Music Therapy Internship

Applications for our 2023-24 Internship Program will be accepted January 1-March 1, 2023.

Beyond Words is excited to offer a University-Affiliated Internship site for music therapy students in the final stage of obtaining clinical hours, prior to sitting for the national board examination. We currently have a relationship with Baldwin Wallace University, The College of Wooster, Slippery Rock University and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. We are open to building relationships with other colleges and universities to expand access to private practice placements. We believe in celebrating a balance of building clinical skills with building self-care to promote longevity of a career in music therapy. Our interns are full members of our clinical team and we celebrate their growth and contributions to the field of music therapy along their journey.

Are you a music therapy student looking to build your resume but still have coursework to complete? Click here for a field study program.

The Details

An internship with Beyond Words offers an in depth look to the world of private practice. During this comprehensive internship, our interns build strong clinical, musical and professional skills to increase their marketability in the music therapy profession. We are comprised of a team of board certified music therapists and adapted dance instructors that work collaboratively as a team to ensure that our students receive high-quality services, according to their individualized needs, strengths and abilities.


Our interns are exposed to a diverse clientele comprised of children and adults, group and individual sessions, and a variety of diagnoses and needs. The intern's caseload is determined closer to the start date and based on the students currently being services in the practice, agencies servicing in the community and intern's responsibilities outside the internship program. Due to the nature of a private practice, an intern's assigned students and community programs may change throughout the internship. Beyond Words has a growing reputation with expertise in working with individuals on the autism spectrum (specifically with communication and/or behavioral needs), however we also provide services for children and adults with developmental disabilities, mental health disorders, neurological needs and more.


Our main clinic is located in North Royalton, OH and we have a second location in Medina, OH. We also rent space from other companies and offer music therapy/adapted music lessons at our satellite studios in Independence, Avon and Highland Heights, OH. The intern will report to our North Royalton location throughout the week to conduct sessions, meet with supervisors, and check in and out materials. The intern will also provide sessions in the field. Beyond Words currently provides services in homes, schools, hospitals, group homes, day programs, preschools and day schools, and various other sites throughout the greater Cleveland/Akron areas. The intern’s exact site placements will be determined closer to the start date. This internship does require travel and the intern is responsible for having access to, and maintaining, reliable transportation throughout the internship.


The intern will report directly to Erin Jester, MT-BC, Executive Director and owner of Beyond Words. Two 60-minute, individual supervision meetings (outside of sessions) will be conducted weekly. The intern will have opportunities to engage in individual supervision with their other site supervisors, as needed. The intern will have opportunities to observe our clinicians, co-treat alongside them, and receive direct supervision during music therapy sessions.

The intern will assume a small caseload of private clients that they will work with independently starting in January. These cases will be reviewed during supervision. Written and verbal feedback on written work, clinical work, and professional skills will be provided. In addition, the intern will complete self-critique forms to assist in developing self-awareness and problem-solving skills.


In addition to developing clinical skills in various music therapy sessions, the intern will also learn how to conduct assessments, write treatment plans, track data, and terminate cases. The intern will participate in public speaking events, will learn how to market music therapy, schedule appointments, coordinate with a treatment team and more. We believe in treating our interns as a full member of the team from day one of the internship.


Although this internship is unpaid, interns at Beyond Words receive the following benefits:

  • Leave to attend National, State or Regional Conferences

  • 40 hours of excused absences

  • Free coffee, tea and snacks at our office

  • Several holidays off during the internship

  • High levels of supervision

  • Professional liability insurance covered

  • Background check covered

  • Possible music therapy job at the end of the internship

  • Access to a large lending library

The intern will have access to an extensive lending library of instruments (including, but not limited: to drums, maracas, Boomwhackers, rhythm sticks, desk bells, q-chord, scarves, parachute, jingle bells, children’s books, sheet music, guitars, keyboard, drum set) and online resources of visuals and commonly used sheet music/books. The intern will also have access to a lamination machine and countless office and art supplies.


