Life As a Music Therapist
Career Description Plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients’ psychological or behavioral status.
Life As a Music Therapist
- Communicate client assessment findings and recommendations in oral, written, audio, video, or other forms.
- Observe and document client reactions, progress, or other outcomes related to music therapy.
- Apply selected research findings to practice.
- Engage clients in music experiences to identify client responses to different styles of music, types of musical experiences, such as improvising or listening, or elements of music, such as tempo or harmony.
- Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.
- Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns engaged in music therapy activities.
Skills Needed to be a Music Therapist
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.
Types of Music Therapist
- Creative Arts Music Therapist
- Music Therapist
- Community Music Therapist
- Director of Music Therapy
- Certified Music Therapist
Job Outlook for Music Therapists
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 19,200 jobs in the United States for Music Therapist. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,200 job openings in this field each 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.
Do Music Therapists Make A Lot Of Money?
The salary for Music Therapists ranges between about $29,590 and $77,050 a year.
Music Therapists who work in California, District of Columbia, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.
How much do Music Therapists make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$68,430|
What Tools do Music Therapists Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Music Therapists may use on a daily basis:
- 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
How do I Become a Music Therapist?
Individuals working as a Music Therapist have obtained the following education levels:
What work experience do I need to become a Music Therapist?
Where Music Therapists Are Employed
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.
Featured Alternative Therapy Schools
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