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Course

As a musician, music educator or music therapist, you have experienced first-hand that music can make a difference. Music can have a healing effect. The need for music therapy and/or music-based interventions in healthcare and communities is increasingly growing; new areas for the application of music therapy are being investigated and developed. The ArtEZ Master of Music Therapy provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills to be at the forefront of this promising field at the intersection of music and (health)care.

What will you learn at the Music Therapy Master’s programme?

During the Music Therapy Master's, you will deepen and advance your clinical, musical and research expertise. Starting from a personal study plan, you will investigate the role and impact of music on clinical and non-clinical settings, contribute to building evidence and innovating the discipline. The ArtEZ Master's in Music Therapy rests on three main pillars: musical competences, advanced music therapy skills, and research.

  • During the Master programme you develop advanced musical knowledge and skills related to the professional practice of music therapy. The focus lies on the concept of (per)forming identity: who are you as a music therapist, how do you use music for your clients, and how do you bring that to the world? Learning about yourself musically, is also at the core of the counselling and selfcare course. You can choose to develop and conduct a 'Community music therapy' project yourself as an independent musical project: an adequate way to improve your leadership skills, your musical competences and contribute to building resilient futures.

    • Musical and Improvisational Skills: through musical improvisation, mastering different musical genres, and exploration of your own relationship to music with your peers, you will develop your own musical identity.
    • Music Technology: you will learn to apply different software and hardware in your clinical practice, taking the clinical criteria and goals into consideration.
    • Counselling and Selfcare: you will explore your personal strengths and pitfalls and their role in the therapeutic alliance with your client and your professional attitude. You will apply and articulate your musical actions as part of your personality characteristics within music therapy.
    • Community Music Therapy: culturally sensitive leadership skills and the importance of providing musical experiences to local or international communities are combined in the design and planning of a community music therapy project of your choice.
    • Community Music Therapy Elective: you can later choose to carry out your project under the coaching of ArtEZ faculty. Preparing, conducting and evaluating your own project constitutes this course. You can then further elaborate on it to become your final research project.
  • The programme trains you in developing advanced evidence-based music therapy skills that can be applied within a variety of clinical contexts. Core subjects include cognitive neuroscience of music, neurologic music therapy (NMT), cognitive behavioral music therapy and advanced music therapy approaches. The clinical competences trained in the different subjects, are always intertwined with your own clinical practice or supervised internship.

    Neurologic Music Therapy training and fellowship

    At the beginning of every academic year, the ArtEZ Academy of Music launches the Neurologic Music Therapy training and Fellowship. During the academic year, you will complement these trainings with regular webinars, as well as by hands-on practice of NMT techniques with the clinical group of persons diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease receiving music therapy on campus.

  • Research lies at the heart of this Master’s programme. During the course, you will set up and conduct original and individually supervised research on the specific role of music in therapeutic processes, the effectiveness, and impact of music therapy on the population of your interest.  Your research project could involve investigating the impact of a specific music therapy method on a specific population in depth; implementing music therapy in a diversity of new settings; conducting a community music therapy project; or innovating interventions through, for instance, technology.

    You will receive personalized guidance, as well as research tutorship by highly specialized faculty. Furthermore, our networks with the ArtEZ Professorship in Music-based Therapies and Interventions, universities, NGO’s and healthcare facilities are at your disposal.

    By writing an article and holding presentations, you will learn how to present and explain your results to professional music therapists and other health related disciplines. Your research will contribute to the professional field of music therapy, health care related disciplines and eventually, people’s health. 

    Research subjects include evidence-based music therapy, research designs, statistics, data analysis, participation in study group and individual coaching.

    Visit our yearly Master of Music Therapy Symposium to listen to our graduates.

The Master of Music Therapy at ArtEZ offers weekly music therapy sessions for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Our students actively participate in the sessions, while training their advanced clinical skills.

Thanks to the Master's, I now speak the language of the people in my professional field, such as doctors, psychologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. I am now better able to see the interconnections and produce the reasoning to support my ideas. That improves collaboration.
LIZZY DINGHS, alumna

Curriculum: full-time and part-time route

You can choose to follow the course in the creative environment of the ArtEZ Academy of Music in the 1-year full-time ‘on campus’ modality. Alternatively, you can decide to study from your own country or city in the 2-year part-time ‘blended’ modality.

