Marietta College’s Music Therapy degree receives AMTA Accreditation

Marietta student helping someone with moringas

Two years after receiving a $1 million gift to start the program, Marietta College’s Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music is pleased to announce the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) has granted the Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy degree program full accreditation.

“This has been a long and, at times, very difficult two-year process,” said Marshall C. Kimball, Department of Music Chairman. “Making certain that all the required competencies are covered in a way that meets AMTA’s expectations, making certain all the questions from AMTA are answered clearly and coherently, and making certain all of the i’s are dotted and all t’s are crossed has made for a challenging two years.”

The accreditation is necessary for any graduating Music Therapy student before being able to sit for the national board exams to become a Board Certified-Music Therapist.

“We are thrilled to have it completed,” Kimball said. “Without the work our new Director of Music Therapy, Raquel Ravaglioli, this would not have been accomplished. She has been stellar in all ways since arriving on campus. The future is incredibly bright for the Music Therapy program under her leadership. The impact on the Marietta College campus and the entire Mid-Ohio Valley will be far-reaching. We celebrate this benchmark for the program.”

Donald G. ’81 and Leslie Straub Ritter ’85 helped get the program off the ground when they made a transformational gift in December of 2016. The Ritters have continued to provide by financial and professional help as the College renovated the McKinney Building to include music therapy rooms that are connected to observation rooms by one-way mirrors. There is also a recording studio.

After making the donation, Don Ritter said, “We are pleased to be in a position to start this program at Marietta. Music Therapy has been a cause near to us since our involvement with Blue Star Connection, and we have always thought the program would be an ideal addition to Marietta College.”

Music therapy is an allied health profession that uses music interventions during therapeutic treatment for a patient’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs. There is a demand for these types of therapists in hospitals, nursing and rehabilitation facilities, hospice care and schools.

The 2017-18 academic year was spent in the development of the curriculum for the Music Therapy degree with the hiring of a music therapy specialist to assist in completing the project. The final documents from the curriculum writing step were submitted to the AMTA on May 1, 2018.

“After a response from AMTA, there were some questions that needed to be answered,” Kimball said.

A national search was conducted to find a Director of Music Therapy Ravaglioli, Director of Music Therapy, arrived on campus in August 2018 and has been actively developing the program, answering questions from AMTA and substantiating and making any necessary changes to the developed curriculum to meet all the expectations and competencies required for this accreditation process to be completed.