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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Music Therapy

First Advisor

David E. Wolfe

First Committee Member

Audree S. O'Connell

Second Committee Member

Michael A. Allard


In the current environment of increasing cultural diversity, it appears vital that music therapists are trained to understand the issues involved in working with clients from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The purpose of this study was to examine professional music therapists' knowledge of and attitudes toward relevant multicultural issues. The study attempted to answer the question of whether there is in fact a need for multicultural training for music therapists, and if so, in what areas. A survey designed by the author was sent to 500 music therapists across the country, resulting in 298 usable responses. Analysis of the data revealed strong support for the underlying dimensions of multiculturalism, with weaker support for implementation of multicultural policies. Support for multiculturalism was correlated more strongly with attitude than with knowledge subscores. Data were also analyzed by age, gender, ethnicity, geographical location, and level of education. Significant differences in scores were found between respondents in the New England and the South Central regions of the country (p s .05). Significant differences in total and knowledge scores were found between respondents holding a Ph.D. and those with a Bachelor's degree. There were no significant differences between minority and majority culture groups. Females had consistently higher scores than males, but the differences were not significant. Also, with regard to age, results showed an improvement in attitude scores as age group increased. Results showed that 78.2% of respondents support multicultural training for music therapy students.



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