All About Music Therapists
Career Description Plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients’ psychological or behavioral status.
Music Therapist Responsibilities
- Assess the risks and benefits of treatment termination for clients.
- Participate in continuing education.
- Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.
- Design or provide music therapy experiences to address client needs, such as using music for self-care, adjusting to life changes, improving cognitive functioning, raising self-esteem, communicating, or controlling impulses.
- Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for therapy.
- Identify and respond to emergency physical or mental health situations.
What Every Music Therapist Should Know
Music Therapists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
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.
Other Music Therapist Job Titles
- Board Certified Music Therapist
- Music Therapist
- Hospice Music Therapist
- Community Music Therapist
- Expressive Music Therapist
Job Demand 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.
Salary for a Music Therapist
The typical yearly salary for Music Therapists is somewhere between $29,590 and $77,050.
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|
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
What education or degrees do I need to become a Music Therapist?
What work experience do I need to become a Music Therapist?
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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