Music Therapy

Music Therapy

Laurie Pebbles Music Therapy
Laurie Peebles ’10 Launches New Music Therapy Program for Cancer Patients

Do you believe in the power of music to heal? Are you deeply compassionate and caring? Do you want to help change lives with music?

Consider a career in Music Therapy, the profession that combines music, relationship building and clinical process to meet the needs of persons with disabilities and health challenges.

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy
  • Equivalency certificate in Music Therapy (Open to women holding a bachelor’s degree in music)

Related Program

About Music Therapy

Music therapists work with people of all ages: in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, clinics, rehabilitation centers, hospice and wellness programs. The client and the music therapist engage together in music making, listening and exploring meaning and memories associated with music. Music therapists are creative musicians who are committed to music and personal growth, and have a desire to help others.

Music TherapyOur Music Therapy program has a unique partnership with Spartanburg Regional Health System to provide clinical experiences for students. Our Associate Professor of Music Therapy, Dr. Carol Shultis, has worked in the field for more than 30 years with a wide variety of clinical populations.

Other reasons to choose Converse:

  • Music Therapy training is conducted within the Petrie School of Music, known for its musical excellence
  • Practicum experiences conducted with adults and children in the community; faculty members serve onsite as mentors and supervisors
  • Extensive classroom and on-site clinical experience
  • Classroom and individual instruction in improvisation and creative skills for clinical use
  • Faculty members are actively involved in state, regional and national music therapy organizations, serving in leadership roles and mentoring student involvement in these organizations
  • The Music Therapy Program at Converse is guided by the standards set forth by the American Music Therapy Association


Converse’s art and music therapy students joined together in two service learning trips to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti following a devastating earthquake there.  Read more


Musicians Helping Others

This student-led organization includes music therapy majors and interested students who want to share the power of music for health and well-being. You’ll find them leading campus drum circles, organizing community jam sessions and advocating for the music therapy profession.

Internships and Practicum

As a Music Therapy student you’ll complete clinical rotations in a hospital, nursing center, community mental health facility, school or afterschool program. You’ll also complete a required 6-month internship in a healthcare setting. Here are a few of the places you may go:

  • Spartanburg Regional Health System
  • Work with adult and pediatric hospital patients, hospice families and specialty units.
  • Cannons Elementary School
  • Work alongside passionate teachers to creatively serve special needs preschoolers.
  • Meeting Street Academy
  • Work with a skilled music/drama teacher to design and implement sessions for at-risk children at an afterschool program.
  • Mountainview Nursing Center
  • Engage in group therapy with seniors, adults experiencing memory loss, and rehabilitation patients.

Bachelor of Music (BM) in Music Therapy

Our professional degree program will prepare you to meet entry-level competencies set by the American Music Therapy Association in order to prepare for professional practice in music therapy. Students who successfully complete four years of coursework and a six-month internship at an approved healthcare facility will have met requirements to graduate and become eligible to sit for the national board certification examination administered by the Certification Board of Music Therapists. You’ll also be encouraged to explore your own creativity to deepen your personal understanding of the benefits of music as a healing art.

Students are advised that additional licensure may be required to practice music therapy in some states.

Molly Glibbery Haitian GirlsSample Courses

  • Piano Applications in Music Therapy
  • Clinical Processes in Music Therapy
  • Music Therapy with Adult Populations
  • Psychology of Music
  • Research in Music Therapy
  • Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Clinical & Professional Issues in Music Therapy

Audition/Application Requirement

You’ll need to complete an audition/interview before acceptance into our music therapy program in addition to auditioning on your principal instrument. The music therapy audition requires that you sing a memorized song “with therapeutic intention” while accompanying yourself with either piano or guitar.

Equivalency Program

If you have already obtained a BM in another music area and wish to become a Board Certified Music Therapist, our Equivalency Program in Music Therapy is designed for you!

You’ll take the additional courses required for the music therapy degree, including the psychology sequence, biology/ human anatomy, and music therapy core coursework, and the clinical requirements (4 practicum rotations and the required 6 month internship). Completing these requirements will make you eligible to take the national board certification examination to earn the credential “Music Therapist-Board Certified” and begin professional practice.

For full course requirements, see the academic catalog.

Music Therapy GuitarWhat are common careers in Music Therapy?

Music Therapists work in hospitals, hospice programs, rehabilitation and long term care facilities, and in public schools. Our graduates work in:

  • Private Practice/Clinic-based services
  • Activity Program Manager
  • Counseling
  • Clinical supervision

What are Music Therapy alumni doing?

Converse Music Therapy graduates are employed in private and group practices and in healthcare facilities across the nation. Some are pursuing graduate school in music therapy or related healthcare professions.

Grad Schools

  • University of Chicago, College of Social Work
  • University of Tennessee College of Social Work
  • Converse College, Petrie School of Music, Music Education
Music Therapy Uganda
Elly MacPhail Keyser ‘09 spent two months in Uganda working to provide food and music for the children of Masese.


  • Music Therapist, Cascades Verdae, SC
  • Recreation Therapist, NY
  • Music Therapist, Tristar Parthenon Pavilion, TN
  • Music Therapist, Joyful Music Therapy, FL
  • Music Therapist, Master Musicians, FL
  • Music Therapist, George Center for Music Therapy, GA
  • Music Therapist, Greenville Health System Center for Integrative Oncology & Survivorship


Maddy Walsh ’19

Music Therapy student Maddy Walsh spent 17 months self-producing her own album.

Music Therapy Stories

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