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Statement of Philosophy

Selection and preparation in Music Therapy at Florida State University is based upon an important yet extremely simple premise — it is, that every client receiving music therapy services should have the best clinical assistance possible.

This implies that every therapist should be committed to the subject of music and its therapeutic use with people. The strength of this commitment is evidenced by the academic and social behaviors of the prospective therapist in life, both in and out of the university environment.

The FSU Music Therapy student is characterized by diligence in the pursuit of musical and academic excellence and active dedication to the improvement of the quality of life of their fellow human beings.

Personal Qualities

For those who value knowledge, the learning process is perpetual throughout life’s time. To be an effective music therapist, one must develop:

  1. the ability to think, and therefore, value and discriminate,
  2. the ability to feel, and therefore, become sensitive to aesthetic qualities in music and life, and
  3. the courage to act, and therefore, translate those abilities to think and feel into overt behaviors.

Successful music therapists evidence personal qualities of leadership, intellectual curiosity, social commitment, and emotional stability. They approach life, music, and the therapeutic profession in a positive, imaginative, and enthusiastic way.The music therapist attempts to create a respect and desire for quality life experiences, teaching others to learn and mature, react positively, listen responsively, and relate sensitively.

Toward this goal, music therapists provide a variety of learning and therapeutic experiences for their clients and are stimulated by current research to seek, evaluate, and appropriately implement current ideas and developments in the therapeutic applications of music.

They promote positive relationships with clients, colleagues, and others. They are emphathetic with people of differing social and ethnic backgrounds, and demonstrate mature attitudes and values. They consistently maximize client opportunities and accomplishments, and minimize self-aggrandizement. Their public performances are part of therapeutic programs geared to helping people become sensitive to aesthetic opportunities in life.

Comprehensive Competencies

Music therapists must be prepared and eager to assist those in need:

  • the young,
  • the poor,
  • the underprivileged,
  • the handicapped,
  • the aged,
  • those unable to cope, and
  • the medically or mentally ill.

In addition to personal competencies in music performance, improvisation, conducting, applied music, composing, arranging, analysis, history, repertoire, and other musical skills, they must have competencies in the teaching of music on all levels, nursery school through adulthood, and in the methods of music therapy in the full array of habilitative and rehabilitative settings.

They must be exposed to techniques of teaching in the humanities, related arts, and general music areas, as well as, become proficient in the areas of psychology, anatomy, and other health/behavioral sciences. Concurrently, the music therapist must be able to express knowledge through verbal communication (oral and written) and through overt, demonstrable music and teaching/therapy behaviors.