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Save Music Therapy at Chapman University

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This petition is an appeal to reconsider the decision made to discontinue the Music Therapy program in the Conservatory of Music at Chapman University. Students in the Music Therapy program were informed on Thursday, April 24, 2008 that there would be a teach-out for those who are currently in the program but no new students would be admitted into the program. Students were informed by Dr. Hall, Dean of the College of Performing Arts, that there are three reasons the program is being cut: 1. Music Therapy does not \"fit\" into the performance model of the Conservatory of Music. 2. Music Therapy no longer \"fits\" the new vision of Chapman University as campaigns are being started to raise funds to resurrect the science programs and start a School of Engineering. 3. The Music Therapy program has small enrollment. These points indicate that the decision to cut the program has been thoughtfully considered. However, we would like to present evidence that Music Therapy is a good fit for Chapman University and has much to offer the Chapman community, the community of the city of Orange and the larger community of Southern California. 1. Music Therapy does not \"fit\" into the performance model of the Conservatory of Music. a. Music Therapists (MTs) are musicians first. Without the ability to perform well, no further work of a music therapist has any validity. b. 25% of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) professional competencies involve the ability to perform well and improvise on several instruments including voice, piano, guitar and percussion. Without attaining this first percentage with full competency, a MT will certainly fail the remaining 75% of competencies as these are based on the performance of music. c. MTs not only need to perform well on a variety of instruments, but must demonstrate knowledge of music literature and perform a wide variety of styles of music. Research shows that music therapy is most effective when a client\'s preferred music is used. Thus, a MT not only needs classical training in music, but also training in a wide variety of musical styles to meet clients\' needs. d. Traditionally, a majority of Chapman students studying guitar and percussion have been music therapy students. If music therapy is cut from the conservatory, these programs will suffer, too. e. Every music student must undergo rigorous study and demonstrate exceptional proficiency on their chosen instrument(s) in order to graduate from the university and receive a BMus. By stating that music therapy does not \"fit\" into a conservatory model is to imply that music therapy students are less competent performers than other music students. This can only reflect the instruction and training that music therapy students receive. Training, however, is excellent in the Conservatory of Music at Chapman! It produces some of the finest young musicians in Southern California, including music therapy students. 2. Music Therapy no longer \"fits\" the new vision of Chapman University in the area of science. a. Music Therapy fits in beautifully with the sciences, more so than any of the other disciplines in the conservatory of music, as current music therapy theory combines both the science and art of music in treatment. b. Currently, the AMTA requires that music therapy students take classes in anatomy or physiology. At Chapman, music therapy students also take physics to deepen their understanding of sound properties and their role in the effect of music on the physiological, emotional and spiritual being. c. Aldridge, a respected researcher of both medicine and music therapy, describes the process of both health and music therapy as \"performance.\" Again, this reiterates the link between both music and science and the role that music therapy plays as a connector of the two. 3. There are small numbers in the music therapy program. a. The number of students in the music therapy program, as reported therapy on April 24th, is 26. Including current freshman in the program and students that are fulfilling internship requirements for the degree, the number is higher. b. Chapman University is a small, private university. Small and private universities are unique in that they can offer highly specialized programs such as music therapy. With only two other universities in the state of California that offer music therapy, this program offers Chapman an opportunity to have a competitive edge over other universities in California with music programs. Music Therapy programs have a long-standing history in the state of California. The music therapy program at University of the Pacific (UOP) has been in existence for 20+ years and exists within a conservatory model. UOP also has a master\'s program heavily focused on music therapy research. California State University Northridge has also had a music therapy program for 20+ years. Chapman\'s program was inherited from California State University at Long Beach with a history of 30+ years. In addition to these points made, this music therapy program is of vital importance to the community of music therapy professionals in the area. Local facilities and organizations that currently offer music therapy services will be deeply affected by the decision to cut the program. The demand for music therapists is growing rapidly and there are not enough new graduates to currently fill open positions. Students, faculty, parents, Music Therapy professionals, clients that have benefited from music therapy and members of the community at large have signed the petition below to implore Chapman University administration to reconsider their decision regarding the phasing out of the Music Therapy program. If you would like to stand with us in defending this program, please sign the petition below to show your support. In the comments field, please state your affiliation with the music therapy program at Chapman University (i.e. Student/Faculty/Staff of Chapman University, Parent/Friend of Chapman Student, MT Professional, Client/Patient benefiting from Music Therapy, etc.) If you would like to write a letter to Chancellor Struppa and/or President Doti, please do so at by May 31, 2008. Thank you for your support! Chapman University Music Therapy Student Association


This petition is sponsored by the Chapman University Music Therapy Student Association. The music therapy students intend to use this petition in an effort to appeal to Chapman Administration to keep the Music Therapy program at Chapman.
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