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History of Music Therapy at UND
In 1999, the UND Music Department, led by Dr. James Fry as Chair, employed an entrepreneurial spirit to develop the first music therapy program in North Dakota. Since then, with great support from the Grand Forks and UND communities, the program has grown tremendously to produce well prepared graduates and provide therapy services to hundreds of clients.
The program started as a Bachelor of Arts program and has since changed over to a Bachelor of Music degree, one of three B.M. degrees offered by the UND Music Department along with a BA in Music. Therese Costes, a music therapist and social worker, founded the UND program in 2000, and directed the program for its first eleven years. Professor Costes maintained a private practice in music therapy in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she worked with children and adults from a variety of populations, and was in demand as a consultant and workshop presenter. In 2005 Costes was awarded a Faculty Seed Grant for the project Developing a Model for Music Therapy in the Public School System, which lead to the creation of the first clinical music therapy position in Grand Forks.
In 2004, Emily Wangen (Banish) became a graduate of the music therapy program, completed her internship in Indiana, and returned to set up the first private practice in North Dakota, called Music Therapy in Motion. She has supervised UND students throughout the school district, Altru Hospital, and with her own private practice clients. A second UND grad, Natasha Thomas (Yearwood) joined the supervision team in 2008 after an internship with the Fulton County Schools near Atlanta.
Due to dramatic growth of the program, UND added a second full-time professor in 2008. After working in skilled nursing, school, and adult day populations in Milwaukee, Andrew Knight came to UND to assist Professor Costes with teaching and supervisory duties. Professor Knight has also published in affiliated journals in the fields of music education, rehabilitation nursing, and early childhood music education.
In Spring 2009, the student organization for music therapy, called American Music Therapy Association for Students-UND (AMTAS-UND) was started. AMTAS Events have included discussions with UND MT alumni, participating in community races as musical entertainment, holding receptions after recitals, attending lectures by prominent professionals, instrumental workshops, holiday caroling, on and off campus drum circles, and NightLife events at the student union.
Therese Costes retired in 2011 and UND hired Meganne Masko from the University of Iowa, a specialist in music therapy with cochlear implants as well as hospice and palliative care music therapy.
North Dakota became the first state to pass a licensure bill for music therapists. Senate Bill 2271 was signed by Governor Jack Dalrymple on April 26, 2011, which includes music therapy under the North Dakota Board of Integrative Health. This landmark legislation is state recognition of the MT-BC (music therapist-board certified) credential and protection for citizens who deserve properly credentialed professionals to use music for therapeutic aims. Music therapists have been licensed practitioners in North Dakota since August 1, 2012.