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Music Therapy Internship

The Music Therapy internship program at our inpatient psychiatric hospital offers grad students the chance to develop their therapeutic skills in a supportive environment. Applicants can find detailed requirements, responsibilities and expectations.

Music Therapy Internship

What to expect from a Music Therapy Internship

TriStar Centennial Medical Center offers Music Therapy internships with the facility’s inpatient psychiatric hospital, Parthenon Pavilion. This flagship hospital for TriStar’s Behavioral Health Services has celebrated over 48 years of providing mental healthcare in Nashville and the surrounding area. Parthenon Pavilion is the only facility in the U.S. recognized for its violence reduction protocol and one of only three in the U.S. awarded a dementia care certification by The Joint Commission. Through this internship experience, students will have the opportunity to work with individuals experiencing a wide range of mental health needs, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, substance abuse issues, thought disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementias.

A Music Therapy Intern will be able to explore working with all of the hospital’s patient populations under the supervision of an Internship Director who has practiced over 31 years at this facility. Along with five additional MT-BCs, interns will learn from other disciplines in the Adjunctive Therapies Department, including Art Therapists and Recreation Therapists, and work alongside members of the entire treatment team, including, Nursing, Social Work, Care Coordination, Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Pharmacists, and Clinical Dieticians. During the 40-hour, Monday-Friday schedule, students will have ample opportunities to observe and facilitate groups as well as assess new patients, participate in treatment planning, and document on patients served.

Numerous opportunities for collaboration, continuing education, and in-services are available during Parthenon Pavilion's internship experience. Throughout the orientation process, interns will observe Recreational Therapists and Art Therapists lead groups and eventually co-lead therapeutic groups with these staff members. Music Therapy interns will not only facilitate Music Therapy groups within Parthenon Pavilion’s Treatment Mall Program and Memory Care Units but will have the opportunity to observe and participate in pilot programs with Centennial’s medical units, including the Neuro Intensive Care Unit and various Oncology Units. In addition, interns will complete training in the Meditech system of documentation, Suicide Prevention, and CPI/ Non-violent Crisis Intervention training. Luncheon in-services are offered on a regular basis, as well as opportunities to serve the community and volunteer for hospital-sponsored events.

Interns meet weekly with their assigned supervisor to discuss observations and clinical documentation in order to become competent in clinical terminology and evidence based treatment practices. Additional learning assignments may occur on an as needed basis. The book Winds Against the Mind, (Bamigboye; ISBN-13: 9780981753706) is required reading for all interns. In addition, interns are required to choose two other clinically relevant books and complete reflection papers on all readings in addition to university requirements. Opportunities to observe other Music Therapists in the Nashville area are possible, and interns must write a reflection paper on those experiences as well. Readings and reflection papers are expected to be completed outside of the 40-hour internship work week.

This internship offers a supportive clinical environment to help students smoothly transition from the academic classroom to the professional setting. Through the multiple populations served, interns have the opportunity to learn and master different approaches to practicing Music Therapy, leaving the internship with a unique professional identity applicable in multiple clinical areas. Interns will be expected to work full time, 40 hours per week, with the option of working on weekends and holidays as needed. By the completion of the internship, interns will be facilitating up to four groups daily, be competent in completing psychosocial/activity assessments on patients, and serve as an independent contributing member of an Interdisciplinary Recovery Team. In addition, interns will be able to document patient care as well as create and update recovery plans using the Meditech documentation system.

Requirements for internship

A prospective intern needs to be mature and able to work well with and without direct supervision. They must be aware of any personal issues that would contraindicate working with psychiatric patients and be respectful of the multiplicity of issues that occur when working with adults who are acutely mentally ill, including: responding to internal stimuli, active suicidality, labile mood, and erratic behavior. As many with mental illness also have a history of abuse and trauma, a Trauma Informed Care model is embraced. All candidates must complete an on-site interview; the interview process is scheduled for an entire day. This will include meeting with the Internship Director, Adjunctive Therapies Manager, other MT-BC staff, and shadowing and observing Music Therapy staff during a regular workday at the facility. Candidates will be expected to audition and demonstrate their musical proficiency with a prepared piece on their primary instrument, a prepared song accompanied on guitar (provided), and a prepared song accompanied on piano (provided); there will also be sight reading on both piano and guitar. Candidates with strong clinical knowledge but who do not meet musical competencies will still be considered; additional requirements and instruction may be added to their internship to address these areas.

To Apply, you will need to fill out the application form (link to Jotform) and include the following:

  1. Letter of Verification from academic director to pursue clinical internship
  2. Practicum Experience Population, Site Supervisor, dates, and length of Practicum
  3. Transcript from current academic setting
  4. Attach three letters of recommendation:
    • Educator
    • Practicum Supervisor
    • Character Reference
  5. Complete the following essay questions:
    • Your Philosophy of Music Therapy
    • Your strengths as a Music Therapist
    • What you hope to gain from this internship
  6. I understand if accepted as an intern I will provide, at my expense:
    • Proof of professional liability insurance
    • Proof of TB test (with negative result) within last six months
    • Background check and drug screen
    • Proof of required immunizations, including current influenza shot
  7. If accepted, a legal affiliation agreement must be completed with your academic institution Starting months for the internship are January, April, July and October. The deadline to apply is months prior to the start date.

Questions? Contact Internship Director at:
Email Yvonne Glass
(615) 342-2470