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Music Therapist

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What You Need to Know About Music Therapist

Job Description & Duties 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?

  • Gather diagnostic data from sources such as case documentation, observations of clients, or interviews with clients or family members.
  • Participate in continuing education.
  • Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for therapy.
  • Integrate behavioral, developmental, improvisational, medical, or neurological approaches into music therapy treatments.
  • Select or adapt musical instruments, musical equipment, or non-musical materials, such as adaptive devices or visual aids, to meet treatment objectives.
  • 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.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Music Therapist?

Below is a list of the skills most Music Therapists say are important on the job.

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

  • Creative Arts Music Therapist
  • Music Therapist, Public School System
  • Music Rehabilitation Therapist
  • Clinician
  • Board Certified Music Therapist

Is There Job Demand 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. 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.

Average Music Therapists Salary

The typical yearly salary for Music Therapists is somewhere 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.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Music Therapists in different U.S. states.

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

What Tools do Music Therapists Use?

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

What kind of Music Therapist requirements are there?

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Music Therapist?

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Who Employs Music Therapists?

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Below are examples of industries where Music Therapists work:

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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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