Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Olivia Swedberg Yinger


The changing demographics of the United States directly impacts the populations that music therapists serve. The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) provides a list of competencies regarding race, culture, and diversity, but how these are addressed in the classroom is not standardized. The purpose of this study was to examine music therapists’ perceptions of their training in multicultural competence. The researcher emailed 7,539 board-certified music therapists, 631 of whom completed the survey. Results indicated that 55.6% of music therapists think that multicultural competence is important, and the majority said that they felt prepared to demonstrate multicultural competence after completion of an undergraduate/equivalency music therapy program. Chi square analyses showed no significant associations between ratings of importance and gender or race/ethnicity. Results also indicated that classroom instruction was the most common way the competencies were addressed in undergraduate/equivalency programs. Qualitative analysis of how participants thought they could be better prepared revealed four themes: music skills, curricular integration, experience, and classroom activities.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Included in

Music Therapy Commons