coming from a career of being a professional singer and voice teacher, it was quite a shock to redefine myself as music therapist. I was a complete beginner at guitar and it was very humbling!  I also had never improvised and was not as confident in my improvisational skills. By the end of the program, I grew to love playing the guitar and improvising. 
What aspects of the curriculum were valuable in addressing issues of diversity, multicultural awareness, and social justice?
From our first day, we were introduced to instruments and musical styles from all over the world and different cultures. Musically, we explored a large variety of styles in a safe, nonjudgmental environment and our own personal music histories were valued as well. In our core curriculum courses, I appreciate the focus on diversity and multicultural awareness especially in terms of our role as therapists in such a diverse city like Philadelphia. 

What guidance would you give students who are considering Drexel’s MA in Music Therapy & Counseling? 
Drexel's program is intense but in two years you will feel confident in your skills as a clinician, counselor, and musician. All of my classmates were able to find full time work almost immediately and that speaks to how prepared we all were entering the job market. As an older student returning to school to start a new career, I felt very respected and supported by the faculty and my peers. Another benefit of Drexel's program is the opportunity to take classes with Art Therapy and Dance Movement Therapy students, allowing me to gain a broader perspective of Creative Arts Therapies. I now have a greater sense of how the arts can be used in therapy and I also have a large network of peers from all three modalities. 

Michael Mahoney MA’10 – Alum, Practicum/Internship Supervisor

Hometown: Brockport, NY

Undergraduate major and institution: Philosophy (with Business Studies minor) at SUNY Geneseo

Current Employment: Music Therapist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Why did you choose Drexel’s Music Therapy & Counseling program? I appreciated that Drexel would not require me to earn an undergraduate music degree, as I didn’t have a particular interest in becoming an expert on a specific instrument. Instead, I was able to use my own past experiences (playing in bands with friends, music technology) to develop my model to my own strengths.

What guidance would you give students who are considering Drexel’s MA in Music Therapy & Counseling?
Gain musical experiences, either by learning formal music theory, or on the side of playing music by playing music in performing groups before you begin. 

How did this program prepare you for a career as a music therapist? Through classwork and on-site experiences, I learned everything I needed to know to stand at the starting line of my own music therapy professional practice. I received huge amounts of support from respected experts in the field, and learned to initiate an ongoing learning process that continues to enrich my work today.

What has your professional experience been like? Extremely rewarding and marked by good fortune! I accepted a job at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia shortly after graduation, and I am now nearing my six-year anniversary. Every day I support patients and their families in playing out their thoughts, feelings and values through musical experiences during life-changing illnesses and hospitalizations. I think a lot about how to support everyone I meet from infant patients to their great-grandparents in the developmental challenges they face. This great honor is also a great responsibility, which I take very seriously.

What aspects of the curriculum were valuable in addressing issues of diversity, multicultural awareness, and social justice?
Our class content helped me understand how my (white, male, hetero cis-gendered) perspectives and values are not necessarily "the norm" for everyone, but rather just a single reference point out of so many across the city and the world.  It showed me how community or other non-Western approaches can be more beneficial for the struggling person, than anything that fits my ideas of what's normal.

News & Events

 

01/16/18

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has clinical services in four established Philadelphia-based sites in addition to a new Community Wellness HUB established this year in the Dornsife Center. Services are provided by faculty working in conjunction with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students, as well as orthopedic physical therapy residents.  The ultimate goal of the CNHP clinical services programming is to have an educational environment where students working alongside the more than 30 CNHP faculty, provide patient care in an interdisciplinary setting, including referrals between active clinical practice and research activities. CNHP’s clinical services and associated student education has continued to grow in scope and volume over the years. A broad overview of each practice is below.

The CNHP clinical services are located in Philadelphia at the following sites:

  • Stephen & Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center  
  • 3020 Market Street (3020 Market)
  • Drexel Recreation Center (REC)
  • Parkway Health & Wellness (PHW)
  • Community Wellness HUB at the Dornsife (The HUB)
Discipline/Sites                      3020 Market REC Center Parkway Health and Wellness The Community Wellness HUB
 Nurse Practitioner     

 Counseling and Family Therapy
 

 Creative Arts Therapies    
 
 Nutrition Scrience  

 
 Physician Assistant    

 Physical Therapy  

 

CNHP faculty are providing services in most disciplines across all Philadelphia sites.

Discipline CNHP Faculty Practicing at Clinical Sites
Nurse Practitioner Barbara Posmontier,  Kimberly McClellan, Barbara Osborne, Ann McQueen
Counseling and Family Therapy
Christian Jordal, Erica Wilkins 
Creative Arts Therapies
Yasmine Awais, Scott Horowitz, Dawn Morningstar, Michele Rattigan, Ellen Schelly-Hill 
Nutrition Scrience
Whitney Butler, Robin Danowski, Nyree Dardarian, Abigail Duffine-Gilman, Andrea Grasso-Irvine, Beth Leonberg, Angela Luciani, Vicki Schwartz, Elizabeth Smith, Amy Stankiewicz 
Physician Assistant
Patrick Auth, Juanita Gardner 
Physical Therapy
Lisa Chiarello, Kevin Gard, Noel Goodstadt, Robert Maschi, Christopher McKenzie, Kathryn Mitchell, Sara Tomaszewski, Sarah Wenger, Annette Willgens 

Round-up 

The clinical services are overseen by an interdisciplinary advisory board comprised of the director of CNHP clinical services and clinical coordinators representing each involved academic department and the research enterprise. This advisory board meets regularly to provide oversight and direction for the clinical practices in the areas of operations, productivity review, marketing, program development, and the promotion of collaborative interdisciplinary programming, including collaborations and referrals between clinical services and research projects.

