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Dr. Helen Shoemark, Director of Music Therapy and Coordinator, Master of Music Therapy / Master's Equivalency Program

Welcome from the Director

Welcome to the Music Therapy program at Temple University. We have a commitment to providing an encompassing program in which each student undertakes classes to develop the essential skills and knowledge to be a music therapist.

We are proud to offer programs from the undergraduate to doctoral level. The primary focus of the undergraduate degree is the clinical application of music therapy and eligibility for the Board Certification as a music therapist. The master's equivalency program enables you to meet those requirements for Board Certification while also taking master’s courses. For those already with their MT-BC status, the master's program offers you the opportunity to cultivate more in-depth clinical practice and establish research skills valuable in advanced practice. Temple offered the first true PhD in music therapy in the U.S. The focus of this degree is advanced thinking in music therapy theory, education and research that supports innovation, exploration and testing of music-based interventions. This full depth of educational opportunity makes the Temple experience a truly rich one for our students. 

At Temple, we provide opportunities for you to deepen your music skills and develop new skills on piano, guitar and voice, which are used most often in clinical work. You will learn how to recreate, compose, improvise and enhance music experiences with people in a wide range of settings. You will be involved in a range of experiential learning and knowledge development as the first step in a fulfilling career. You will explore music therapy in depth, as a discipline and as a therapy designed to partner with people to honor their current needs and desires, effect change where needed and support their growth. 

As an undergraduate or equivalency student, you take fieldwork classes in which you work directly with clients under the supervision of a qualified music therapist, and with the support of the Temple academic supervisor. Following academic and fieldwork courses, you undertake the six-month (1,000-hour) internship to experience the complete range of professional responsibilities of a music therapist. You receive close and continuous supervision from qualified music therapists on-site and attend weekly academic supervision. Once you have completed the academic coursework, fieldwork and internship, you are eligible to sit for the national exam offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) to become a Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC).

While you are completing your academic courses, you can build connections with other students in the Music Therapy Club. Our club is active on campus and in the region, providing opportunities for students to collaborate on community projects, participate at conferences, and work with students from other universities in the region. Temple students often serve as elected officers for the region’s student organization.

For our graduate students, our programs meet the advanced competencies requirements, with a deep focus on the development of critical thinking, excellence in practice and strong research skills. We are proud of the many Temple PhD graduates teaching in programs across the U.S., engaging in research teams and innovating in practice leadership.

The Music Therapy faculty are nationally and internationally known for their expertise in clinical work and research in areas such as: people living with mental health issues; infants and children with acute medical needs; children and young people with adverse experiences; adults and children with neurological conditions and in rehabilitation settings; supporting development with people of all abilities, guided imagery and music, mindfulness and wellness; assessment; and aspects of the profession and career structures. We are skilled in all types of research design, implementation and reporting to enable us to support the full breadth of student research interests.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Temple community. We encourage you to explore our programs and learn more about music therapy at Temple.

Prof. Helen Shoemark
Director of Music Therapy