Music Therapy

Music can inspire, lead, comfort and heal. As a music therapist, you’ll use your knowledge and abilities in music to help people live better lives. Music therapy is a fast-growing field and Carroll University is one of only two institutions in Wisconsin offering an AMTA-certified music therapy degree. Music therapy is useful for a wide variety of patients, from infants to the elderly and those suffering from trauma, injury, illness and disease. It can help reduce anxiety and stress, coax movement, generate social interaction and improve a patient’s quality of life in numerous ways. Music therapists work in diverse settings–from clinics and hospitals to schools and homes. In our program, you’ll study music, gain proficiency in an instrument and also acquire the qualifications to be a therapist, learning clinical skills with patients and preparing for a professional practice.

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.


​With this major as your focus, you will gain around 200 hours of practical clinical experience in music therapy practicum, beginning sophomore year. Full internships have not been completed by our students yet since the program is still new, however, recent pre-internship sites where students are already gaining hands-on experience include:

  • Authentic Birth Center (Mother-infant recreational music group)
  • Hope Center in Waukesha
  • Linden Court Memory Care
  • Healing Harmonies Music Therapy, LLC
  • Expressive Therapies, LLC
  • Life in Harmony Music Therapy, LLC
  • Living Melodies, LLC
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Ascension – St. Francis Hospital
  • Union Grove Veterans Home
  • Arts for All Wisconsin
  • St. Ann’s Center for Intergenerational Care
  • Middleton Music Therapy Services, LLC
  • ProHealth Hospice – Angel’s Grace
  • Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care
  • GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee
  • Clement Manor
  • Vitas Hospice


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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— Allison Mueller '19

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