Read the entire round-up including descriptions of each site and the services offered here.

01/15/18

I hope that everyone’s holidays were healthy, safe and restful.

I wish the best for 2018.  It always amazes me how fast the holiday season comes and goes. My mom always told me that the older one gets the faster the time flies by–boy, was she ever correct!!!

The following are highlights from the past month:

Beth Desaretz Chiatti, PhD, RN, CTN, CSN has been elected secretary of the Transcultural Nursing Society and a member of the board of directors. Her two-year term begins this month. She has also been chosen to be a Drexel Liberty Scholars Mentor.

Congratulations, Dr. Chiatti!!!

Theresa M. Campo, DNP, FNP-C, ENP-BC, FAANP, FAAN has been appointed to the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians’ board of directors representing the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners. She is the only nurse to have been appointed to an emergency physician organizational board of directors.

This appointment ties very nicely with our initiatives in the graduate program as well. The new post-master’s Emergency Nurse Practitioner program begins in the 2018 winter quarter using the curriculum she created. Campo was the first nurse practitioner in New Jersey to be certified as an emergency nurse practitioner.

In addition, a text book titled Medical Imaging, of which Campo was the lead author, has won first place in the American Journal of Nursing 2017 Book Award in the category of Adult Primary Care.

Congratulations, Dr. Campo!!!

The leadership team has been working on the upcoming CCNE accreditation site visit scheduled for February 26, 27 and 28, 2018. You will be hearing more about the site visit this and next month.

Please refer to the information posted below:

Collegiate Commission on Nursing Accreditation (CCNE)

This is to advise you that the CCNE, our major accrediting body in nursing, will be conducting an accreditation site visit on February 26, 27 and 28, 2018. All of the nursing programs will be reviewed during this site visit. 

We have been working on our self-study document that is required to be submitted by early January. We will be updating you in the next couple of months at faculty meetings and other venues on how the site visit will be conducted.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Dear Students, Alumni and Faculty:

As part of its accreditation process, The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) plans to visit the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions on February 26 to February 28, 2018.  

The Commission seeks to review all of the nursing programs including: the undergraduate nursing programs, the graduate nursing programs inclusive of the Advanced Role programs and the Nurse Practitioner programs, the Post-Master¹s Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner Certificate (PM-APRN-NP) program, the Nurse Anesthesia Program, the Post-Master's Nurse Anesthesia Certificate (PM-APRN-NA) program, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

In accordance with CCNE procedure, constituents (students, alumni and faculty) of these programs are invited to submit comments related to the quality of the programs under review to CCNE. Your comments are considered third party and any specific third party, signed comments concerning the accreditation process need to be received by February 5, 2018.  Please direct your comments to:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Attn: Third-Party Comments
655 K St., NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001

or thirdpartycomments@ccneaccreditation.org          

 

Thank you for your consideration of participation in this process.

Last but not least, Stephanie Brooks, PhD, associate dean for academic health professions, and I have been collaborating and we have decided to highlight both of our areas of responsibility monthly.
 
Thus, the “Rundiogram” will change its name to: “R & B Notes.”  Most of you will think of R & B as Rhythm & Blues, but this will stand for Rundio & Brooks. Dr. Brooks will present first and I second and then vice-versa as we highlight what everyone does at CNHP.
 
I hope that your New Year is the BEST ever. Thank you for all that you do for CNHP.
 
Al Rundio, PhD, DNP, RN, ARPN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Chief Academic Nursing Officer 

01/12/18

What are creative arts therapies? As a part of introducing the clinical creative arts therapies practice at Parkway Health and Wellness (PHW), it is important to start with what we are not: We are not scarf throwing, paint splashing, let-it-all-out drum-circling free spirits. We also do not provide coloring book activities or dance or music classes. We are educated professional masters and doctoral level psychotherapists and counselors who are also artists, musicians and dancers. The National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations, Inc. identifies that “Creative Arts Therapists are human service professionals who use arts modalities and creative processes for the purpose of ameliorating disability and illness and optimizing health and wellness.

Children with music therapistCreative arts therapists work from a variety of theoretical frameworks to support clients’ kinesthetic, sensory, affective, perceptual, cognitive and symbolic growth. These components are necessary to help individuals gain personal insight, problem solve, shift perspective, develop and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships, effectively manage change and experience an overall sense of well-being, just to name a few. Our clinical team is currently represented by two art therapists, a dance movement therapist, two music therapists and creative art therapies PhD students. As credentialed creative arts therapists, our mission is to provide treatment utilizing the healing power of the arts within the safety of a therapeutic relationship. We honor the diversity of our clients’ cultures, abilities and values. We strive to be a creative arts therapies resource for our clients and local community through therapy, outreach, education and advocacy.

We are currently serving individuals who experience:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Poor body image 
  • Dissociation
  • Trauma
  • Foster care transition
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Self-injury
  • Brain injury
  • Schizophrenia
  • And those on ASD spectrum

Personal accounts from clients attending either art, music or dance movement therapy at PHW include the appreciation of finding an alternative way to express thoughts and feelings that are often difficult to put into words. Just as a dreamer once said to psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, “I can draw it, but I don’t know how to say it.”

From 2016-17 over 570 visits were made to the Creative Arts Therapies program at Parkway Health and Wellness (PHW). Our reach into the community has been growing thanks to the work of our dedicated clinical team.

For more information about our creative arts therapies services at PHW, please contact CATappts@drexel.edu or Michele Rattigan, creative arts therapies clinical coordinator at mdr33@drexel.edu.

Written by Michele Rattigan, MA, ATR-BC, NCC, LPC
Assistat Clinical Professor
Creative Arts Therapies Clinical Coordinator

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