Main Navigation
Apply Now Request Info


MU 545 - Composition for Music Therapy Practitioners

  • 3 credits

Students have the opportunity to explore their own composition and improvisation skills as they relate to facilitating music therapy sessions. We explore topics in music theory, composition, and improvisation, and incorporate those concepts into our own compositions and improvisations. Music recording technology is also explored in this course.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students are able to:

  • improvise and compose music that facilitates functional objectives.
  • use composition to facilitate movement, speech and language, and other functional skills.
  • develop creative music skills including musical play, melodic improvisation, harmonic improvisation, and playing in different meters and styles.
  • record compositions utilizing computer programs.
  • generalize learned techniques into clinical practice.


Must be admitted to CSU's Music Therapy master's degree program

Textbooks and Materials

Section 801


  • Improvisation: Methods and Techniques for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators, and Students (2004)
    Wigram, Tony
    ISBN: 978-1843100485
  • Songwriting, 1st Ed.
    Baker, Felicity & Wigram, Tony (eds.)
    ISBN: 978-1843103561

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.

Additional readings posted on Canvas or in CSU Library Electronic Reserves.

Students are required to have access to high-speed Internet and a web browser. Students must also have a method for recording mp3 or mp4 files.


Andrew Knight

Dr. Andrew Knight holds a bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance, Jazz emphasis from UW-La Crosse, a music therapy equivalency and master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations and Research from the University of North Dakota (UND).

Dr. Knight has research interests in substance use disorders in adults and early childhood social/emotional developmental issues. He directs the Parkinson’s disease vocal exercise group in collaboration with the Parkinson’s support group in Larimer County and is a Music Together Within Therapy™ provider. His research has been published in the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives, among other journals, and he serves as Associate Editor for Book Reviews for JMT. He is past president of the Midwestern Region (MWR) of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), serves on the AMTA Assembly of Delegates, and has won the MWR and AMTA Service Awards. Along with Drs. Blythe LaGasse and Alicia Clair, he is a co-editor of the 2018 Introduction to Music Therapy textbook published by AMTA.