MA Music Therapy – Irish World Academy

MA Music Therapy – Irish World Academy


Music Therapy is an evidence-based clinical profession, we work alongside speech-therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, in health settings, special education settings, and often with people with learning disabilities. The MA Music Therapy program offers a unique experience for students to come and train as a qualified music therapy practitioner. Music Therapy is a discipline that requires a lot of skill in a lot of different areas, one has to be a very competent Musician, one also has to be very academic and very analytical. One of the fundamental pieces is the relationship that’s created between the therapist and the person, and within that there’s a triadic relationship between the music, the therapists and and the client. The core of our course is the clinical placement. So each semester the students go out on placement with a qualified, experienced, music therapist, who guides them through their work placements, and this is really the crux of where you learn how to be a Music Therapist. This includes placements in an observational context, in a practice context, where they’re supervised by qualified music therapists, in health contexts, in educational contexts, but also with community groups. I think it’s really only in the clinical context that the students’ skills are really tested, having students on-site in my organization, creative arts therapy students, including Music Therapy students, has really changed the culture and the arts and health have really become embedded in the hospital that I work in because of Creative Arts Therapy students. I enjoy watching students’ skills grow and become more independent practitioners, and I particularly like sharing the moments of joy, or breakthrough, that students have. It’s on these fieldwork opportunities that students really get to see the marriage of theory, practice and research. Music interacts and has a relationship with health and well-being, and we see in our work, and I’ve seen personally, lots of moments with people where music makes a huge difference in terms of their communication. It’s really about bringing music to people who wouldn’t access, traditionally, music venues or music opportunities, and giving people the opportunity to communicate and express themselves emotionally through music. We’re all really aware of how profound our experiences of music often are, so getting, harnessing that, and really using music to achieve something, to change something, I think it makes a lot of sense.

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