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Released November 5, 2002
MUW's music therapy program receives AMTA approval
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Mississippi University for Women's new program in music therapy has received approval from the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).
"This means that MUW can actually offer the music therapy major," Kristen Cole, director of music therapy, said. "Essentially, a music therapy program cannot exist without AMTA approval.
"This makes us officially the only public university in Mississippi with the program and the only public university in the AMTA South Central region (Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi)."
Cole was responsible for completing an extensive 60-page application that included information about MUW, its resources, the clinical practicum sites and all course syllabi. After the application was completed, it underwent an initial review by a committee member, full review by the AMTA Education Committee and finally voted upon by the AMTA Executive Board.
"This is a vital step in the development of the program and a real testament to the many hours and dedicated effort (Cole) has put into the revision and updating of the curriculum in order to meet their standards," Dr. Michael Garrett, head of the Division of Fine and Performing Arts, said. "We have already seen the impact that the addition of music therapy has made on our entire music program, and I have every reason to believe that it is only the beginning of what is possible for us in the future."
Now that The W's program has received AMTA approval, the next step is to receive National Association for Schools of Music (NASM) accreditation, Cole said.
"Essentially, if AMTA approves the program, NASM will also," she said. "I will be attending the NASM conference at the end of this month to field any questions regarding the program. Full accreditation will not occur until we have our first graduate."
Music therapy is the use of music activities, experiences and interactions by a board-certified music therapist in a therapeutic setting to restore, improve or maintain mental and physical health.
In order to maintain a clinical practice, music therapists must complete an approved bachelor's-level degree program in music therapy, complete at least a 1,020-hour approved music therapy internship and pass the National Board Certification Exam in Music Therapy.
Following the completion of the required course work, including 220 hours of supervised clinical practicum with various clients at facilities on campus (Speech and Hearing Center and the Child and Parent Development Center) and throughout the Golden Triangle area and West Alabama, MUW will assist its graduates in finding employment.
Typical employment opportunities are in medical hospitals, public schools, nursing homes, counseling centers and private practice.
Seven MUW students are majoring in music therapy this fall, which is excellent since this is MUW's first year and most of the large schools average 10 majors per year, Cole said. The group has formed an active club, Mu Theta Chi, and has engaged in one group experience at the Very Special Arts Festival at Mississippi State University.
'The MUW program, because it is newly approved, meets AMTA's new educational standards that all schools must meet by the year 2006," she said. "This makes our program state-of-the-art and an excellent place to be as a future music therapist."
For more information about The W's music therapy program, contact Cole at (662) 241-7897 or visit the web page at www.muw.edu/fine_arts/MusicTherapy.htm.
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