Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture, 1 laboratory per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in MUS 83A.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Introduction to the field of music therapy and the creative powers of sound. Survey the history of the American Music Therapy Association as applied by practicing music therapists. Study diverse styles of music, including classical, jazz, blues, pop, hip-hop, new age, and world music, used as a transformative force to enhance social, emotional, educational, and behavioral development, and pain management. Apply music therapy concepts to compose and produce original music. Develop music making skills with drumming, group songwriting, lyric analysis, guided relaxation, movement, improvisation, and original compositions integrated with the latest music software technologies, including Pro Tools and virtual instruments. Study prevention of injury and maintenance of health for musicians and performing artists. Survey careers in the music therapy industry, including degrees, certifications, and multimedia production applications.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Describe historical origins of the field and profession of music therapy
  2. Explain the aesthetic, technical, social, economic, and political contexts that influence music and health from ancient times into the 21st century
  3. Understand the components of music and their relation to music therapy
  4. Identify the basic elements of music therapy treatment processes
  5. Understand the scientific research methods and appreciate the arts as music is intentionally used as medical intervention in music therapy
  6. Engage in active and passive music making experiences and develop written analyses of these experiences
  7. Demonstrate ability to plan music applications to meet a variety of music therapy goals and objectives for children, adolescents, and adults

Course Content

  1. Music therapy methods, techniques, materials, and equipment with their appropriate applications
  2. The philosophical, psychological, physiological, and sociological bases for the use of music as therapy
  3. Use of music applications to meet a variety of music therapy goals and objectives, including drumming, songwriting, lyric analysis, guided relaxation, movement, and improvisation
  4. Reviewing the work of musicians-physicians and music therapy research in medical literature
  5. Discussing the creative power of sound, and the relationship of the history, theory, and methodologies of music and health in international health care settings
  6. Applying the art and science of music therapy in assessing the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions
  7. Examples of music therapy involvement presented in class, spanning cultures and nationalities, including choices of music, programming activities, and samples of client responses
  8. Composing, arranging, and producing music according to music therapy and sound healing principles

Lab Content

  1. Directed listening of music and client interviews
  2. Practice and apply theoretical knowledge:
    1. Performing on a musical instrument
    2. Songwriting or composing original music
    3. Recording and producing finished musical works
  3. Explore the relationship of music and health via readings, recordings, lectures, discussions, and musical experiences
  4. Investigate the history, theory, and practice of the creative power of sound and music in international health care settings

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus: classroom sound equipment for compact discs, audiotape, and records; screen; overhead projector; slide projector; VCR and DVD.
2. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Quizzes and exams on reading material and online video lectures
Written assignments
Research paper on a topic related to the field of music therapy
Listening assignments via online delivery
Final project
Class presentation

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentations that demonstrate theories and techniques used by professional music therapists
Classroom discussions that address the history and evolution of music therapy and sound healing
Group presentations and instructor-led activities, followed by in-class discussion and evaluation

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Leeds, Joshua. The Power of Sound: How to Be Healthy and Productive Using Music and Sound. 2010.

Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Written reports about the profession and discipline of music therapy
  2. Observe therapy sessions and summarize in written reports
  3. Written papers on topics chosen in class to assimilate knowledge about specific methodologies in music therapy treatment and how it relates to a specific population or disability
  4. Written commentary on potential music therapy applications


Commercial Music