Date of Award


Document Type


Copyright Status, No Creative Commons License

All Rights Reserved

Degree Name

Master of Science in Music Therapy


Music Therapy


School of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Kate Myers-Coffman


There is little research on heavy metal music in general, and even less research on the application of this genre in music therapy. This study collected data from 201 board certified music therapists who have experience using heavy metal music in their music therapy practice. A variety of open- and closed-ended questions were answered by these participants to gather their perspectives on this topic. Analyzation of quantitative data occurred using cross-tabulation descriptive statistics through Google Forms and qualitative data were analyzed through coding and a content analysis. Quantitative data concluded that participants would like to see an increase in the integration of heavy metal music education within music therapy curricula and highlights which populations enjoy the use of heavy metal music according to these perspectives. They also display individuals’ beliefs on the role personal preference of this genre plays in the implementation of heavy metal music. Qualitative data discovered that using client preferred music results in significant benefits within the music therapy setting. This data also uncovered both risks and benefits observed by music therapists’ when heavy metal music has been requested or integrated into a music therapy session. The findings of this study suggest there should be an increase in the integration of diverse genres within music therapy education and training, as well as strengthening the credibility of incorporating client preferred music into music therapy sessions. Further research may be conducted to discover risks and benefits of different genres of music as well as discovering client perspectives of utilizing diverse musical genres and styles within music therapy.

Related Pillar(s)


Included in

Music Therapy Commons