Eastern Michigan University
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Contact Us:

For information on the music therapy program, please contact:

Dr. Theresa Merrill, MT-BC
Director of Music Therapy

Email: tmerril1@emich.edu
Phone: 734.487.0198

For more details information about the EMU Music Therapy Program, please view our website here.

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For information on the Music Therapy Center, please contact:

Prof. Debra Gombert, MT-BC
Clinical Coordinator of Music Therapy

Email: dgombert@emich.edu
Phone: 734.487.6734

Music Therapy Program

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. -The American Music Therapy Association

Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

  • promote wellness
  • manage stress
  • alleviate pain
  • express feelings
  • enhance memory
  • improve communication
  • promote physical rehabilitation

About Us

Eastern Michigan University has been educating and training music therapists since 1976. Believed to be one of the Nation's most rigorous undergraduate programs in Music Therapy, EMU's graduates go on to positions in hospitals, psychiatric units, school districts, hospices, community mental health settings and private practices. Many graduates go on to graduate school or obtain advanced practice certifications.


EMU's 40-credit-hour Music Therapy concentration includes:

  • four semesters of clinical improvisation
  • methods and materials with children and adult populations
  • Psychology of Music with an emphasis on cognitive neuroscience
  • Music Therapy research
  • professional skills including website development
  • over 200 hours of pre-internship clinical training
  • at least 900 hour internship following the completion of coursework

Admission and Audition Information

As a music therapy student in EMU’s nationally-known program, one of only two in the state, you can get the skills and training you need to conduct the clinical and evidence-based power of music inventions to help a variety of people with special needs. Your studies in this program will include coursework, performance and 1,200 hours of clinical training that will make you eligible to sit for the national Music Therapist board certification examination. Our Bachelor of Music Therapy program is fully approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

For more information about the application process, please click here.

Music Therapy Interview

There are several purposes for the Music Therapy Interview. One of the most important reasons is for potential music therapy students and the Music Therapy faculty to meet, and begin to get to know each other.
During the interview, students will be asked to:

  • Explain their interest in music therapy.
  • Talk about any volunteer (music or non-music) experiences they may have had with people who have or don’t have special needs.
  • Perform on their principal instruments (this is in addition to playing an audition for the applied music faculty).
  • Sight-sing (even if they have never done this before). The sight-singing part of the interview gives the faculty an opportunity to assess vocal skills and to make recommendations.
  • Play the piano, if they already know how to play (no matter the level).
  • Ask questions about the Music Therapy Program at EMU.

Applicants must also submit a 3-page double-spaced essay on the topic of “Why I wish to pursue a degree (or certificate) in music therapy”. Include your personal perspectives and motivations as well as your current understanding of the field of music therapy and how you see yourself within the field. All essays to be saved as a word (.doc or .docx) document and sent as an attachment to Dr. Theresa Merrill, Director of Music Therapy at tmerril1@emich.edu. Music Therapy Admission essays are due no later than 1 week prior to your chosen audition date. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Theresa Merrill.

Have more questions? Click here to take a look at Frequently Asked Questions.

The EMU Music Therapy Center

The EMU Music Therapy Center has served the greater Ann Arbor Community since 2008. Senior students conduct individual music therapy sessions under supervision in or state-of-the-art clinical center. Students engage in experiential learning through placement in a variety of clinical settings in the community - always working under the supervision of a Board Certified Music Therapist.

Music TherapyWhat EMU Music Therapy Center Offers:

Clinical Services

Senior music therapy students provide clinical services under the supervision of a faculty Board Certified Music Therapist.

All new clients must be assessed by a member of the EMU music therapy faculty to determine the client’s suitability for student services. This ensures that our students possess the skill level necessary to meet the dynamic needs of the individual client and assists us in assigning the student best able to meet the needs of the client (see section on Fees for more information about initial assessment.

Professional music therapists with the MTC are also able to provide music therapy assessments for other purposes such as eligibility assessments among others.

Client Intake

Music Therapy sessions at the MTC correspond with the academic calendar, thus we accept new clients prior September and January and maintain a waitlist for services. All new clients must first be assessed by one of the center’s professional board certified music therapists.

Professional Services

Limited professional music therapy services are offered at the MTC. Fees for service are negotiated between the therapist and client. Professional services are offered across the following specializations:

  • MT for early childhood, speech and language
  • MT for Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • MT for Parkinson’s Disease
  • MT for Neurological impairments
  • MT for Personal exploration
  • The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music


We have a limited number of spaces in our program, and are not attempting to compete with the strong private practices of local music therapists, whose information we will gladly provide upon request. We provide services during the academic school year of Eastern Michigan University when the students are available, for approximately 13 sessions each semester. Each client may be observed by other students or taped for training purposes.


Student-led music therapy services are offered on a sliding scale to partially cover the costs of the center. The scale will be negotiated on an individual basis. No person in need will be turned away for inability to pay.

Fees for professional services vary by the type of therapy, length of session and the individual therapist’s credentials.

Fee for the professional assessment for a client new to the MTC starts at $120 and varies based on individual client need. Length of assessment will not exceed three sessions and will be negotiated after the first assessment session.

Fees for professional assessment services for purposes other than intake into the MTC will be negotiated between the professional MT-BC and the client, parent or guardian.


Student-led music therapy sessions range from 30–50 minutes in length depending upon the needs of the client.

Music Therapy Student Resources:

Music Therapy 2017 Handbook (doc)

Music Therapy Application (doc)

HIPAA Privacy & Security Training (pdf)

Client Information Statement / Informed Consent For Services (pdf)

Music Therapy "In the News":

Kentucky Hospital Expands Music Therapy Program

What Music Therapists Do


The School of Music & Dance is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold • Faculty Resources