Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Music in Medicine

MUS-N 532 / 3 Cr.

The focus of this course is the evidence-based application of music in medical settings to facilitate symptom relief and improve the illness experience. During this course, students will critique the scientific, theoretical, and empirical basis for music interventions. Experiences include the assessments and identification of non-disease based etiologies contributing to symptoms, and the design, implementation and evaluation of music-based interventions to facilitate symptom reduction or improved coping. Work will focus on examining the congruency between anecdotal reports, and theoretical, and empirical evidence to influence therapeutic and cost-effective outcomes.


Melnyk, B. M. & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice. 2nd edition. New York: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. (Available from Other readings as assigned.


By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze theoretical and empirical literature to develop rationale for the music-based interventions within medical environments. 
  2. Critically review rationale to support or refute the use of existing music-based interventions with adults and children for the management of symptoms.
  3. Synthesize the theoretical and empirical literature to identify potentially useful new interventions for use with adults and children dealing with medical conditions.
  4. Evaluate the clinical outcomes of music-based interventions in relationship to diagnoses, therapeutic goals, and cost-effectiveness.
  5. Participate in disseminating evidence-based practice to enhance the use of music in medical environments.
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”


American Music Therapy Association Advanced Competencies

I. Professional Practice

A. Theory

1.1 Apply comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of the foundations and principles of music therapy practice.

1.3 Synthesize comprehensive knowledge of current theories and deduce their implications for music therapy practice, supervision, education and/or research.

1.4 Identify theoretical constructs from music therapy and related fields that underlie various clinical practices and research approaches.

1.5 Use current theoretical, clinical and research literature from music therapy and related fields to identify emerging models and to predict/propose future models and trends for music therapy.

B. Clinical Practice

4.0 Advanced Clinical Skills

4.1 Apply comprehensive knowledge of current methods of music therapy assessment, treatment, and evaluation.

4.2 Utilize comprehensive knowledge of human growth and development, musical development, diagnostic classifications, etiology, symptomology, and prognosis in formulating treatment plans.

4.6 Design or adapt assessment and evaluation procedures for various client populations.

4.7 Utilize advanced music therapy methods within one or more theoretical frameworks to assess and evaluate clients’ strengths, needs and progress.

4.18 Recognize and apply comprehensive knowledge of contra-indications for music therapy interventions and seek consultation as indicated.

D. Research

6.1 Perform and evaluate the results of a comprehensive literature review to identify gaps in knowledge.

6.2 Translate theories, issues, and problems in clinical practice, supervision, administration, and higher education into meaningful research hypotheses or guiding questions.

6.12 Evaluate research with regard to research questions and problems, methods, procedures, data collection, analysis, and conclusions.

NASM Standards for Masters of Science in Music Therapy

XIV.D.F.1.a.2 Advanced clinical specializations and skills, including knowledge of clinical and supervisory roles of the music therapist. These competencies must be developed through one or more supervised clinical components in music therapy that require post-internship, graduate training.

XIV.D.F.1.b.1 Research (e.g. quantitative and qualitative research designs and their application to music therapy practice, supervision, administration, higher education)