Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of the Arts


John J. Cali School of Music

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Karen Goodman

Committee Member

Jeffrey Gall

Committee Member

Paul Hostette


The purpose of this study is to determine the use of the music therapist’s primary instrument in clinical practice. Specifically, the interest lies in whether there is a relationship between the type of primary instrument reported and the degree to which it is used with clients. In the current study two-hundred and twenty-two therapists completed a survey concerning the use of their principal instrument in clinical practice. The use of the principal instrument was limited to the timeframe of one year so as to obtain results on current practices. Results suggest that many music therapists do use their principal instrument in clinical practice, although some instruments, such as the voice and guitar, may be used more often than others. It was also found that each instrument may contribute something unique to a session. Furthermore, results suggest the use of the principal instrument in clinical practice may be dependent on the setting one works in, the population one works with and the needs of the client. Implications are made for clinical practice as well as for training and education.

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Music Therapy Commons