What Do Music Therapist Do?
Position Description Plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients' psychological or behavioral status.
Life As a Music Therapist: What Do They Do?
- Identify and respond to emergency physical or mental health situations.
- Observe and document client reactions, progress, or other outcomes related to music therapy.
- Design music therapy experiences, using various musical elements to meet client’s goals or objectives.
- Integrate behavioral, developmental, improvisational, medical, or neurological approaches into music therapy treatments.
- Apply current technology to music therapy practices.
- Conduct or assist in the conduct of music therapy research.
Music Therapist Needed Skills
When polled, Music Therapists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Related Job Titles
- Director of Music Therapy
- Board Certified Music Therapist
- Music Rehabilitation Therapist
- Music Therapist
Job Opportunities for Music Therapists
There were about 19,200 jobs for Music Therapist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,300 new jobs for Music Therapist by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,200 positions for Music Therapist per year.
The states with the most job growth for Music Therapist are Alaska, Colorado, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, Wyoming, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Music Therapist Salary
The average yearly salary of a Music Therapist ranges between $29,590 and $77,050.
Music Therapists who work in California, District of Columbia, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Music Therapists in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$68,430|
Tools & Technologies Used by Music Therapists
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Music Therapists:
- Microsoft Office
- Web browser software
- Email software
- Electronic health record EHR software
- Avid Technology Pro Tools
- Musical instrument digital interface MIDI software
- Virtual instrument software
Becoming a Music Therapist
Individuals working as a Music Therapist have obtained the following education levels:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Music Therapists Work
The table below shows the approximate number of Music Therapists employed by various industries.
Image Credit: Barbara E. Carver via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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