All About Music Therapists
Job Description: Plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients’ psychological or behavioral status.
Life As a Music Therapist
- Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns engaged in music therapy activities.
- Document evaluations, treatment plans, case summaries, or progress or other reports related to individual clients or client groups.
- Design music therapy experiences, using various musical elements to meet client’s goals or objectives.
- Establish client goals or objectives for music therapy treatment, considering client needs, capabilities, interests, overall therapeutic program, coordination of treatment, or length of treatment.
- Communicate with clients to build rapport, acknowledge their progress, or reflect upon their reactions to musical experiences.
- Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for therapy.
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.
Other Music Therapist Job Titles
- Music Therapist, Public School System
- Board Certified Music Therapist
- Director of Music Therapy
- Music Therapy Specialist
- Music Rehabilitation Therapist
Are There 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. The BLS estimates 1,200 yearly job openings in this field.
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 Average Salary
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.
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
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 to Become a Music Therapist
Individuals working as a Music Therapist have obtained the following education levels:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Music Therapist?
Who Employs Music Therapists?
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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