Making music for good.

Transform your passion for music into a career as a Board-Certified Music Therapist

The Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy prepares students for an engaging career as professional music therapists using the power of music to improve clients’ lives by addressing physical, emotional, psychological, social, and educational needs. A growing field, music therapists work in a wide variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, mental health and recovery clinics, physical rehabilitation, hospice and palliative care, and nursing homes.

The music therapy program at Westfield combines specialized and versatile musicianship with cutting-edge research for real-world application in clinical music therapy. 

As music therapy majors, students become flexible and adaptable musicians through coursework in areas like singing, guitar and piano, digital music production, songwriting, and improvisation, alongside in-depth study of music history and music theory. At the same time, students learn the science and art of applying their musical skill and knowledge for improving wellbeing through courses in music therapy, psychology, cultural studies, and health sciences.

Throughout their degree, students gain extensive clinical experience with the mentorship of professional music therapists providing music therapy to real clients in the community. Upon completing the music therapy degree, graduates are qualified to sit for the national board-certification exam for music therapists, thereby earning the professional credential Music Therapist – Board-Certified (MT-BC).

Westfield State University is the first public institution in Massachusetts offering a degree program in music therapy. The Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy is fully approved by the American Music Therapy Association and the National Association of Schools of Music.

The degree program is designed to be completed in four years plus internship. Transfer students or students with an Associate’s degree in music typically take two years of full- or part-time study plus internship. In consultation with the music therapy faculty, all courses of study are individualized to each student’s unique set of backgrounds, skills, and interests.

For more information, contact the Music Therapy Program Coordinator, Tim Honig, at thonig@westfield.ma.edu.

To Apply

Application for admission into the Music Therapy degree program includes three steps: an application to the university, audition with the music department, and meeting with the music therapy faculty.

 

  1. Application: Submit an application to Westfield State University at https://www.westfield.ma.edu/admissions

 

  1. Audition: Complete an audition for the music department. Information about audition dates and audition formats may be found at https://www.westfield.ma.edu/academics/music-department/audition-information

 

Applicants to the Music Therapy program have two options for their audition:

Or,

  • Flexible Audition option: Applicants audition by performing two pieces of music of your choice using your primary instrument/voice. The works should be in contrasting styles and may be from any genre; they may be by any composer, including self-composed works. Applicants are encouraged to prepare pieces that best demonstrate their musicianship and artistry.

 

  1. Meeting with the Music Therapy Faculty: All applicants meet with the music therapy faculty. This meeting is a chance for open conversation about the applicant’s interest in music therapy at Westfield, and applicants are encouraged to bring any questions they have about the program, faculty, student experiences, or anything else that comes to mind. 

    At the meeting, prospective students will also have a chance to play music with the music therapy faculty. No preparation is needed, though applicants are welcome to prepare a well-known song of their choice with or without accompaniment.

 

The Audition and Meeting with the Music Therapy Faculty may be scheduled for the same date. Students who elect to complete the audition by submitting a video recording should schedule the Meeting with the Music Therapy Faculty by emailing Prof. Honig at thonig@westfield.ma.edu. Students may choose to complete this meeting in person or online.

Music Therapy Faculty

Tim Honig is a board-certified music therapist and Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery. He is Assistant Professor in Music Therapy at Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts, USA where he directs the Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy degree program.

As a music therapist, Tim has worked in inpatient and outpatient psychiatry, cancer care, general medical, and private practice. His clinical practice has centered on improvisation and imagery. His research focuses on music therapy in mental healthcare, particularly in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. Tim presents his work regionally, nationally, and internationally, and his publications appear in journals including the Journal of Music Therapy, and the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy. He serves on the editorial board for the Journal of the Association for Music and Imagery and is a part of the editorial team for Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. Tim is a member of the Executive Board of the New England Region of the American Music Therapy Association.

A doctoral researcher at Aalborg University, Denmark, Tim holds a Master of Music Therapy degree and post-graduate certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy from Appalachian State University. Prior to his training in music therapy, Tim received a Bachelor of Music from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. He has additional training in music psychotherapy and clinical music therapy improvisation.

Prior to joining the faculty at Westfield State, Tim served on the faculty in the music therapy programs at Drexel University, Rowan University, and Appalachian State University. Formerly the music therapy internship director at Rockford Center, a psychiatric hospital in Delaware, he provides clinical supervision to undergraduate, graduate, and professional music therapists.

