Music Therapy

Music can inspire, lead, comfort and heal. Music therapy is a fast-growing field and Carroll University is one of only two institutions in Wisconsin offering an AMTA-approved music therapy degree. As a music therapist, you’ll use your clinical knowledge and musical abilities to help people work towards their goals and explore their full potential. Music therapists support a wide variety of people across the lifespan, including those living with trauma, injury, illness, and disease. Music therapy can reduce anxiety, stimulate movement, facilitate learning, encourage social interaction, and improve a person’s quality of life in numerous ways. Music therapists work in diverse settings–from clinics and hospitals to schools and homes and beyond. In our program, you’ll develop your musical skills and learn about music’s impact on human functioning. You will also build the practical and therapeutic skills necessary for professional practice through both classroom instruction and community-based clinical learning experiences. 

NASM-Accredited Institution

Carroll University is now an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music

“I am able to connect with my professors and have real discussions with them.”
— Anthony Tirrell '20

Read Anthony's story

About the Music Therapy Major

Carroll University’s music program has a long and proud history and our health science programs have a national reputation for excellence. In the music therapy major, you’ll learn from our expert faculty from both programs. It’s also one of very few undergraduate therapy degrees available, meaning you’ll have a quick path to a rewarding job. And this is a booming career, with a projected 8-14 percent job growth in the next decade.

In this major, you’ll develop musical skills in singing, guitar, piano and percussion and learn about music theory. You’ll also study psychology, anatomy, biology and physiology.

You’ll begin clinical placements as soon as your second year, first observing a music therapist at work and then assisting. You’ll have several more clinical experiences, culminating in a six-month internship, where you’ll observe and provide music therapy services under the direct supervision of a certified music therapist. You’ll learn how to assess, treat, document and evaluate your patients. In addition, you’ll learn to communicate empathetically, establish therapeutic relationships and gain an awareness of ethical principles and current standards of practice.

Upon completion of this program, you’ll be prepared to take the certification exam offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

Additional Music Majors

Carroll University offers two additional majors within the music program.


As a music therapy student, you will gain around 200 hours of community-based, hands-on clinical experience. These experiences, in conjunction with your coursework, prepare you for the next step in becoming a music therapist: Completing a six-month music therapy internship. Our students have fulfilled this internship requirement in a variety of settings and locations, including: 

  • Annette Meyer Studios; Grafton, WI 
  • ​Arizona State Hospital; Phoenix, AZ 
  • Clement Manor; Greenfield, WI 
  • Florida State Hospital; Chattahoochee, FL 
  • Giant Steps Day School; Lisle, IL 
  • Healing Harmonies Music Therapy; Wauwatosa, WI 
  • Middleton Music Therapy Services; Middleton, WI 
  • Music Therapy Services of Central Wisconsin; Stevens Point, WI 
  • Resonate Music Therapy; Colorado Springs, CO 
  • Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Janesville, WI 


College is a big investment in a bright future. Learn more about the rewarding careers our majors pursue, and the workplaces and experiences of the alumni from our program. See where yours may take you.

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Alumnus Bryon Cherry '04 lived the liberal arts education at Carroll when - as a political science major - he also discovered his passion and talent for music. He developed his musical interest down a path that led to him being named best R&B/Soul Artist at the 2021 Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Awards.

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“We get an incredible amount of personal attention from the professors.”
— Allison Mueller '19

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