The Power of Music

Music 188, Section 1

Special Courses in Music–Music and Healing

Course Requirements

No formal music training or background is required. However, in-class activities will include singing, movement, and instrumental improvisation (such as drumming). Students with a musical background are encouraged to bring their instruments to class, but it is not required. 

Current matriculated UCLA students can enroll in summer academic courses beginning February 1 on MyUCLA.

Music therapy, as a recognized profession, has taken the health and medical industry by storm in the last several decades. This course aims to provide an overview of how music therapy is utilized in a wide variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, mental health, hospice and palliative care, and more. Students will learn how to assess the needs of patients, and how music is utilized as a holistic alternative for addressing specific goals and objectives. Students will also explore their own relationship to music and participate in music therapy interventions through in-class experiences.


  • Week 1: What is Music Therapy?
  • Week 2: Applications of Music Therapy in Schools, Hospitals, and Mental Health Treatment
  • Week 3: Applications of Music in Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Week 4: Establishing Music Therapy Goals and Objectives
  • Week 5: The Ingredients for a Successful Music Therapy Session
  • Week 6:  Music in Wellness, Mindfulness, and Self-Care
Ami Kunimura, MA, MT-BC
Ami Kunimura, MA, MT-BC
Ami Kunimura, Instructor

Ami (pronounced Ah-me) Kunimura is a passionate and peaceful self-care advocate. She provides self-care coaching and resources to professionals experiencing burnout, and has spoken on self-care and professional burnout at international events and conferences. As a helping professional herself, Kunimura has been a board-certified music therapist since 2006, and currently runs a private practice specializing in mental health and addictions treatment.

Kunimura holds a Master of Arts in Music Therapy from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. She has also received certifications in Yoga Education from Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nasik, India and in first and second degree Reiki from the International Center for Reiki Training.

Kunimura was born and raised in Hawaii and currently lives in the South Bay of Los Angeles, California.

Student Testimonials

“This course was really unique because it was a combination of lecture and interactive experience. I really liked how we had activities that mimicked music therapy sessions. The mock music therapy activities put a lot of things into perspective and helped understand what it means to work in that profession. Overall, I really enjoyed this class and found it really interesting.”

“I was able to get a feel for what the profession entails and what the lecturer’s experience in the field was like. I really enjoyed the interactive nature of the course and how we were able to see what a music therapy session felt like.”

“This class and Professor Kunimura were both a great introduction to help me learn more about the field of music therapy and music therapy as a potential career. I really enjoyed how Professor Kunimura incorporated a lot of her own personal experiences to help us learn, and constantly engaged us in multiple exercises that would actually be carried out in music therapy sessions. The lecture part of the class was not the main focus, but rather actually doing the exercises and reflecting on what we have learned based on those exercises. It was a non-stressful and fun way to get exposed to music therapy.”

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