Music therapy internship

Music therapists at Children’s Minnesota work with patients in both individual and group settings. Services are primarily provided in the inpatient setting while children are hospitalized and may include siblings or other family members. Weekly music therapy groups are held on several of the units.

Learn more about the internship program, requirements and application process:

Internship experience

Interns can expect to have a diverse and fulfilling experience at Children’s Minnesota and will include:

  • Paid 40 hours per week, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., occasional evening/weekend commitments. Time is split between Minneapolis and St. Paul hospital campuses and multiple MT-BC supervisors.
  • Opportunities to receive feedback and supervision from board-certified music therapists and other health care professionals.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with a multidisciplinary medical team in rounds, care conferences, co-treatment sessions and committees.
  • Opportunities to observe, co-lead and lead individual, family and group music therapy sessions.
  • Opportunities to be an active participant at child life/music therapy special events, educational presentations and meetings.
  • Interns will eventually be responsible for their own schedule and caseloads during the leadership portion of the internship.
  • During leadership portion, interns will lead up to four groups a week (3-8 group members).
  • Interns will present an in-service to unit staff on one hospital campus.
  • Interns will complete a comprehensive final project of their choice that contributes to the music therapy team at Children’s Minnesota or future interns’ learning.

Internship provisions and benefits

  • Hours and schedule
    The six-month, full-time paid internship is scheduled from 8:00-4:30, Monday-Friday, with occasional evening and weekend commitments. Interns are not expected to work the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
  • Communications technology
    Interns will be provided with an internal email address, laptop, iPad and alpha pager. Access to these benefits is available both on- and off-site. Laptop use is strictly for work related purposes; specific guidelines will be outlined.
  • Music therapy equipment
    Keyboards, guitar, percussion instruments, technology and music library are available for intern use. Interns are not expected to use their personal instruments.
  • Children’s Minnesota library access
    Interns may use the hospital’s medical library for resources and literature searches.
  • Liability/health insurance
    Interns are NOT benefit eligible in their temporary roles. Children’s assumes responsibility for their liability insurance and any need for indemnification.
  • Dress code
    Business casual attire is expected.
  • Housing
    Children’s Minnesota does not provide housing options for students.
  • Meals
    Children’s Minnesota does not provide meals for students. Discounted cafeteria and café options are available for purchase on both campuses.
  • Transportation/parking
    Children’s Minnesota hospitals are easily accessible by public transportation. Traveling between campuses during a shift is not expected. Ramp parking is available to students on both campuses for a fee.
  • Pay
    Children’s Minnesota offers these internships on a paid, hourly basis according to undergrad or graduate level.

Entry level requirements/competencies

Music therapy interns must be able to meet the following entry level competencies:

  • Completed music therapy coursework as designated by your educational institution.
  • Proficiency on guitar: ability to play I, IV, V chords in three keys.
  • Proficiency on piano: ability to play I, IV, V chords in three keys on left hand and melody in right hand.
  • Proficient vocal skills: ability to sing in tune with pleasing tone quality in range appropriate for clients’ participation.
  • Willingness to learn a variety of musical styles and to work with people of different cultures and religious beliefs.
  • Effective communication and listening skills.
  • Effective organization and prioritization skills.
  • Interest in and ability to work with sensitive populations in a mature and professional way.
  • Ability to complete physical requirements of the position with reasonable adaptations, if needed.

Professional development

Music therapy interns will have many opportunities for professional development at Children’s Minnesota, including:

  • Attending professional development sessions led by Children’s Minnesota staff members.
  • Attending sessions, seminars and talks for all Children’s Minnesota employees.
  • Up to 24 hours of paid internship time is offered for attendance at off-site professional development opportunities related to the internship.
  • Attending weekly Grand Rounds, led by Medical staff on a variety of topics.
  • Attending quarterly Schwartz Rounds on a variety of ethical and moral distress topics.
  • Membership of a variety of Employee Engagement/Resource groups; free to students and employees.

Professional staff and training programs

During your internship, you will have contact with many other health care providers and professional staff, including but not limited to:

  • Medical doctors and nurse practitioners
  • Registered nurses
  • Certified child life specialists/child life associates
  • PTs, OTs, SLPs
  • Social workers
  • Chaplains
  • Psychologists
  • Registered dieticians
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Clinical support assistants
  • Volunteers

Other on-site educational programs offered at Children’s Minnesota include:

  • Medical students, residents, fellows and interns
  • Undergraduate and graduate nursing student rotations
  • Physical therapy student rotations
  • Pharmacy residency
  • Child life internship
  • Psychology internship
  • Social work internship

Internship director

Sarah Woolever, MM, MT-BC
Internship Director
Children’s Minnesota Hospital – Minneapolis
2525 Chicago Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
[email protected]

Application deadlines

  • May 1 for January and April start dates.
  • November 1 for June and September start dates.

Application process

All of the following materials must be submitted by the deadline to be considered:

  1. Completed online application at
  2. Completed application.
  3. Transcript (unofficial is acceptable).
  4. Letter of eligibility AND recommendation from music therapy director.
  5. Two letters of recommendation from other professors or supervisors.
  6. Video recording (web link is acceptable) – please do not include clients in videos:
    1. Two selections with voice/piano; Verse-Chorus; Describe how you would use these songs in a music therapy session.
    2. Two selections with voice/guitar; Verse-Chorus; Describe how you would use these songs in a music therapy session.
  7. Music therapy session plan for the following patients:
    1. 13-year-old female with spina bifida and is very anxious about procedures and meeting new people; referral from a nurse for “emotional support and to encourage participation in other therapies”.
    2. 2-year-old male, typical development, inpatient for extended oncology treatment; referral from Child Life Specialist for “coping with hospital environment”.
  8. Please answer the following questions:
    1. What specific skills and experiences do you have that will benefit patients and families at Children’s Minnesota? (500 words)
    2. Describe your musical background and skills, including any skills you need to develop. (150-250 words)
    3. Describe your therapeutic skills, including any skills you need to develop. (150-250 words)

Evaluation process

Applicants will be evaluated using the following process:

  • Full application review.
  • On-site interview with music therapy team for selected applicants.
  • Video accommodations can be made for long distance applicants.
  • Live audition on voice, guitar and piano

If accepted, additional requirements and processes are implemented:

  • Criminal Background check and current DHS background check.
  • Employee Health Screening in person which includes review of medical history, immunization verification, and 9 panel urine drug screen to ensure individual health and safety.