Studies & Degrees in Music Therapist

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Music therapists help people of all ages overcome various learning, emotional, social, psychological, or intellectual difficulties or disorders through the appropriate application and use of music. What is involved in their job is to first assess the group’s or individual’s needs and abilities, and then decide on the most suitable approach to solve the particular problem. For instance, a music therapist can assist in the rehabilitation of alcohol or drug addicts through the encouragement of the creative expression of feelings. The therapy can include not simply listening to chosen music, but also teaching patients how to play instruments, write songs, or express their emotions through the use of dance. Finally, the music therapist has to assess the effectiveness and constantly adapt methods and approaches.

Personal Qualities

A quite obvious thing is true love of music, but most importantly appreciation of different styles of music. Music therapists work with individuals and groups of all ages, which suggests that they need to have a repertoire to suit many tastes. Other qualities are:

  • Patient and gentle personality
  • Excellent level of musical ability
  • Open-mindedness and the flexibility to co-relate with people of all backgrounds and ages
  • Ability to create various techniques to heal and support people

Study Options

A music therapist is required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy. It is crucial that the institution has gained accreditation, and like other similar degrees, you need to check in which regions you would be able to practice with a certificate from your chosen university or college. There definitely are different credentialing agencies in different countries, and you should most certainly research the ones in yours. For example, in the United States, there is the American Music Therapy Association, while Canada has the Canadian Association for Music Therapy.

You should also keep in mind that even in big countries this program may not be very wide-spread in universities and colleges. Some universities may provide the program at master’s level, too, and a few offer doctorate programs as well.

Career Options

A music therapist job usually requires more than 1,000 hours of clinical observation, together with the ability to play one or more instruments.

Musical therapists can work in a variety of settings; they can either organize their own classes of music therapy, working with groups and individuals, visit people’s homes, or work in special rehabilitation centers and clinics. It is very important to understand that music therapists are not career coaches for musicians wishing to advance in their careers, but they help people with various emotional problems or diseases like autism, Alzheimer’s, while also carrying out research about what contributions the therapy has made to these people’s health condition and overall state.