 

Requirements

Overview

Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy

Requirements for Music Therapy Major – 101 Credits

Music Core – 24 Credits

  • MUSC 0103 – Music Appreciation (majors/minors) Credits: 3
  • MUSC 0104 – World Music Credits: 3
  • MUSC 0110 – Basic Music Theory Credits: 3
  • MUSC 0111 - Music Theory I Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0112 - Music Theory II Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0211 - Music Theory III Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0113 - Sight Singing and Ear Training I Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0114 - Sight Singing and Ear Training II Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0213 – Sight Singing and Ear Training III Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0201 – Music History II Credits: 3

    Applied Music Requirements – 8 Credits

    Music Therapy majors are required to complete four semesters of applied lessons. Applied music study requires a jury examination every semester. Students taking applied music must also register each semester for MUSC 0280 - Music Studio.

    • MUSC 0174-7 – Applied Lessons I-IV Credits: 2
    • MUSC 0280 – Music Studio Credits: 0

      Clinical Musicianship – 18 Credits

    • MUSC 0152 – Class Piano I Credits: 1
    • MUSC 0153 – Class Piano II Credits: 1
    • MUSC 0252 – Class Piano III Credits: 1
    • MUSC 0156 – Voice Class Credits: 1
    • MUSC 0157 – Percussion Class Credits: 1
    • MUSC 0198 – Music & Expressive Movement Credits: 1
    • MUSC 0192 – Functional Guitar I Credits: 1
    • MUSC 0193 – Functional Guitar II Credits: 1
    • MUSC 0293 – Functional Piano Credits: 2
    • MUSC 0230 – Basic Conducting Credits: 2
    • MUSC 0235 – Music Technology Credits: 2
    • MUSC 0389 – Clinical Improvisation I: Principles & Techniques Credits: 2
    • MUSC 0390 – Clinical Improvisation II: Group Process Credits: 2

      Ensemble Requirements – 4 Credits

      Four semesters of participation in one of the following primary ensembles, as assigned by the department, to run concurrently with four semesters of applied lessons:

    • MUSC 0141 - University Chorus Credits: 0.5
    • MUSC 0143 - Wind Symphony Credits: 0.5

Four semesters of participation in secondary ensemble:
Two semesters from the following list as assigned by the department, recommended to run concurrently with two semesters of applied lessons:

  • MUSC 0140 - Chorale Credits: 0.5
  • MUSC 0141 - University Chorus Credits: 0.5
  • MUSC 0143 - Wind Symphony Credits: 0.5
  • MUSC 0145 - Jazz Big Band Credits: 0.5
  • MUSC 0146 - Jazz Vocal Ensemble Credits: 0.5
  • MUSC 0240 - Chamber Ensembles Credits: 0.5
  • MUSC 0269 - Small Jazz Ensemble Credits: 0.5

    Two semesters of the following, as assigned by music therapy faculty:

• MUSC 0240 – Performance Ensemble (Music Therapy): 0.5

Music Therapy - 17 Credits

  • MUSC 0107 – Introduction to Music Therapy Credits: 3
  • MUSC 0191 – Clinical Foundations of Music Therapy Credits: 1
  • MUSC 0210 – Music Therapy and Education with Exceptional Learners Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0291 – Neurologic Systems in Music Therapy Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0292 – Music Therapy with Children and Adolescents Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0391 – Theories of Health in Music Therapy Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0392 – Music Therapy in Mental Healthcare Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0393 – Medical Music Therapy Credits: 2
  • MUSC 0394 – Professional Topics in Music Therapy Credits: 1

    Music Therapy Clinical Fieldwork – 5 Credits

    All music therapy students complete five semesters of supervised clinical fieldwork: four semesters of Clinical Practicum in Music Therapy followed by one semester of Clinical Capstone in Music Therapy. Students must enroll in MUS 03XX Music Therapy Practicum Seminar concurrent with each of their four semesters of MUSC 03XX Clinical Music Therapy Practicum. After completing all other coursework, students complete a required 1,010-hr internship at an approved internship site.

  • MUSC 0395 – Clinical Music Therapy Practicum Credits: 1
  • MUSC 0396 – Music Therapy Practicum Seminar Credits: 0
  • MUSC 0397 – Clinical Capstone in Music Therapy Credits: 1
  • MUSC 0398 – Internship in Music Therapy Credits: 0

    Variable credit option 0-12 credits, selected upon advisement

    Clinical Foundations - 25 Credits

    • PSYC 0101 – Introduction to Psychology Credits: 3
    • PSYC 0207 – Lifespan Development Credits: 3
    • PSYC 0201 – Theories of Personality Credits: 3
    • PSYC 0303 – Abnormal Psychology Credits: 3
    • BIOL 0104 – Human Biology Credits: 4
    • MATH 0108 – Elementary Statistics Credits: 3
    • EGST 0208 – Hip Hop Cultures Credits: 3
    • GARP 0246 – Quant Methods of Phys/Soc Sci Credits: 3

      Or a department approved research methods substitution Credits: 3

Additional Graduation Requirements

All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core.