Telehealth And Music Therapy
May 12, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
Story by Julia Garcia
The Music Therapy degree program at Sam Houston State University is one of only five such programs in state of Texas. Recently, it was ranked within the Top 5 Most Affordable Music Therapy Degrees in the United States according to Best Counseling Degrees.
The degree plan offers a variety of learning experiences including practicums within clinical settings. However, due to the pandemic, the experience of practicums has been halted, as it wasn’t safe for clients or students to perform sessions in an in-person setting. Assistant Professor Carolyn Moore is working hard to continue to give students hands-on experience prior to graduation, as well as treatment for clients, while still staying safe in today’s circumstances by using a telehealth approach.
Moore explained that telehealth is a relatively novel model for music therapy because it’s hard to ensure that music is always synchronous over Zoom. While this has been a downfall of utilizing a telehealth model for students to gain hands on experience, there has also been plenty of learning opportunities to invent new ways of performing music therapy.
“I believe this online approach to music therapy is a good thing because it allows clients in rural areas with low access to music therapists to receive treatment and also keep clients who are immunocompromised safer,” Moore said. “It has helped my students work to focus on reducing isolation and increasing social opportunity, especially during the pandemic while not having a lapse in treatment.”
Activities in telehealth sessions can range from song writing and music listening to musical games and reminiscence depending on the client.
Moore, a music therapist for over 14 years, came to Sam Houston in 2015 and enjoys helping her students by leading, co-leading, and supervising in their clinical sessions. She has loved being able to see her students succeed over the years at Sam and watch alumni move on to places such as
She is very proud of her students and has seen alumni of the program develop their career at Texas Children’s Hospital, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Houston Methodist, and also come back to help current students with practicum supervision.
Moore also recently received the Annual Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award from the Texas Board of Criminal Justice for a music program she piloted in December 2018. The program is an ongoing collaboration with the Windham School District to serve adolescents incarcerated in the Youthful Offender Program in the Ellis Unit. Prior to the pandemic, Moore brought SHSU students with her to help facilitate music therapy groups, and she is hopeful the project will continue to grow in the future.
To learn more about the SHSU Music Therapy degree plan, visit https://www.shsu.edu/programs/bachelor-of-music-in-music-therapy/.
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