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MUSIC 2MT3 Intro Music Therapy Practice

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. Rachael Finnerty


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 416

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23668

Office Hours: 430-700

Course Objectives:

This course offers an introduction to the literature and practice of music therapy with an emphasis on the diversity of music therapy applications such as bio-medical, psychoanalytical, behavioural and rehabilitation.

By the end of this course students will be able to define music therapy and will have a practical understanding of the applications of music therapy.

Students will understand the path to becoming a music therapist in Canada, and the different approaches and clinical settings of music therapy.

An overall understanding of the interventions used in music therapy will be attained and an introduction to some research supporting music therapy as a health care discipline with a diversity of client groups.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Course Books


A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy, Theory, Clinical Practice, Research and Training, Tony Wigram, Inge Nygaard Pederson, Lars Ole Bonde, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2002) *optional, necessary readings are included in the courseware.


Introduction to Music Therapy Practice   Rachael Finnerty, Courseware Fall 2015


Method of Assessment:

Quiz Class 3

(Classes 1&2) 10%

Mid-Term Class 6

(Classes 1-5)  30%

Quiz Class 10

(Classes 7-9) 20%

Final Exam

(Classes 1-12) 40%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students must complete the scheduled quizzes and exams to attain a course grade.

A missed quiz or exam without the completion of a MSAF or without prearrangements with the instructor will result in 0 for that quiz/exam.



Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:


Class 1/Sept 9            Overview of Music Therapy


A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy…………Wigram T Pgs 17-153 *non-inclusive.

Historical Perspective, An international perspective, Definitions of Music Therapy, How to become a MTA, Clinical practice, Interventions, Research, Videos



Class 2/Sept 16            Music Therapy Models


A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy ………. Wigram T Pgs 121-136 & pgs


Music Centered Thinking in Contemporary Music Therapy Frameworks Aigen K,

Music-Centered Music Therapy, Aigen, K, ©2005 Barcelona Publishers



Class 3/Sept 23         Improvisation As A Music Therapy Intervention


“Basic Therapeutic Methods and Skills” Wigram T

Improvisation: Methods and Techniques for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students, Wigram, T. Copyright © 2004 Jessica Kingsley Publishers


“Group Improvisation” Wigram T. Improvisation: Methods and Techniques for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students, Wigram, T. Copyright © 2004 Jessica Kingsley Publishers


QUIZ  Classes 1&2





Class 4/Oct 7           Songwriting As A Music Therapy Intervention


“Songwriting Methods – Similarities and Differences: Developing a Working Model”

Wigram T.

Songwriting: Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students, Baker, F. & Wigram T., eds.

Copyright © 2005 Jessica Kingsley Publishers


“Songwriting to Explore Identity Change and Sense of Self-concept Following Traumatic Brain Injury”

Baker, F. et al.

Songwriting: Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students, Baker, F. & Wigram T., eds.

Copyright © 2005 Jessica Kingsley Publishers



Class 5/Oct 14           Pre-composed Music As A Music Therapy Intervention


A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy………….  Wigram T Pgs 169-175


The iPod Project – Alive Inside


Active Music Therapy in Parkinson’s Disease: An Integrative Method for Motor and Emotional Rehabilitation Paccetti, C et al Psychosomatic Medicine, 62

© 2000 American Psychosomatic Society


Review for Mid Term



Class 6/Oct 21                                  Mid Term Classes 1-5



Class 7/Oct 28                      Music Therapy in a Medical Setting


The Effects of Music Entrainment on Postoperative Pain Perception in Pediatric Patients, Bradt, J Music and Medicine 2010


Standley, J. M. (1997). The effect of music and multimodal stimulation on responses of premature infants in neonatal intensive care. Pediatric Nursing24(6), 532-538.







Class 8/Nov 4        Music Therapy and Mental Health


A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy……………. Wigram T Pgs. 160-168


Performance in Music Therapy: Experiences in Five Dimensions Jampel, P.F

Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 11.1 © 2011 VOICES: A World Forum for Music Therapy


Individual Music Therapy for Depression: Randomised Controlled Trial Erkkila, J et al. British Journal of Psychiatry, 199 © 2011 Royal College of Psychiatrists



Class 9/Nov 11                Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT)


From singing to speaking: facilitating recovery from nonfluent aphasia, Schlaug

Future Neurol (2010) 5(5) 657-665 © 2010 Future Medicine Ltd.


Music Therapy and Communication


A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy………….  Wigram T Pgs 183-187


Preverbal Communication Through Music to Overcome a Child’s Language Disorder

Oldfield, A.

Case Studies in Music Therapy, Bruscia, K. E. ed

© 2006 Barcelona Publishers



Class 10/Nov 18            Community Music Therapy


A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy………….  Wigram T Pgs 202-204


Collaborative Work: Negotiations between Music Therapists ad Community Musicians in the Development of a South African Community Music Therapy Project

Oosthuizan, H. et al Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 7.3

© 2007 VOICES: A World Forum for Music Therapy


QUIZ Classes 7-9


Class 11/ Nov 25               Music Therapy and Neonatal Care


The Effects of Music Therapy on Vital Signs, Feeding and Sleep in Premature Infants

Loewy, J. et al Pediatrics, 131.5 © 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics


Music Therapy Research

A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy……………. Wigram T Pgs. 221-231


Class 12/Dec 2  Music Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder


Individuals with Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Adamek, M.S. et al  An Introduction to Music Therapy: Theory and Practice, Davis, W.B. et al.

© 2008 AM Music Therapy As


Review for Exam                

During Exam Period     Final Exam Classes 1-12




Other Course Information:

Attendance to classes will impact the overall understanding of the course material.

Slides from classes will not be posted on Avenue to Learn