Music 646

MUSC 646
Music Therapy and Music Medicine in Long-Term Care

1. Catalog Entry

MUSC 646
Music Therapy and Music Medicine in Long-Term Care

Credit hours (3)
Prerequisite: GERO 601 and 602 or permission of instructor

This course will provide students with an overview of the practice of music therapy as it relates to long-term care settings and will facilitate the differentiation between music therapy practices, music medicine practices, and other allied music-based practices including but not limited to music thanatology, the “music for life program” and environmental music offerings. Students will have opportunities to evaluate the impact of music-based programming on the quality of life of those in a long-term care setting, the implications for providing these services to include a cost/benefit analysis, the ethical implications that may arise given the various modalities for offering music-based programming, and opportunities to explore their own personal responses/engagement with music as a way to sensitize students to music as a medium of therapeutic value and intent.  

2. Detailed Description of Course

Topics will address music-based practices that have been traditionally offered in long-term care settings as a part of the therapeutic milieu. This will include the identification of the varied practices, the evaluation of the similarities and differences through a review of the current literature in music therapy and other healthcare professions, such as nursing, evaluating the impact of music on areas such as quality of life, pain management, physical functioning, cognitive engagement, memory recall, bonding with loved ones, and decreasing anxiety and agitation.  Students will engage in several music experiences that will sensitize them to the potentials of music as a therapeutic medium and will have opportunities to generalize those experiences to the long-term care setting to make connections between the lived experience and the needs of older adults.  Last, this course will facilitate an understanding of the differences among trained music therapy professionals and other entities who may offer music in a long-term care setting such as community musicians, music thanatologists, religious groups, activity professionals, and nursing staff.   

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instructional strategies for this course typically include the following:
    1) Traditional lecture-based format for the dissemination of theoretical, historical, or field-specific
        information related to music therapy and music medicine based practices in long-term care.
    2) Group discussion on D2L or a similar technology format and in class discussions.
    3) Participation in experiential exercises that will provide a deeper understanding and awareness
        of the impact of music on health-care domains such as social/emotional wellness, cognitive
        functioning, spiritual health, and physical functioning.
    4) A writing project that will include a cost/benefit analysis comparing two different types of
        music-based practices e.g. a music therapy program vs. an environmental music program, a
        program plan for the development of a music-based program in a setting directly related
        to the student’s area of interest, and theoretical underpinnings for the importance of
        music-based experiences in the lives of older adults in a long-term care setting.  
4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

    1) Critically appraise published evidence from the discipline
    2) Analyze scientific information contributing to the disciplines of music therapy, music medicine,
        and other types of music-based offerings.
    3) Develop mastery in the topic through the integration of these topics into a paper.
    4) Participate in in class and online discussions.  

5. Assessment Measures

Student learning outcomes will be assessed through a variety of methodologies. Within this course, learning may be assessed through some or all of the following:
    1) Written assignments (both inside and outside of class) related to course content, the review of
        current literature and/or class discussion.  To include a final paper that will synthesize the
        learning objectives in a way that is directly applicable to each student’s area of interest or
    2) Active participation in online and in class discussions.
    3) Active participation in experiential exercises and the generalization of those experiences as
        they may relate to older adults.

6. Other Course Information

Readings will be derived from the major journals in music therapy and related healthcare fields including nursing, and other allied health professions.  There are no additional resources required for this course.

Review and Approval

May 11, 2015