Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

Creative Art Therapies

Chesley Mercado, Chair

Professors: Doug Keith and Chesley Mercado
Senior Lecturer: Vicky Robinson

Lecturers: James Helms, Katie Whipple

Department Contact Information:

Georgia College

College of Health Sciences

Campus Box 67

Milledgeville, GA 31061


Chair, Dr. Chesley Mercado, chesley.mercado@gcsu.edu

Administrative Assistant, Tammie Burke, tammie.burke@gcsu.edu

Mission of Department of Creative Art Therapies

The mission of the Department of Creative Art Therapies is to provide the interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate education and clinical training necessary to prepare individuals for successful careers in music therapy, art therapy, the creative arts therapies in general, and to be leaders in the community. The department seeks to develop creative arts therapists highly skilled in meeting the emotional, mental, and physical health care needs of individuals reflecting societal and cultural diversity and to provide continued education and professional development across the career span.

Mission of Undergraduate Music Therapy Degree Program

The mission of the Undergraduate Program in Music Therapy is to prepare individuals for careers as music therapists. The program provides the interdisciplinary and clinical training necessary to meet the emotional, mental, and physical health care needs of clientele.


The music therapy programs are nationally approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). Music Therapy programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).


Student Organizations


Music Therapy Society

The Music Therapy Society (MTS) is an organization for any students interested in the profession of music therapy and in service work to the community. MTS is involved in the American Music Therapy Association Students (AMTAS), a professional association that all declared music therapy majors are eligible to join at both the regional and national levels. MTS sponsors service projects, volunteer work, field trips to facilities throughout the state, and other special programs for the benefit of the membership.

Career Information

Music therapists may work in a variety of settings - in private practice or on staff at hospitals, hospices, schools, or other facilities. While salaries vary according to location, employment opportunities are increasing nationwide, particularly in preventative therapy, innovative techniques, & services for older adults. Music therapy, among other allied health care professions, has been identified in Field’s 100 Best Careers as a promising career. Health care employment opportunities in areas such as music therapy are predicted to continue to grow.

Music Therapy Admissions Requirements

Admission into Music Therapy

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of Georgia College, applicants for the Bachelor of Music Therapy degree program must also successfully pass an entrance audition and interview at the Freshman level, with the Department of Music and Music Therapy faculty.  Students are accepted into Music Therapy upon acceptance through the Music Department to Georgia College.  The purpose of this auditionis to demonstrate the student's level of preparation upon entering Georgia College and to asses potential in the program.  If a student does not successfully pass the entrance audition, he/she may continue in Music Therapy, taking non-music major lessons and re-audition the following semester  The audition must be successfully passed in two semesters.  For audition requirements, refer to: http://www.gcsu.edu/artsandsciences/music and scroll to "Audition Information". Students will also sight read a piece of music appropriate for the audition.  Acceptance into Music Therapy at the freshman level does not guarantee acceptance as a candidate for the Bachelor of Music Therapy; there will be a Junior audition after for acceptance as a candidate for Bachelor of Music Therapy degree.

Admission to the Music Therapy Program is highly competitive and may be limited based on availability of qualified faculty and maintaining student to faculty ratios required by accreditation standards. All students who apply to the major may not be admitted.

Many agencies where clinical and practical experiences take place require students to undergo a criminal background check, urine drug screens, and to meet the CDC standards for immunizations for health care professionals. Students desiring to enter the Music Therapy major should consider these requirements. Agencies may refuse any student based on inability to meet these guidelines or other agency guidelines. Refusal of an agency to accept a student may delay or prevent a student from completing the program. Certification agencies may also refuse to license individuals who have committed certain criminal acts or other acts of moral turpitude.

Admission as a Candidate for the Bachelor of Music Therapy Degree

At the conclusion of their sophomore year, music therapy majors must successfully pass a formal interview/audition for official acceptance as a candidate for the Bachelor of Music Therapy Degree. This is known as the Junior Audition. As part of the interview, each student will be asked to discuss music therapy, its definition, and their expectations for a career in music therapy. As part of the audition, students should be prepared to perform one piece on their principal instrument and to accompany themselves on guitar and piano with ten songs each. Preparation for the Junior Audition is provided in MUST 2510, MUST 2520, MUST 2300 (competency course not in Program of Study), and MUST 2400 (competency course not in Program of Study). In order to be eligible to take the candidacy interview/Junior Audition, each student must have successfully completed their Freshman/Sophomore music and music therapy courses, guitar and piano proficiency tests, have a minimum of 28 supervised pre-practicum clinical hours,and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Once accepted as a candidate for the Bachelor of Music Therapy Degree, BMT candidates must maintain this minimum GPA of 2.5. In addition, BMT candidates must attain a minimum grade of C in all courses with the MUST prefix and MUSC prefix, as required by the AMTA. Students may repeat one music therapy course, but may repeat it only once and may not repeat another music therapy course (MUST prefix). Students may be advised to discontinue the major if another MUST previous course grade is below a C. Since music therapy courses are sequential, building upon knowledge gained in a previous course, satisfactory completion (C) of one course is prerequisite to progressing to the following course.

Other Requirements

Each music therapy major is expected to specialize in one instrument or voice during the course of their study (minimum of 1 credit hour per semester for 7 consecutive semesters). Students enrolled in applied study must audition with the Department of Music before their first semester's work in order to ascertain appropriate placement within the applied study syllabus. Music therapy majors must also participate in at least one performing large ensemble during seven consecutive semesters at GC (minimum of 1 credit hour per semester) except during internship. Students must maintain a minimum grade of “C” in applied study.

Music Proficiency Requirements

Successful completion of the Guitar Proficiency Exam and the Piano Proficiency Exam is a requirement of all music therapy majors. Guitar and piano proficiencies are prerequisites for acceptance as a candidate for the Bachelor of Music Therapy Degree. Preparation for the Piano Proficiency Exam is provided in MUSC 1210, MUSC 1220, MUST 2400 and MUST 2401. Preparation for the Guitar Proficiency Exam is provided in MUST 2250 and MUST 2300.

Professional Service Requirements

During their sophomore year, music therapy majors are required to complete 15 hours per semester of supervised pre-practicum clinical experiences. Students must have accumulated a minimum of 28 pre-practicum clinical hours before being eligible for the Junior Audition and acceptance as a candidate for the Bachelor of Music Therapy Degree. Juniors are required to complete both 30 hours of supervised major practicum clinical hours and 15 hours of minor clinical hours. Seniors are required to complete 20 hours of clinical experience (Advanced Practicum). Additional information regarding approved activities may be obtained from the student's advisor. Students must complete a minimum of 180 hours of pre-internship clinical hours (practicum and service learning (pre-practicum) before being eligible for Internship, MUST 4990 per accreditation guidelines.

Clinical Internship Requirements

Students must complete MUST 4990 (Clinical Internship) after all academic coursework is satisfied.  A total of 1200 clinical hours must be completed.  This includes 180 hours of pre-internship hours.  Students must enroll each semester of internship until completed.

Recital Attendance Requirements

Music therapy majors are required to enroll in MUSC 1990 each semester of their freshman and sophomore years (4 semesters).

Transportation Requirements

Clinical training in music therapy is provided, in part, at selected community facilities within a 30 mile radius of Milledgeville. Students are expected to provide their own transportation to these facilities.

The Department of Creative Art Therapies, College of Health Sciences works collaboratively with the Department of Music, College of Arts & Sciences to prepare students for the music therapy degree.