I sent this out to everyone in my address book, but I'm posting this because I want as many people as possible to know.
Dear Family and Friends,
On February 9, 2009, the Deans of the Michigan State University College of Music, on the advice of the College Advisory Committee, have recommended to the Governance Council that the Music Therapy Program stop accepting students, ultimately dissolving the Music Therapy Program once current students have graduated. The committee did not have any direct input from the music therapy department faculty or students on the prospect of closing the program, and there is no word on how the other departments of the School of Music have been affected. Jim Forger, the Dean of the School of Music, refused to provide any details about the committee or the budget. Dean Forger also did not name the other committee members during the meeting.
The reasons for this course of action were identified as budget cuts related to the economy and a continued reduction of funding coming into the University from the Government. Despite the question being asked numerous times, when questioned if another solution was proposed or investigated to potentially save the program, it was very clear that the concept was not entertained.
If this moratorium is allowed to happen it will not only be a tremendous loss to Michigan State, the first established University program in 1944, but to the profession for this is our history. This will also greatly impact surrounding community of clientele served through our on campus Music Therapy clinic that provides free services to those under-served. I would like all to know that that the students present at the meeting asked first about the impact to the clients and second about themselves and their degree. What a great group of up and coming clinicians!
What we need from you, our friends and family, is to help us express to Dean Forger, Provost Wilcox, and President Simon how important and beneficial the music therapy program is in and for the College of Music. You are able to do this by forwarding this email to as many people as you can, and also by letting Virginia Anderson, MT-BC, Roger Smeltekop, MM, MT-BC, or your MSU Music Therapist that you support their effort to keep this excellent school alive. Michigan State University was the first college in the United States to begin an undergraduate program in 1944, and the program has grown in numbers over the years. The Music Therapy Department, particularly through the Music Therapy Clinic, has been an essential advocate for those with special needs in the greater Lansing area, including those with autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, cognitive impairment, mental health, dementia, Parkinson's Disease, hospice, Ele's Place Center for Grieving Children, and people of all ages. The Eric "Ricstar" Winter Music Therapy Camp has influenced and helped many children and adults since its first session in 2003 and student music therapists provide integral service in these programs as they are pursuing their degrees at MSU.
Again, please send this to everyone you know! We need all the help we can get to keep this school open! If you would like to send a message expressing how music therapy has benefited your life, please contact Virginia Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or your Michigan State University Music Therapy student or alumni. Please write and copy any letter and/or e-mail you feel would benefit our cause to the following people:
Provost Kim Wilcox: email@example.com
Office of the Provost
Michigan State University
430 Administration Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1046 Attn Dean Forger
President Lou Anna Simon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the President
Michigan State University
450 Administration Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1046
Dean James Forger: email@example.com
College of Music
102 Music Building
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: 517.353.5340 Fax: 517.432.2880
Roger Smeltekop, MM, MT-BC: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Frederick "Ted" Tims, PhD, MT-BC: email@example.com
Once more, if you have any questions, please contact one of the following people:Virginia Anderson, MT-BC: firstname.lastname@example.org