This internship begins in early/ mid-September and ends in early/mid-May. The practice is closed for selected holidays and may close due to inclement weather. This internship is approximately 40 hours per week with hours split among sessions, office hours, traveling, administration responsibilities, and other tasks. This position is Monday through Friday, with the occasional expectation of a Saturday or Sunday - in order to gain experience in presenting at professional conferences and marketing events. The intern’s schedule will be modified to accommodate these events. The exact daily hours of the internship will be determined closer to the start date based upon our clients’ needs but can include morning, afternoon, and evening hours. Days may vary in length and design. This internship does require some flexibility, as sessions may be canceled and rescheduled based upon the needs of our clients.

Application Requirements

We accept one intern per year in order to provide individualized attention to that individual. Applicants must be committed to improving their clinical, musical, and professional skills, be able to work independently, and be excited and willing to engage in supervision if applying for this internship. We are seeking applicants who are confident in their skill set, quick to return emails and phone calls, and are ready to transition into a well-rounded professional.

Applications must be received in full by March 1st of each year for a October start date. Interviews will be conducted in February/March for selected candidates.

Please submit the following as a PDF via email to

  • Resume including clinical experience or relevant job/ volunteering experience

  • Cover letter explaining why you would like to be an intern at Beyond Words

  • Paragraph of what you expect from your internship supervisor

  • Written sample session plan for a 45-minute session for a group of adults with developmental disabilities with a focus on community building and social interaction - include at least one goal with two objectives

  • Written 30-minute sample session plan for an 8 year old child diagnosed with Autism, with a focus on expressive communication skills - include at least one goal with two objectives

  • Two professional letters of recommendations (can be from a clinical site supervisor, professor, choir instructor, private music teacher, etc.)

Once your application is reviewed, we will contact you for a phone interview and possibly in-person interview (if possible) to tour our facilities, meet the therapists, observe some current sessions and demonstrate your musical and/or clinical skills. If you are unable to attend an in-person interview, please submit the following videos through DropBox or a YouTube link.

  • Video demonstrating guitar and vocal skills of the song of your choice, as well as how you would use it in a music therapy session

  • Video demonstrating piano and vocal skills of the song of your choice, as well as how you would use it in a music therapy session

All applicants will receive a confirmation email that their materials have been received. If you have not received a response within 48hrs, please contact Erin Jester. If you have any questions about this internship or application requirements, please contact Erin Jester at (440) 230-6100 x700 or Please visit our programs and informational website pages to familiarize yourself with our services, therapeutic team, mission and vision.

Ellen Abood

2021-22 Music Therapy Intern

Ellen has completed her coursework at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She completed her internship at Beyond Words with a total of 1013 hours from October 4, 2021-May 20, 2022.

Olivia Rayburn

2020-21 Music Therapy Intern

Olivia completed her coursework at Baldwin Wallace University. She completed her internship at Beyond Words with a total of 1013 hours from October 5, 2020-May 3, 2021 through our university affiliate internship program with the Cleveland Music Therapy Consortium.

Olivia Lawrence

2019-20 Music Therapy Intern

Olivia completed her coursework at The College of Wooster. She completed her internship at Beyond Words with a total of 1013 hours from October 2, 2019-August 14, 2020 through our university affiliate internship program with the Cleveland Music Therapy Consortium. Olivia's experience is best described in her own words:

In October when I joined, I was coming from the College of Wooster’s program through the Cleveland Consortium of Music and was working full-time as a nanny and special needs caregiver. What initially drew me to this internship was Erin’s willingness to work my internship schedule around my work schedule so I would be able to make money during my time at Beyond Words. By the end, my favorite aspect of my internship was the variety of clients, facilities, programming, and therapists I was able to experience! During my time at Beyond Words I was able to work in our offices, area schools, nursing homes, and adult care facilities. Additionally, I worked alongside six music therapists, behavior therapists, adapted dance instructors, speech-language therapists, and parents in our Learning Groove classes, gaining new wisdom, perspective, and advice from each mentor.

The breadth of experiences grew even more when the state entered quarantine. Aside from a general reduction of hours and a week off to reorganize programming, we were able to begin virtual music therapy by adapting 1:1 music therapy, music therapy groups, adapted instrument and dance lessons, making prerecorded YouTube playlists, editing together full-session-length videos, and strategizing what new programming would appeal to our clientele.

This fast-paced and all-encompassing internship was a great experience that left me with the freedom and independence to form my own philosophies and strategies, but never left me feeling without support. Keep an open mind and open communication, and you will find your place at Beyond Words: Music and Dance Center.