Music Therapists

Plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients' psychological or behavioral status.

Median Annual Wage: $44,000

Education: Bachelor's degree (75%); Master's degree (13%); Post-baccalaureate certificate (11%)

Projected Growth: Average (8% to 14%)

Related Job Titles: Clinician; Board Certified Music Therapist; Director of Music; Director of Music Therapy; Director, Private Music Therapy Agency; Hospice Music Therapy; Music Therapist; Music Therapist, Primary Service Coordinator; Music Therapist, Public School System

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Music Therapists.

More Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Careers

  • Assess client functioning levels, strengths, and areas of need in terms of perceptual, sensory, affective, communicative, musical, physical, cognitive, social, spiritual, or other abilities.
  • Sing or play musical instruments, such as keyboard, guitar, or percussion instruments.
  • Design music therapy experiences, using various musical elements to meet client's goals or objectives.
  • Communicate with clients to build rapport, acknowledge their progress, or reflect upon their reactions to musical experiences.
  • Document evaluations, treatment plans, case summaries, or progress or other reports related to individual clients or client groups.
  • Observe and document client reactions, progress, or other outcomes related to music therapy.
  • Establish client goals or objectives for music therapy treatment, considering client needs, capabilities, interests, overall therapeutic program, coordination of treatment, or length of treatment.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Plan or structure music therapy sessions to achieve appropriate transitions, pacing, sequencing, energy level, or intensity in accordance with treatment plans.
  • Improvise instrumentally, vocally, or physically to meet client's therapeutic needs.
  • Confer with professionals on client's treatment team to develop, coordinate, or integrate treatment plans.
  • Integrate behavioral, developmental, improvisational, medical, or neurological approaches into music therapy treatments.
  • Communicate client assessment findings and recommendations in oral, written, audio, video, or other forms.
  • Select or adapt musical instruments, musical equipment, or non-musical materials, such as adaptive devices or visual aids, to meet treatment objectives.
  • Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for therapy.
  • Participate in continuing education.
  • Compose, arrange, or adapt music for music therapy treatments.
  • Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of specific treatments or therapy approaches.
  • Collaborate with others to design or implement interdisciplinary treatment programs.
  • Identify and respond to emergency physical or mental health situations.
  • Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns engaged in music therapy activities.
  • Assess the risks and benefits of treatment termination for clients.
  • Gather diagnostic data from sources such as case documentation, observations of clients, or interviews with clients or family members.
  • Conduct or assist in the conduct of music therapy research.
  • Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.
  • Adapt existing or develop new music therapy assessment instruments or procedures to meet an individual client's needs.
  • Apply current technology to music therapy practices.
  • Apply selected research findings to practice.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Music Therapists.

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Music Therapists.

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