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 D. Goodman

Committee Member

Amy L. Clarkson

Committee Member

Jeffrey Kunkel


This study, to assess the prevalence and role of music therapy in various school systems across the United States, utilized a demographic survey design. The instrument used in this study was a 10 item self-report electronic survey. A mix of open ended and multiple choice questions were utilized.

Descriptive statistics, percentage analysis, and topic categorizing were used to analyze the data supplied by 166 school-based music therapists from throughout the United States. Results indicated the following: 1. The majority of respondents (78%) provided music therapy in public schools with weekly self-contained groups being the most common type of session. 2. Autism was the most prevalent of disorders/disabilities represented by the music therapist's clients; Intellectual disability was the second most prevalent. 3. Persons aged 7 to 12 years were the most prevalent age group music therapists work with, persons 18 and older the least. 4. Education and qualification of respondents indicated that a majority hold Bachelor's or Master's degrees in music therapy over the equivalency option; furthermore 95% of music therapists are board certified. 5. A majority are employed full time with only 1% (two respondents) providing service as consult only. 7. A majority of music therapists in the schools are employed with the title of Music Therapist, while others have the title of Music Educator, Special Educator and more. Following the data analysis, discussion highlights the need for further analysis and related questions.

File Format


Included in

Music Therapy Commons