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Attitudes of Undergraduate Music Therapy Students Regarding Master’s Level Entry essay help free Philosophy homework help

Every profession arrives at a crossroad in a certain point of its development (AMTA, 2011a). The crossroad that undergraduate music therapists have come to concerns the level of education required for entry-level positions in the field. In the history of education and clinical training in the music therapy profession, a baccalaureate degree in music therapy (or it’s equivalent) has been required for entry into the field. Looking at various health professions, it is evident that music therapy is one of the few remaining professions where entry level at the bachelor’s level.

As the profession is now considering the possibility of moving to requiring a master’s degree in music therapy as a minimum requirement for professional entry, many questions have been raised in relation to what a master’s entry educational program might look like. This also raises many questions to the issues this would cause to institutions to have to completely restructure their curricula (AMTA, 2011b). There is a lack of research that surveys the opinions of undergraduate music therapy students concerning the Master’s level entry requirements.

In a study performed by Groene and Pembrook (2000) titled Curricular Issues in Music Therapy: A Survey of Collegiate Faculty, a survey was constructed to address three main concerns: (a) new knowledge and skills needed to be an effective music therapist in the next decade; (b) views regarding competency-based assessment; and (c) clinical training practices and potential changes. The most important of the results received concerned the addition and deletion of coursework to adapt to the new changes in the entry-level requirements that are being debated on.

The question on the survey that caused the least agreement between respondents pertained to the concept of mandating continuing education requirements for college music therapy faculty. Many suggested that maintaining Board Certification status already addresses the issue but others worried about adding this requirement to the heavy load sustained by music therapy students and faculty. This relates to the study, just for the shear fact that a massive amount of change in curriculum would have to occur to make the new entry level possible to achieve, ultimately leaving it to question.

While considering the transition to master’s level entry positions, there are points that support and oppose the transition. In 2011, AMTA released “Master’s Level, Moving Forward”, stating that nearly two-thirds of AMTA approved degree programs offer master’s degrees and the broad body of knowledge continues to grow across the clinical populations and clinical settings. There has been a national trend in recent years for universities to add master’s degree programs in order to provide the advanced training necessary for the therapist to take the central role in meeting client needs in diverse settings.

With the master’s degree as entry-level, the vision for the future practice of music therapy acknowledges that the music therapist increasingly will take a central and independent role in client treatment planning. There also comes anticipated challenges in this consideration of entry-level requirements; the concern that bachelor’s level music therapists will lose jobs to master’s level music therapist, and the confusion about the grandfathering process that will be attached to the proposed changes (2011a, 2011b).

In a survey of master’s level music therapists conducted by Wyatt and Furioso (2000) the design was to (a) determine how music therapist rated their undergraduate or equivalency education in music therapy, and (b) to identify the primary reasons music therapists pursue master’s level training in music therapy. Controversy about entry-level qualifications continues to create concern over whether music therapists are adequately prepared to enter into professional work upon completion of approved university programs and internships.

In addressing the identity issues of the music therapist, there is an ongoing controversy over whether the education of the music therapist at the undergraduate level should serve to prepare a musician who uses therapy, or a therapist who uses music (Bruscia, 1987). In order to remedy deficits in undergraduate training, some music therapists chose to explore graduate programs (Bruscia, 1989). Bruscia (1987) proposed that the bachelor’s degree in music therapy should function as preparation for the master’s degree, and thus provide a broad-based education for the development of musical and therapeutic skills.

Justification for entry level at the master’s degree level also suggests the possibility of state licensure, which would allow the music therapist to practice independently and open new opportunities for reimbursement. The problem over entry-level competencies has been debated since its onset in 1950 when E. Thayer Gaston sought out to set up a Music Therapy program modeled after music education (2011a). Given this information, a survey is to be compiled to gather the opinions of undergraduate students currently enrolled in a music therapy program.

Some of the information to be gathered may include; the opinions on how student enrollment will be effected, the opinions of the grandfathering system and is it fair or not to grandfather someone in that isn’t fully qualified to the new standards, will this effect the continuation of the students study in music therapy in preparation for the professional field, are the students overloaded with coursework and how does this effect the learning process and lastly the financial strains this could cause students.

