Career as a Music Therapist


Summary

A Music Therapist is subgroup of creative arts therapists who use the arts to treat mental illness, provide support for individuals with disabilities, and to promote wellness and personal growth and creativity.

Music Therapists work with people of all age groups from children to adults in a variety of settings including special learning environments, geriatric centres, hospitals, universities and research centres. They deal with those having mental disorders, physical disabilities, psychiatric problems, speech and hearing impairments, cancer and other degenerating and life threatening diseases and many more. Music therapists use music and all of its features to help patients improve their mental health. Sometimes they are also called Recreational therapists. Music therapy helps to promote brain and motor activity. Music therapy interventions can be designed to promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, enhance memory, improve communication, and provide unique opportunities for interaction.

The Music Therapist will devise a program of music therapy for an individual client, then evaluate and adjust the program as needed. This form of therapy is often used very effectively with groups. Music therapy can include listening, instrument playing, interpreting, song writing, musical entrainment, and engaging in other activities with a musical base. The music therapist also participates in the ongoing therapy plan for the patient and follow-up assessment and evaluation.

A Music Therapist uses concepts from multiple disciplines. These can include speech and language therapy, physical therapy, nursing, medicine, and psychology. Sometimes the music therapist just encourages clients in reflective listening. Sometimes he or she engages the group or individual in singing or writing music. Playing a musical instrument is a powerful form of therapy. Drumming, for example, is known to reduce stress and regulate heartbeat. Music can help control pain and improve post-operative outcomes. The music therapist is responsible for assessing each individual and situation and prescribing the best form of music treatment.

Work Environment

The workplace is flexible, and can involve standard office hours in a range of settings, working with both adults and children. Locations can include: prisons, hospitals, schools, caregiving centers, community agencies, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. The workplace can be in a music room, a private office, a home, or a large therapy room. Instruments most commonly used are guitars, drums and percussion, and keyboards, but any type of musical instrument can be used. The most common settings are working with people with developmental disabilities, in trauma treatment, and with senior populations. Many therapists work in private practice. Work hours can include evenings and weekends.

Entry Level Education

Diploma and Certificate Course in Music Therapy & Bio musicology.

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