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MUSIC 2MU3 Intro Music Therapy Research

Academic Year: Spring/Summer 2016

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Rachael Finnerty


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 416

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23668

Office Hours: TBD

Course Objectives:

By the end of the course students will have a good understanding of the diversity of research in the field of music therapy including its relation to cognition, movement, education and mental health.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Course Book

      2MU3 Courseware: Issues in Music Therapy Research, Rachael Finnerty 2016

Method of Assessment:

This course will focus on current research across the music therapy profession.  Assessments will be multiple choice.  Class attendance is required to understand the course material and how to prepare for the assessments.

Class 3     Quiz 1 15%   
Class 6     Mid-term 35%
Class 9     Quiz 2 15%
Class 12    Final Exam 35%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students must attend class to complete quizes, mid-term, final 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 (Wigram 5.1) 

•    Review of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Research 
•    Music Therapy Research Journals
•    5.1   Research in Music Therapy – An Overview
•    Quantitative/Qualitative research
•    Investigating music therapy process
•    Music-based interventions in palliative cancer care: a review of quantitative studies and neurobiological literature (Patrick Archie & Eduardo Bruera & Lorenzo Cohen)

Class 2  (Wigram 5.2)

•    Investigating physiological/psychological outcomes
•    Applied behavior analysis
•    Audio/video analysis
•    Assessment and Clinical Evaluation in Music Therapy
•    Short-term effects of vibration therapy on motor impairments in Parkinson’s disease (Lauren K. Kinga,∗, Quincy J. Almeidaa and Heidi Ahonen Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University)

Class 3 (Wigram 5.3 & 5.4) & Quiz 1 (15%)

•    Reliability/validity
•    Assessment models
•    Assessment tools
•    Evidenced Based Practiced
•    Home-based music therapy for upper limb rehabilitaion with stroke patients at community rehabilitation stage – a feasibility study. (Alexander J.Street 1, WendyL.Magee2, HelenOdell-Miller 1, AndrewBateman3, 4,5,6 and Jorg C.Fachner1* 1 Music andPerformingArts,MusicforHealthResearchCentre)

Class 4   Music Therapy & Education

•    Music Therapy and the Education of Students with Severe Disabilities
Jennifer Stephenson, Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities  41 no3 290-9 S 2006

•    Educational Benefits of Music in an Inclusive Classroom, Susan Sze, PhD, Niagara University, New York, USA 14109, York Region District School Board, Ontario Canada (2004)

Class 5   

•    Review for Mid-Term
•    Summary and comparisons of readings

Class 6  Mid-Term, Classes 1-5 inclusive (35%)

Class 7 The Function of Music?

•     ‘Music, Biological Evolution and the Brain’ (A.Patel)
•    Bridging Music and Psychoanalytic Therapy (By Deborah Salmon)

Class 8 Music Therapy and Mental Health

•    The Social Architecture of Anxiety and Potential Role of Music Therapy (Rebecca Zarate)
•    Women with Addictions Report Reduced Anxiety After Group Music Therapy: A Quasi-Experimental Study (2013)

Class 9 Music Therapy and Neuroscience

•    The challenges and benefits of a genuine partnership between Music Therapy and Neuroscience:a dialogue  between scientist and therapist WendyL.Magee and LaurenStewart
•    Quiz 2

Class 10 

•    Music Therapy for Preschool Cochlear Implant Recipients
Class 11 Music Therapy & Culture

•    Songwriting with Oncology and Hospice Adult Patients from a Multicultural Perspective

Class 12    Final Exam 35%









Other Course Information:

For students who have already completed the Introduction to Music Therapy course, this will be additional information, opposed to a repeat of information.  More focus will be on the music therapy research (music therapy in action),  opposed to the overall profession of music therapy.