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Academic Year: Spring/Summer 2014

Term: 1

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Rachael Finnerty


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 416

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23668

Office Hours: by appointment TSH 425

Course Objectives:

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.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy, Theory, Clinical Practice, Research and Training, Tony Wigram, Inge Nygaard Pederson & Lars Ole Bonde, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2002)

“Introduction to Music Therapy” Rachael Finnerty, Courseware    

Method of Assessment:

Quiz Class 4 (10%)              Mid-term Exam (45%)      Final Exam (45%)

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

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            Topic                          Relevant Readings

May 6

Overview of Music therapy

Wigram Ch.1

May 8

Models & Approaches

Wigram Ch.2.2, 2.3, 3.1-3.5

Courseware- p.1 Music-Centered Thinking in Contemporary Music Therapy Frame Works




Improvising & Songwriting as Music Therapy Interventions

Courseware – p.103 Integrated Music Therapy with a schizophrenic woman.

Courseware - p.129 Songwriting to Explore Identity Change and Sense of Self-Concept Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Courseware –p.139 Songwriting methods-similarities and differences



Quiz & Precomposed Music as a music therapy Intervention

Wigram Ch.4.5

Courseware- p.117 Music Therapy with the Elderly

May 20

Music Therapy & Mental Health

Wigram Ch.4.1

Courseware –p.7 Behavioural –Emotional Disorders: An Introduction

May 22


Classes 1-5


May 27

Music Therapy & Autism

Wigram Ch.4.3

Courseware p. 41 Individuals with Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders



Music Therapy & Language /communication

Wigram Ch.4.4

Courseware p. 91- Preverbal Communication through music….



Role of Music therapy Research

Wigram 5.1, 5.3, 5.4

June 5


Music Therapy in General Medicine

Wigram Ch. 3.7

Courseware p.149 Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Research; Music Therapy as an Intervention for Pain

June 10

Music Therapy & rehabilitation

Courseware p.63 Music Therapy in Neurologic Rehabilitation



Summary Review & Further Examples

Classes 6-11

June 17


Classes 6-12

June 19

Exam Review



Other Course Information:

Late Assignments

Late penalty for written assignments is 5% per day, calculated from the beginning of your tutorial time, or 25% per week unless the student has a justified absence from the University.  After 1 week, late papers will not be accepted, except in the case of a justified absence.