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The University of Southampton

MUSI3106 Music Therapy 2: Beneath the Surface

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to look beneath the surface - challenging assumptions made about music being therapeutic and exploring how to prove music is effective as therapy. Drawing on the knowledge gleaned in the second year module, the module aims to develop practical music therapy skills through participation in workshops and a placement. There is an opportunity to learn about less common clinical settings and current, innovative medical research projects at the University. For students interested in possible careers in music therapy and community music, the lectures provide vital knowledge and insight. It has also been particularly helpful to students interested in pursuing careers in education. This module is equally valuable to students wanting to explore music from a different angle.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • clinically complex and less traditional music therapy settings
  • the demands placed on the profession of music therapy from both the scientific and medical domains; the arguments and evidence in favour and against music therapy practice
  • how to utilise your musical skills in community music or music therapy settings.
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • argue for and against the application of music therapy in a wide range of settings, understanding when and where music therapy can be most effective
  • observe how music is used in scientific and medical research at the University
  • plan and conduct individual and group interactive music sessions with therapeutic aims
  • apply observational and analytical skills to a music therapy case study of your own


A series of topics will be presented over the semester following three strands: practical skills; theory and research; case study work. Video and audio material will be used to illustrate discussions and set the scene for debates. Examples of topics that may be explored include:  What happens when we compare a music therapy treatment to a drug treatment?  How do we know which music therapy techniques to apply to individual scenarios?  What is the purpose of talking therapies?  How we learn to communicate: pre-intentional and intentional communication  International trends in music therapy  The paradox of the music therapy researcher

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include:  Lectures  Workshops  Seminars Learning activities include:  Individual study  Library-based research  On-line based research  Student-organised placement

Wider reading or practice28
Placement Hours18
Completion of assessment task40
Practical classes and workshops7
Preparation for scheduled sessions22
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

T Wigram (2004). Improvisation: Methods and Techniques for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students. 


M Pavlicevic (2003). Groups in Music: strategies from music therapy. 

D Stern (1992). Diary of a Baby. 

L Bunt (2014). An Art Beyond Words. 

L Bunt & S Hoskyns (1994). Music Therapy: A Handbook. 

D Aldridge (2000). Music Therapy in Dementia Care. 

K Bruscia (1991). Case Studies in Music Therapy. 

J Tomlinson (2011). Music Therapy in Schools. 

The British Journal of Music Therapy. 

B Stige & M Pavlicevic (2010). Where Music Helps: community music therapy in action and reflection. 


Assessment Strategy

Include details of the proportion and weighting of coursework as well as the number, type and duration of examination(s). You must specify which element will be taken as the final assessment.


MethodPercentage contribution
Case study  (3000 words) 70%
Examination  (15 minutes) 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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