Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Philosophy and Theory in Music Therapy

MUS-N  530 / 3 Cr.

Philosophical and theoretical foundations of the use of music in therapy. Philosophical positions concerning science, knowledge development, theory construction, and values augment critical-thinking skills. Theories, models, and conceptual frameworks guide to topical inquiry.


Bruscia, K. (2014). Defining Music Therapy (3rd ed.) Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers. E-ISBN: 9781937440589


Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze philosophical perspectives of science as they influence theory development.
  2. Evaluate the boundaries of music therapy and theories needed for practice.
  3. Evaluate the ways in which values, ethics, and historical perspectives influence scientific explanation and inquiry.
  4. Analyze the relationships between philosophical perspectives, problem selection for students, and scientific methodology.
  5. Evaluate various strategies of theory construction for their applicability to music therapy theory development.
Relationship of this Course to the IUPUI Principles of Graduate and Professional Learning:

The objectives of this course were formulated to align with the IUPUI Principles of Graduate and Professional Learning. The principles create a framework describing the expectations of all graduate/professional students at IUPUI and are tailored to fit each academic program and individual courses. Expectations identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities graduates will demonstrate upon successful completion of this course.

  • Demonstrating mastery of the knowledge and skills expected for the degree and for professionalism and success in the field
  • Thinking critically, applying good judgment in professional and personal situations
  • Communicating effectively to others in the field and to the general public
  • Behaving in an ethical way both professionally and personally