  • The on-campus modality is taught on a weekly basis on Thursdays and Fridays, through conventional lectures and complementing online classes. Besides these two full days of lectures, you will need to complete a supervised internship (if you have done the ArtEZ premaster course) or work-experience hours (if you are already working as a music therapist). Besides following the course classes, you can participate in the many weekly activities like workshops and rehearsals that are taking place on campus, as well as in the Music Therapy Group for Parkinson’s patients. The full-time course load is approximately 40 hours per week.

  • The blended learning modality covers all courses offered in the fulltime modality and is composed of six intensive weeks (three each year) and weekly online classes. The part-time programme is designed for those wishing to develop and advance their music therapy knowledge and skills from their own cities or countries, combining work and family life with graduate education. Weekly lessons are scheduled every Friday, and personal coaching or tutoring can be scheduled with more flexibility during other days. You will carry out your clinical hours (work experience or 280 hours of supervised internship) in or near your hometown. Suitable supervision from a qualified music therapist, as well as suitable clinical music therapy mentoring needs to be granted for those students needing to complete supervised internship hours. The part-time course load is approximately 20 hours per week.

Unique music therapy community

The ArtEZ Master of Music Therapy is part of a well-established and unique community, composed of a number 1 ranked Bachelor’s in music therapy in the Netherlands, an equivalency Pre-Master course, the Master programme,  and a professorship in music therapy and music-based interventions. You will share hands-on project weeks and activities with fellow students from different artistic and cultural backgrounds: students from the different programmes in the Conservatory and other Master programmes at the ArtEZ Graduate School. The diversity of partners and opportunities for collaboration provide a dynamic and versatile setting, a perfect place to grow as a professional.

  • The interdisciplinary character of our programme prepares you for working with other professionals in the field: therapists, educators, scientists, musicians, other artists and health professionals. We reflect together on diverse cultural perspectives and beliefs by sharing interesting dialogues and exchanges. This helps you to expand your perspective on the role of music and care for people, and to be aware of your own intrinsic values, frame of reference and those of others.

    ArtEZ welcomes students from all cultures, genders and religions. Ethics and respect towards diversity are central to the institution’s core. Our vision is rooted in a shared and unique authorship in innovating, developing and shaping the impact of music therapy on individuals and society to build more resilient and equitable societies around the world.

  • As a Music Therapy master student, you receive high-level training provided by national and international expert clinicians, professors and guest lecturers. The programme collaborates with different national and international medical, healthcare, and educational institutions, as well as NGO’s.

Music therapists are advocates for creating a better world through their passion towards music, humanity and sciences.
CAMILA PFEIFFER, Head of programme

(Per)forming identity

The ArtEZ Master’s in Music Therapy programme is characterized by its focus on musicianship, professional and personal growth, scientific and innovative thinking, professionalism, collaboration, and cultural sensitivity. It is designed as an international course taught by local and international faculty members who are leaders in their field of expertise. Throughout the programme, you elaborate your leadership skills and reflect on your own identity as a music therapist. Which aspects reflect you?

  • The Master of Music Therapy study programme offers you the opportunity to explore in order to create, to recreate and thereby, to advance music-based interventions and music therapeutic techniques. Through music technology for instance, or through interdisciplinary collaborations in art-based research with students from other master programmes at ArtEZ, you can enhance your passion towards innovation.

  • Specific but flexible knowledge, the capacity to adapt to clients’ needs, and the ability to envision the development of the field: these are advanced skills crucial to the music therapist who seeks to specialize and deepen clinical and research expertise in order to solve problems in one specific clinical area, approach, population or research query.

  • Music and music therapy are powerful in building, empowering and strengthening communities. The sustainability of community-music therapy projects, equity and (cultural) diversity are the core themes of subjects related to leadership skills, and community music therapy and culturally adept approaches. Some of our students have conducted music therapy projects with different communities in the Netherlands, and in Lesvos, Sudan, and Romania.

Connect by Music

Since the beginning of 2018, the ArtEZ Master of Music Therapy cooperates with Connect by Music, an organization that arranges music projects for (mainly child) refugees in the camps on Lesvos. The addition of music therapists to the existing permanent staff of Greek professional music teachers, creates the possibility to offer even more tailored support to the children. On some of the locations, Connect by Music only works with music therapists.

The results after several sessions are really remarkable. Children are able to open themselves up again and connect with each other. By now music therapists from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, have joined the Connect by Music team on a temporary basis. In the past period, several students and alumni of ArtEZ Music Therapy were active at Lesvos.