PERF 6001 Music Therapy Foundations & Approaches

Credit Points 10

Coordinator Allison Fuller Opens in new window

Description Music Therapy Foundations & Approaches provides a background to the historical development and theoretical underpinnings of music therapy, with focus on a broad range of music therapy approaches and orientations including Culture-Centred Music Therapy and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy. Human development through the lifespan is studied, along with an overview of disability and disorders. The fundamental principles of self-care and supervision for music therapy practitioners and students are introduced within this subject and continued in later subjects of the Master of Creative Music Therapy program.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Music

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 6 subject

Equivalent Subjects PERF 7003 - Music Therapy Method


This subject is only available to students enrolled in program 1650 Master of Creative Music Therapy.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this subject, students will be able to:

1. Create professional presentations, use critical thinking skills, and engage in active learning methods within the music therapy context.
2. Describe the historical development of music therapy as a profession and demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA).
3. Describe and explain the main tenets of at least 3 music therapy approaches/orientations.
4. Evaluate relevant therapeutic and educational theories in relation to the cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual domains of the person in relation to music therapy practice.
5. Identify key issues relating to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) perspective and how this affects the delivery of music therapy.
6. Articulate the fundamental principles of self-care and supervision for music therapy practitioners and students.

Subject Content

1. Music Therapy Overview: Historical perspective, Areas of practice, Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA) history and purpose.
2. Human Development Overview: Lifespan development perspectives, including theories of learning and moral reasoning.
3. Disability and Disorders Overview: Diagnostic and statistical manual V (DSMV), National disability insurance scheme (NDIS), Introduction to therapeutic interventions across the lifespan.
4. Music Therapy Approaches and Orientations: Overview of music therapy approaches and orientations, underpinnings & methods including Developmental Music Therapy, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, Vocal Approaches, Culture-Centred Music Therapy, Neurologic Music Therapy, and Family-Centred Music Therapy.
5. Professional issues: Self-Care and supervision for music therapy students and practitioners across their career.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Short Answer 3,000 words 30 N Individual
Presentation 5 minutes and 500 words 30 N Individual
Essay 3,000 words 40 N Individual
Participation Attendance at 100% of lectorials is expected, with 11 being mandatory S/U Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts for this subject.

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Allison Fuller Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window