Music Therapy FAQs

The Music Therapy Program at Seattle Pacific University — the first and only music therapy program in Washington state — offers many opportunities for you, as a dedicated musician, to use your skills and aptitude to serve others through the functional use of music. Below is a list of frequently asked questions related to the program.

How can I find out more about music therapy as a career?

The American Association for Music Therapy (AMTA) website is filled with information on what is new in the field, accredited schools around the country, and career opportunities, as well as fact sheets on how music therapists work with various populations. Locally, the Music Therapy Association of Washington (MTAW) website lists current activities for music therapists in our state, as well as active board certified music therapists.

I am interested in transferring to SPU for the Music Therapy Program. What do I need to do?

You must first be admitted to Seattle Pacific University. Talk with an SPU Admissions counselor to determine the steps to gain admittance. Before you can apply to the Music Therapy Program, you must successfully pass two courses: “Introduction to Music Therapy” and “Music Therapy Skills & Repertoire.” Prospective students may then audition and interview for acceptance to the Music Therapy program.

What can I do to prepare myself for applying to SPU to gain admittance to the Music Therapy Program?

Music Therapists are first and foremost strong musicians. Taking private lessons on your primary instrument is essential. Music therapy majors must pass proficiency exams in voice, guitar, and keyboard before graduation. Having experience with one or more of these instruments, especially piano, will be extremely helpful to your studies and clinical work.

I already have a BA in music. Can I apply to the Music Therapy Program?

Yes, you must first apply as a post-baccalaureate student. Once admitted to SPU, you will need to successfully pass two courses before applying to the Music Therapy Program: “Introduction to Music Therapy” and “Music Therapy Skills & Repertoire.” The Music Therapy degree is a competitive program, and a limited number of spaces are available for post-baccalaureates. An audition and interview will determine your ability to meet proficiency requirements and strength of musicianship. If accepted, you will need to take only the core music therapy courses and additional courses in your area of interest, e.g., special education or psychology.

All Music Therapy students study on their primary instrument as well as take lessons in guitar, voice, and/or keyboard as needed to pass proficiency requirements. There is no set timetable for completion; students are assessed on an individual basis based on coursework and completion of 180 hours of clinical practicum.

What is the audition/interview process to apply to the Music Therapy major?

The audition to gain acceptance to the Music Therapy major involves the following:

  1. Performing on your primary instrument.
  2. Playing piano and guitar, and singing with a strong voice. All three proficiencies are required for a degree in Music Therapy. If you are not proficient in one or more of these, we would discuss your ability to meet standard level within a reasonable time period.
  3. Writing a short essay on why you want to pursue a degree in Music Therapy and articulating your professional and personal interests.
  4. Being interviewed by the director of the Music Therapy Program as well as Music Department faculty.