Table of Contents
- Who is a music therapist?
- What do music therapists do?
- What skills do music therapists need?
- How to be a music therapist – educational qualification?
- Top programs to study music therapy
- Types of jobs for music therapists with a degree
- Music therapist’s salary
- Top 10 highest paying cities for music therapists –
- Future of music therapists
- Key takeaways
People use music for different reasons; some use it to dance, heal, enjoy, zone out, avoid social interaction, etc. And since music is as vast as the ocean, you can choose whatever genre you want depending on your mood. Beyond this, the connection between music and emotions is powerful. We rely on music to process a wide range of thoughts and feelings. This is exactly why a music therapist uses emotions to help people in various ways. They are professionals who are trained in using music as a tool to help clients achieve their maximum potential, psychologically and emotionally.
But there is a lot more to explore about this field, so keep reading and uncover more layers!
Who is a music therapist?
Now, this is a million-dollar question! A music therapist is a person who helps adults & children with psychiatric disorders, cognitive disabilities, and developmental disabilities. They also treat adults/children with speech and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, and neurological impairments, to name a few.
The needs of each client are different. Music therapists must access each client and give them proper treatment and medication.
What do music therapists do?
Music therapists are highly trained and certified practitioners who work with a wide variety of individuals to help manage pain, reduce their stress, express emotion, enhance their memory, and communicate better.
Arranging and delivering appropriate music sessions, participating actively in music sessions and encouraging clients to do the same is part of a music therapist’s job.
They create certain therapeutic specialties and access their patients. Music therapists have different sessions for their patients where they involve them in creating, listening, developing, or performing music as per their respective patients’ needs.
Music therapists combine music and feelings that develop within ourselves to create a therapeutic process. This contributes significantly by catering to their patients’ spiritual, emotional, social, and physical needs.
What skills do music therapists need?
Music is a part of every known society, both past and present, and is shared by all human cultures worldwide. To pursue music therapy as a profession, you need to acquire skills that go beyond cognitively connecting to music.
- You need to have a genuine interest in people and a desire to help them selflessly.
- You need to study music therapy, as it is essential to establish a caring and professional relationship with people of all ages and disabilities.
- You need empathy, a logical mindset, creativity, and imagination.
- You also need to understand yourself to gain these attributes.
- You should also know a variety of musical instruments as it is essential.
How to be a music therapist – educational qualification?
Any type of career needs proper education and qualifications. The job of a music therapist is very delicate. They need to handle their patients with the utmost care. Hence, a verified degree in music therapy is highly essential.
Let us see the qualifications and examinations we need to clear to become a music therapist-
- Firstly, you need to have an undergraduate degree in music therapy. As a part of the degree, you will need to complete 1,200 hours of clinical training with diversified populations.
- You also need to secure an internship at a place that meets the standards of the American Music Therapy Association. After graduation, they need to take a certification exam conducted by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) to practice professionally at a later stage.
- From educational credits to clinical training, research and academics, continually developing your skills and keeping yourself updated is essential.
- The main degrees involved in studying music therapy are a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a doctorate degree.
- Begin your academic career by earning a bachelor’s degree from a reputable university.
Top programs to study music therapy
- The University of Georgia, Athens.
- Arizona State University, Tempe.
- Montclair State University, New Jersey.
- Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina.
- Immaculata University, Malvern, Philadelphia
- Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
- Florida State University, Tallahassee
- University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul.
- Utah State University, Logan, Utah
- Eastern Michigan University, East Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti
Types of jobs for music therapists with a degree
- Music counselor
- Music tutor
- Music psychologist
- Substance abuse programs
- Oncology treatment center
- Stress management clinicians
- Music therapists can partner with Nurses, Doctors, physical therapists, speech therapists, and other professionals.
- In-House therapist
- Working with NGOs
- Retirement homes
- Mental health hospitals
Music therapist’s salary
The salary of a music therapist can range from $37,000 yearly to $63,000 yearly, depending on their experience, training, and degree. The average salary of a music therapist is $48,000 yearly and $23.55 hourly.
The monthly salary may range from $5,250 to $3,083.
Top 10 highest paying cities for music therapists –
- Woodland, CA, $68,743 yearly
- San Antonio, TX, $58,918 yearly
- New York, NY, $56,794 yearly
- Salt Lake City, UT, $54,780 yearly
- Alexandria, VA, $53,934 yearly
- Bloomington, MN, $52,635 yearly
- Hagerstown, MD, $50,510 yearly
- Fort Wayne, IN, $49,911 yearly
- Quincy, MA, $47,376 yearly
- Colorado Springs, CO, $46,492 yearly
Future of music therapists
The world needs people willing to help others selflessly and build strong relationships with everyone connected to them. Music connects people, and what better way to heal someone hurt or in deep pain and trauma.
The need for a music therapist is greater with the increasing health issues, mental health problems, and social problems. They heal and make their patients and clients feel at comfort.
- Music therapists heal their patients by involving them in several musical activities, which will often vary depending on the patients’ interests, abilities, and goals.
- The average salary of a music therapist is $48,000 per year.
- The top 3 highest paying cities for music therapists are Woodland, California, San Antonio, Texas, and New York, New York.
Hope this blog helped you identify if you are a music therapist at heart! And we hope anyone reading or applying to become a music therapist has benefitted from this.
You can clear any doubts you have by getting in touch with us or drop comments below and share your thoughts.
Liked the blog? Read: Top 5 Music schools in the world
Q1. How long does it take to be a music therapist?
Answer – It takes four or more years and includes 1200 hours of clinical training and fieldwork combined to become a certified music therapist.
Q2. Is becoming a music therapist worth it?
Answer – This is the best career option for those who love to help others in need and are empathetic and compassionate. Financial compensation is also significant.
Q3. Do music therapists need to sing?
Answer – Music therapists must be able to sing and play guitar, piano, and other instruments. Voice and instruments are powerful tools in music therapy.