Music Therapy Internship

At UK HealthCare, music therapy is part of Rehabilitation Services and is closely affiliated with the UK Arts in HealthCare program. Music therapists provide a wide range of clinical music therapy services for patients with mental and physical health care needs and actively participate in research opportunities. Some of the common reasons for music therapy referrals include:

  • Patients with complex needs.
  • Patients with difficult situations.
  • Patients with pain and/or anxiety.
  • End-of life care.
  • Patients who have long-term and/or chronic healthcare needs.
  • Patients with difficulty engaging.

The UK HealthCare Music Therapy Internship in Lexington, Ky., provides a number of opportunities for students interested in medical and mental health music therapy services. Interns will have the opportunity to :

  • Provide patient- and family-centered care in the acute and ambulatory medical settings.
  • Provide services for patients of varying ages and diagnoses.
  • Provide group services for patients with mental health needs.
  • Interact with several different music therapists.
  • Participate in projects, presentations, and specialized training (NICU).

Mission: The mission of the University of Kentucky Music Therapy Program is to advance cutting-edge, evidence-based music therapy practices within the contexts of research, education and clinical care.  In order to demonstrate this mission, the program strives to be a leader in the use of music therapy in physical and mental health care while also providing high-quality services for those with communication, cognitive, emotional and social functioning needs.

The internship program at UK is a hallmark of our clinical services. We strive to work individually with students as part of our clinical team to meet their educational and training needs. We invite you to consider pursuing an internship with us as you move toward board certification as a music therapist.

Areas of service: Interning at UK HealthCare provides the opportunity to work throughout the medical setting including: The Kentucky Children’s Hospital (general floor, PICU, NICU), Behavioral Health Services (adolescent and adult, Eastern State Hospital), Markey Cancer Center, palliative and hospice patients, stroke, adult intensive care, general medical, additional adult settings as referred and pediatric outpatient support as requested.

UK interns will have the opportunity to work with interdisciplinary teams, co-treat with SLP, OT and PT, develop a project in an area of their choosing, and more.

Application process: All applicants must submit (a) the UK internship application, (b) unofficial transcripts and (c) two letters of recommendation. It is recommended that one letter be from a professor and one from someone who has knowledge of your therapeutic abilities. On-site interviews will be scheduled for those applicants who are selected as possible interns. Interviews via Skype may be considered for long-distance applicants.

OUT OF STATE STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE: At this time Kentucky requires state authorization from universities sending students to intern from outside the state of Kentucky. This may include fees, applications or other processes. For further information, please visit Training in Music Therapy - National Roster of Internship Programs.

Music Therapy Internship Application (PDF, 120 KB)

Completed applications can be sent to:
Jessy Rushing
800 Rose St., Room H106
Lexington, KY 40536

Acceptance: During the interview process, each applicant will be given a timeline for acceptance. Accepted applicants will be notified via email or phone and given one week to accept or decline the internship.

Applications are DUE seven months prior to your desired start date. This allows offer letters to be sent out six months prior to starting.

Internship start date

We have four start dates across the year.

Start dates

January, April
July, October

Application due

June 1 for January and April start dates
December 1 for July and October start dates

Internship hours: All interns will be required to complete a minimum of 1,020 hours. The 1,020 hours will be completed across six months with additional hours as needed to meet competency requirements.

Time off: Because the internship is calculated by hours, all missed time must be made up. Activities deemed to be music therapy-related by the Clinical Training Supervisor do not count as missed time. Completion of 1,020 hours across six months allows for approximately five days for emergencies, vacation and/or sick leave.

Schedule: Internship hours will primarily be from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Occasionally, internship duties may require some evening and weekend hours. Each intern will be required to track his or her own hours.

MT activities: Any special activities directly connected to the field of music therapy and completed during internship may apply toward internship hours; for example, attending a conference.

Internship Requirements

Each intern is required to complete the following:

  1. Observe, co-lead and lead sessions as appropriate.
  2. Attend assigned meetings and presentations.
  3. Maintain all documentation as required.
  4. Participate in weekly supervision meetings.
  5. Participate in a midterm and final evaluation.
  6. Track all hours.
  7. Maintain a collection of appropriate songs, activities and related materials (worksheets, handouts, etc.) for each population served during the internship. This may be in file form, notebook form or electronic.  
  8. Continue to learn new songs for use with patients each week.
  9. Give presentations
  10. Complete one individualized project. This project will be determined in consultation with the internship supervisor and may consist of a research project, establishing services in a new area, creation of a resource appropriate to the program or other. 
  11. Maintain all communication, documentation, and/or administrative procedures set forth by the student’s educational director.
  12. Complete other tasks/assignments as assigned based on student/program needs.

Tentative Internship Timeline

Weeks 1-5: Orientation and observation
Weeks 5-12: Co-leading and supervised leading
Week 13: Midterm Evaluation
Weeks 14-24: Independent leading as ready
Week 25 or 26: Final Evaluation

Please note: The timeline is subject to change based on individual needs and total number of hours required.

For more information or to receive an application (see above link as well), please contact Jessy Rushing at

Page last updated: 8/23/2017 3:09:46 PM