At Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, behavioral science and psychiatry is taught through various forms of media. This page is dedicated to the innovative ways music can be used to review aspects of human behavior.

Poster Presentations

Reviewing the mental status examination (MSE) is a key component to any medical school curriculum that teaches psychiatry. One of the domains of the MSE is speech (a.k.a. thought process), aspects of which can be demonstrated through musical melody and lyrics. To reach this objective, learners at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School are introduced to the music of singer and song writer Billy Joel. Our didactic that creatively teaches aspects of the MSE has been presented at the national American Culture Association/Popular Culture Association annual meeting.

Grand Rounds

On October 27, 2016, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera was presented at a special Grand Rounds event at our medical school. The event was co-presented with Miss Julia Udine (from Broadway’s Phantom) and set as a patient interview. A faculty member from the Department of Psychiatry asked Julia questions from a psychiatric evaluation to which she responded in song creating a dialogue that was attended by over 450 people. Click here to watch Miss Julia Udine portray Christine Daaé to review the depressive disorders chapter of the DSM.


In addition to listing course goals and objectives, we’ve set course syllabi to music videos for our students. Our Guns-n-Roses didactic reviews personality theory in formulating antisocial personality disorder by setting pics of some of the most notorious serial killers in history to Don’t Cry (Use Your Illusion I, 1991).

Our Billy Joel video reviews a broad range of psychopathology topics by setting pics from some of the greatest films in Hollywood to Miami 2017 (Turnstiles, 1976).

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