In Summary - Music Therapist
The Work - Music Therapist
Music therapists help people with physical, mental and emotional difficulties to express themselves. Music therapists do not teach clients to play instruments. Instead, they encourage their clients to use musical instruments and make sounds, as a way of relieving a particular problem.
For instance, clients who feel isolated may benefit from learning to use sounds to express emotions or relieve depression. Others may find that musical movement helps their physical co-ordination.
The therapist, usually in consultation with other professionals and the client, decides on the goals of therapy and works out a programme to meet the client's needs. The therapist has to decide with each client whether it will be better to work on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting.
Music is used to help the client to listen, move and communicate. As a result, clients may develop confidence in their abilities and become more aware of other people. Clients may be children, young people or adults.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Adapt existing or develop new music therapy assessment instruments or procedures to meet an individual client's needs.
- Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of specific treatments or therapy approaches.
- Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for therapy.
- Assess client functioning levels, strengths, and areas of need in terms of perceptual, sensory, affective, communicative, musical, physical, cognitive, social, spiritual, or other abilities.
- Communicate client assessment findings and recommendations in oral, written, audio, video, or other forms.
- Communicate with clients to build rapport, acknowledge their progress, or reflect upon their reactions to musical experiences.
- Confer with professionals on client's treatment team to develop, coordinate, or integrate treatment plans.
- 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.
- Design music therapy experiences, using various musical elements to meet client's goals or objectives.
- Design or provide music therapy experiences to address client needs, such as using music for self-care, adjusting to life changes, improving cognitive functioning, raising self-esteem, communicating, or controlling impulses.
Interests - Music Therapist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
You will need to be mature, understanding, sensitive and emotionally secure. Clients may progress very slowly or fail to progress at all, so patience and resourcefulness are important.
A high level of musical skill and creativity is a necessity. Ability to play keyboard, guitar and sing is required by completion of training.
Entry Requirements - Music Therapist
Pay & Salary - Music Therapist
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 29k - 52k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.