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Music Therapist

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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.

What Do Music Therapists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Communicate with clients to build rapport, acknowledge their progress, or reflect upon their reactions to musical experiences.
  • Customize treatment programs for specific areas of music therapy, such as intellectual or developmental disabilities, educational settings, geriatrics, medical settings, mental health, physical disabilities, or wellness.
  • Document evaluations, treatment plans, case summaries, or progress or other reports related to individual clients or client groups.
  • Adapt existing or develop new music therapy assessment instruments or procedures to meet an individual client’s needs.
  • Communicate client assessment findings and recommendations in oral, written, audio, video, or other forms.
  • Improvise instrumentally, vocally, or physically to meet client’s therapeutic needs.

Music Therapist Required Skills

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.

  • Hospice Music Therapist
  • Music Therapist, Public School System
  • Community Music Therapist
  • Clinician
  • Music Therapist, Primary Service Coordinator

Are There Job Opportunities 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. There will be an estimated 1,200 positions for Music Therapist per year.

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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 average yearly salary of a Music Therapist ranges between $29,590 and $77,050.

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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
Alabama $42,860
Arizona $49,440
Arkansas $50,170
California $75,810
Colorado $49,300
Connecticut $59,450
Delaware $46,320
District of Columbia $68,430
Florida $48,290
Georgia $43,950
Hawaii $55,470
Idaho $40,770
Illinois $46,620
Indiana $42,280
Iowa $52,470
Kansas $35,850
Kentucky $45,330
Louisiana $41,180
Maine $49,390
Maryland $48,690
Massachusetts $55,570
Michigan $51,280
Minnesota $54,660
Mississippi $38,470
Missouri $46,000
Montana $44,730
Nebraska $39,420
Nevada $58,480
New Hampshire $46,660
New Jersey $58,220
New Mexico $38,680
New York $55,370
North Carolina $47,600
North Dakota $43,910
Ohio $45,750
Oklahoma $37,760
Oregon $55,410
Pennsylvania $45,900
Rhode Island $49,310
South Carolina $42,240
South Dakota $50,480
Tennessee $41,660
Texas $43,070
Utah $48,230
Vermont $43,120
Virginia $47,590
Washington $59,860
Wisconsin $44,970
Wyoming $50,170

Tools & Technologies Used by Music Therapists

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

Becoming a Music Therapist

Are there Music Therapists education requirements?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Music Therapists Work

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Music Therapists work in the following industries:

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References:

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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