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Required Music Therapy Intern Competencies

Musical skills


  • Ability to play basic chord progressions (I, IV, V) on the guitar in at least two keys to accompany singing

  • Ability to play basic chord progressions (I, IV, V) on the piano/keyboard in at least three keys to accompany singing

  • Ability to accompany a song on guitar and/or keyboard and lead a group in singing

  • Ability to play a melody on the piano/keyboard and accompany it with simple chord progressions

  • Ability to read music

  • Demonstrate functional use of voice, including singing in appropriate ranges, with correct pitch and appropriate rhythm and volume

  • Ability to transpose a simple song into two different keys on two different instruments, one of which must be guitar or autoharp

  • Ability to sight read a simple melody with written chordal accompaniment

  • Ability to compose simple original songs

  • Ability to improvise, using keyboard, guitar/autoharp, and/or rhythm instruments

  • General functional knowledge of music theory

  • Knowledge of songs appropriate for all age groups, birth to late adolescence

Therapeutic skills


  • Ability to observe and assess a patient's response to music interventions, including the patient's mood, affect, and behavior

  • Ability to accurately document progress from music therapy interventions

  • Ability to express themselves verbally and in writing in a professional manner

  • Ability to plan and implement age appropriate music therapy interventions

  • Demonstrate good time management skills

Professional qualities


  • Ability to remain flexible, and value the diversity of patient populations encountered

  • Ability to work independently

  • Demonstrate professionalism, and ability to interact well with other disciplines

  • Demonstrate ability to accept constructive feedback, and to seek assistance when needed

  • Demonstrate ability to follow hospital policies and procedures, including infection control and confidentiality policies