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Education and Training

Music Therapy Internship

The music therapy department at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital offers a 1040 hour (approximately six months) clinical internship, with a start date to be determined together by student and music therapy staff. The internship is designed to provide students with a comprehensive learning experience to acquire skills necessary to successfully enter the music therapy field. Our team of board-certified music therapists will supervise the student while he/she participates in clinical experiences with children and families.

Our interns will gain experience with a wide variety of patients in inpatient units including infant/toddler general medicine, school-age/adolescent general medicine, hematology/oncology, pediatric intensive care, neonatal intensive care and transitional care. Music therapy also serves patients in the outpatient hematology/oncology and dialysis units, as well as patients with behavioral health needs in the emergency department.

Internship Information

During the 1040-hour clinical internship, interns will work 40 hours per week split between both supervising music therapists, which will provide opportunities to work in a wide variety of the units covered by the team. Individual bedside sessions are most interactions, with impromptu small group sessions happening periodically. Interns will also work to lead a weekly small group for patients admitted for medical stabilization of eating disorders.

Throughout the observation and co-leading period, interns will begin to acquire a caseload of patients to continue following throughout the remainder of the internship. The supervising music therapists will ensure a variety in ages, diagnoses, developmental levels and units to maximize the intern’s learning potential.

Interns will be expected to complete a myriad of assignments each month including weekly SOAP notes, bi-weekly new song presentations, bi-weekly journal articles, and monthly self-reflections. They will also be assigned monthly, larger projects including writing out elevator pitches, developing original songs, completing a genre project, writing a case study, and writing and presenting an individual research project. The internship director can add/remove assignments to best meet the needs of the intern throughout the experience.

The philosophy of music therapy at this site is oriented within the humanistic, music-centered, and resource-oriented approaches. In a pediatric medical music therapy environment, music therapy can be used to access and utilize the internal, healthy parts of a child no matter what is occurring for them physically. Allowing this opportunity for families to re-connect with their child as their child, vs. their illness, is paramount. Empathy and unconditional positive regard is extended not only to every patient and family, but to every intern as well. Trust and respect is necessary within the supervisory relationship, and the intern will be encouraged and challenged within music-centered supervision. Interns will also be expected to bring forth their needs/concerns and be an active partner in their learning experience. Through it all, the intern can expect to feel 100% supported and empowered by the music therapy team.

The intern will be part of a dynamic creative arts therapy team, which includes three music therapists, an art therapist and a dance/movement therapist. The creative arts therapy team is part of the larger child life department, which also includes the two school teachers. In addition to opportunities to collaborate with the aforementioned disciplines, interns may work with our palliative care team, our eating disorders team, our hematology/oncology psychosocial team, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists.

In addition to opportunities for co-treatment with various disciplines, the intern will be able to attend and participate in monthly child life/creative arts therapy/school staff meetings, weekly eating disorder/adolescent team meetings and monthly hematology/oncology psychosocial team meetings. Occasional ethics lunch and learns, grand rounds, care for the caregivers events, departmental in-services or presentations may also be available. The hospital also trains medical students, nursing students and social work interns.

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is well supported by our donors and foundation and the department has a wide variety of instruments available to meet the needs of patients ranging from infants to teenagers with a variety of abilities. Interns will be provided with a cart to transport instruments needed for daily patients, and will have access to an assortment of guitars, keyboards, ukuleles, handheld percussion instruments, etc. The department has a wealth of technology resources, including wireless stethoscope microphones for heartbeat recordings and a mobile music studio with MacBook Airs for recording and editing. The intern will also receive an iPad Mini to utilize throughout the internship for lead sheets, apps such as GarageBand, etc. As a member of our music therapy team, interns are welcome and encouraged to use any resources the department has. If a potential need is identified for an additional resource, the intern may discuss with the internship supervisor.

If interns are interested, opportunities for shadow days with other SSM Health music therapists could be set up for exposure to adult medical music therapy work. As the music therapy team learns of conferences or workshops in the area, this information will be shared with the intern. If a financial component is needed to attend, it will be the responsibility of the intern to cover this cost. However, when attending these events, this time would be considered as internship time and would not be included in the five days allotted for time off.

  • Interns may choose to wear scrubs or professional dress during their internships. Interns should be aware that they may be required to sit on the floor and engage in a lot of up/down movements within sessions daily. If interns choose to purchase scrubs, no financial compensation will be provided. We will also provide information on required color and purchasing options.
  • Interns will be responsible for securing their own housing and may request support in finding housing sources from the internship director. Parking at the hospital is free and accessible with intern’s hospital badge.
  • There are no meals, transportation, or stipend for this internship.

Music Therapy Internship Application

The successful internship applicant will demonstrate excellent grammar and writing skills as well as excellent accompaniment abilities on guitar, piano, and voice. These entry-level competencies will be evaluated through the written application and virtual interview process with consideration for content regarding these abilities found in recommendation letters. Prior experience with children, whether in an employment or volunteer capacity, is recommended but not necessary.

Download Music Therapy Internship Application

  • Please note - incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • We can only accept interns affiliated with a college or university. Upon acceptance to the internship, a legal affiliation agreement between the student’s university and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is required.
  • Interns must comply with all hospital COVID policies, including vaccination and PPE requirements.

Once an internship offer has been made, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital will reach out to the prospective intern’s school to establish a legal affiliation agreement. Typically, this includes liability insurance. If not, then it is the responsibility of the student to attain liability insurance for themselves. This program also requires complete immunization records, TB test, flu shot and CPR certification. Associated costs are the responsibility of the student. Prospective interns will be required to read, agree to, and sign SSM Health’s confidentiality agreement and standards of ethical conduct document.

Contact Information

Internship Director and Supervising Music Therapist:
Kelli McKee, MA, MT-BC, NICU-MT

Music Therapy Practicum

The music therapy department intermittently accepts music therapy practicum students through a university affiliated partnership with Maryville University.

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