October 24, 2017

Eastern Michigan University music therapy program ranks among nation’s top 10

Graduates of Eastern Michigan University's Music Therapy Program have a 100 percent placement for post board certification over the past two years. Photo reprinted with permission.

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University is one of the 10 best places to study music therapy in the country, according to listings in TheBestSchools.org, an organization that provides guidance, rankings and insights on college life and possible careers.

The article on the website  notes that there are scores of undergraduate music therapy programs across the country, and many, such as EMU, have had their curriculum approved by the American Music Therapy Association.

“Still, we wanted to find the best programs available … What is it that makes a program go from ‘meeting expectations’ to ‘exceeding expectations?’” TheBestSchools.org said in its discussion of the programs.

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish goals within a therapeutic relationship overseen by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

“A strong commitment to generalist undergraduate music therapy education and clinical training, plus visionary strategic planning, diverse faculty expertise, strong community partnerships and the nurturing environment of the School of Music & Dance all contribute to our vibrant and robust program, and to this top ten ranking,” said Theresa Merrill, director of Music Therapy at Eastern.

Mary Rose Nieman, a senior in the music therapy program, says EMU’s program has given her experience observing and working in a wide variety of clinical music therapy settings, from EMU's own Music Therapy Clinic to Michigan Medicine's Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“I have had thorough clinical and musical training and know I will succeed as I prepare to apply for internships and take the Certification Board for Music Therapy exam,” Nieman said. “I not only have the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to be successful, but I also have mentorship relationships with faculty that will help me excel in my field beyond the degree.”

Merrill said, “The Music Therapy Program at EMU has moved from strength to strength, especially over the past five years. We have become more selective in our admissions and more rigorous in our expectations of students across the many curriculum areas involved in this degree program. Our graduates really show this, with 15 percent higher scores on the National Board Certification Examination and a 100 percent placement for post board certification over the past two years.”

Eastern Michigan University has been educating and training music therapists since 1976. EMU's graduates go on to positions in hospitals, psychiatric units, school districts, hospices, community mental health settings and private practices. Many graduates go on to graduate school or obtain advanced practice certifications.

As a music therapy student in EMU’s nationally-known program, one of only two in the state of Michigan, students learn the skills and training needed to conduct the clinical and evidence-based power of music interventions to help a variety of people with special needs.

Program studies include coursework, performance and 1,200 hours of clinical training that makes students eligible to take the national Music Therapist Board Certification Examination.

With nearly a million page views a month, TheBestSchools.org describes itself as a resource for prospective students seeking a degree program or following news within higher education.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 200 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Contact Geoff Larcom, glarcom@emich.edu, 734.487.4401

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