No other study like this has been done; the research is non-existent that surveys the opinions of the students in undergraduate music therapy programs concerning master’s level entry. Method The purpose of this study was to identify the opinions and attitudes of undergraduate music therapy students regarding the AMTA proposal that a master’s degree be required to practice music therapy. A small convienent sample at a small private Midwestern University will be surveyed. The rationale for restricting the population for this study was because this is a class exercise for Dr. Michael Cassity.

The research questions for this study were as follows: 1. In general, are music therapy students supportive of the AMTA recommendation to require a master’s degree for music therapy practice? 2. Do students feel that requiring a master’s degree will be beneficial to the field of music therapy? 3. Do students feel pressured to pursue a master’s degree? 4. Do students believe that pursuing a master’s degree be an undue personal or financial hardship? Content Validity was determined by a panel of students by establishing that the questions on the survey (a) served their purpose on the survey, (b) the questions were learly stated, and (c) the ease of response to the questions. These students did not serve as participants in the study. The questionnaire was then formed by the panel of experts and distributed to the participants, along with an informed consent form, which indicated that participants choosing to return the questionnaire were giving their implied consent. (See appendix A for a copy of the questionnaire and appendix B for a copy of the informed consent form. ) The participants in this study were undergraduate music therapy majors at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest (N=15).

The demographic of the subjects were as follows; 5 freshmen, 5 sophomores, 5 juniors, and 0 seniors. 4 of the subjects were male, and 11 were female. The age distribution was: age (18-20) 12, age (21-25) 2, and 1 did not answer. The grade point average as reported by respondents was: (2. 5-2. 9) 1, (3. 0-3. 5) 6, and (3. 6-4. 0) 8. Out of 15 questionnaires sent, 15 were returned for a return rate of 100%. The results of the survey were than tabulated and analyzed. Procedure A two-page questionnaire was constructed for the opinions of undergraduate music therapy students.

The survey has 13 items, with one reversal to ensure consistency in the results. Respondents are given a 7-point Likert Scale and requested to assign a number to each item. Scale descriptors were (1) Strongly Disagree to (7) Strongly Agree. Respondents were requested to assign a number reflecting their attitudes of the changes in Music Therapy. A panel of 6 Music Therapy Students was asked to write statements reflecting possible attitudes towards the required Master’s Degree for entry-level practice. 62 items were compiled. The panel rated the attitudes on a 5 point Likert Scale for appropriateness of the study.

The panel the collectively chose 13 items above the median. This survey is to be administered to all undergraduate Music Therapy students in one class period. Those not present in the class will have the survey administered to them individually. Results All of the survey respondents are working towards their Bachelors in Music Therapy Degree. The demographic of the subjects were as follows; 5 freshmen, 5 sophomores, 5 juniors, and 0 seniors. 4 of the subjects were male, and 11 were female. The age distribution was: age (18-20) 12, age (21-25) 2, and 1 did not answer. The grade point average as reported by respondents was: 2. 5-2. 9) 1, (3. 0-3. 5) 6, and (3. 6-4. 0) 8. Out of 15 questionnaires sent, 15 were returned for a return rate of 100%. The results of the survey were than tabulated and analyzed. The results of the survey are attached in the reference section. Discussion Previous research indicated in a survey of master’s level music therapists conducted by Wyatt and Furioso (2000) the design was to (a) determine how music therapist rated their undergraduate or equivalency education in music therapy, and (b) to identify the primary reasons music therapists pursue master’s level training in music therapy.

There also comes anticipated challenges in this consideration of entry-level requirements; the concern that bachelor’s level music therapists will lose jobs to master’s level music therapist, and the confusion about the grandfathering process that will be attached to the proposed changes (2011a, 2011b). This survey was only intended as a small student study to grasp the attitudes of undergraduate music therapy students a small Midwestern Private University. The panel was only a select group of students, so caution is given to those in the generalizability of this study.

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