All About Music Therapists
Occupation Description Plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients’ psychological or behavioral status.
Life As a Music Therapist
- Select or adapt musical instruments, musical equipment, or non-musical materials, such as adaptive devices or visual aids, to meet treatment objectives.
- Sing or play musical instruments, such as keyboard, guitar, or percussion instruments.
- Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of specific treatments or therapy approaches.
- Assess client functioning levels, strengths, and areas of need in terms of perceptual, sensory, affective, communicative, musical, physical, cognitive, social, spiritual, or other abilities.
- Compose, arrange, or adapt music for music therapy treatments.
- Assess the risks and benefits of treatment termination for clients.
Music Therapist Skills
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.
Related Job Titles
- Music Therapist, Public School System
- Hospice Music Therapist
- Music Therapist, Primary Service Coordinator
- Community Music Therapist
- Music Therapy Specialist
Music Therapist Job Outlook
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. 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.
Average Music Therapists 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|
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
Are there Music Therapists education requirements?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Music Therapist?
Music Therapists Sector
Below are examples of industries where Music Therapists work:
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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