Western Michigan University's music therapy internship is a professional endeavor from application to completion. To that end, American Music Therapy Association and WMU have established specific regulations and procedures that must be followed as you investigate and select an internship site. Failure to do so could result in your internship being delayed or even terminated. To be in compliance with current standards, your internship must be completed within two years of your last semester on campus.
- Begin screening internship programs 12 months in advance of the date that you actually wish to start. Visit the AMTA website musictherapy.org/careers/ to access the list of National Roster Internship Programs. There are also several University-affiliated internships available in the greater Kalamazoo area and other locations in Michigan.
- As you compare the different internship programs, consider the following:
- With what type of population are you most interested in working? Does this facility have that population?
- Are you compatible with the philosophical orientation of the facility?
- Do you need room and/or board or a stipend? A few internship sites still offer such student benefits.
- Does the program have more than one credentialed music therapist? While this is certainly not always the case, programs with two or more staff may provide the student with a broader training experience.
- Do you have long-term plans regarding an area of the country where you would eventually like to live? Seeking an internship in that area might make you more accessible to employment possibilities.
- Don't forget to check the bulletin board outside the Music Therapy Resource Room for additional information on clinical training programs.
- Eligibility for an internship must be established. It is the student's responsibility to initiate a check of his/her credentials with Ariel Palou, Academic Advisor. To support your eligibility you must:
- Have a 3.0 GPA in music therapy and related (psychology, special education, etc.) course work taken to date.
- Be able to demonstrate that all course work (except MUS 4810 Music Therapy Internship) will be completed prior to the beginning of your internship.
No letter of recommendation will be written by any of the music therapy faculty until authorization of the candidate's eligibility is received from the School of Music Academic Advisor.
- Nine to 12 months before the date you actually want to begin your internship you should have narrowed your list of potential internship sites to four to six. Send a letter of introduction including:
- Your date of eligibility and desired starting dates.
- A brief description of your clinical experiences.
- The reason(s) you have selected this site for an application.
- A request for application.
- To enhance your chances for selection, you may want to try to schedule an interview (live, telephone, Skype) with the facility staff.
- Sometimes a difficult decision must be made when a training facility's letter of acceptance has been received.
Before accepting an internship, it is imperative that you understand the following regulation:Once you accept an internship you are, in effect, signing a professional contract; you may not cancel at a later date if a more attractive internship offer comes along. Failure to comply with this regulation may result in your losing both internship offers. Therefore, choose your internship site with care. If you need to talk over internship concerns, please see the director of the music therapy program before you make a decision.
- Your internship will be monitored by the director of music therapy at WMU. Please notify the director of music therapy once you have accepted an internship and established a starting date.
- Attend an internship orientation meeting (usually at 1 p.m. on Wednesday during the last week of classes) with the director of Music Therapy during your last semester on campus. Clinical training matters and course requirements for MUS 4810 will be discussed at that time.