The Effects of Music-Based Experiential Supervision on Perceived Competency with Music Therapy Practicum Students


  • Michael L. Zanders Temple University


music therapy, experiential learning, professional competencies, practicum, music-based supervision, clinical training


As part of learning the competencies needed for practice it would seem essential that students encounter music-based experiences, not only through direct experiences such as practicum, but through academic supervision as well. As an indirect measure of learning, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of music-based experiential supervision on pre-internship/practicum students’ perceived therapeutic competence. This study used a quasi-experimental design of one-group, pretest-post-test, repeated measures. The four treatment conditions—(a) receptive, (b) recreative, (c) improvisation, and (d) composition/songwriting—were counterbalanced with seven small groups (cluster sample) in order to reduce order effects. Overall, the results of the study showed that music-based experiential supervision is an effective means for increasing students’ perceived music therapy competence, particularly the students’ understanding of the dynamics of a therapeutic relationship. This research has implications for future research and educational practice,
including the ethics of experiential learning and supervision.

Author Biography

Michael L. Zanders, Temple University

Michael Zanders, PhD, MT-BC is an assistant professor of music therapy at Temple University. His current research foci include a variety of topics related to advanced clinical theory, practice, and reflexivity in music therapy.





Research Articles