Music Therapist

by: Calysta Vanderwarker

What is Music Therapy?

    Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a licensed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.


What does a Music Therapist do?

A professional music therapist can select and apply appropriate music for effective treatment that reflects the clients culture and personal identity. This makes treatment a more personal and individualized experience. This approach reflects a person's preferences which is more successful and effective than a traditionally more sterile or generic procedure.

The working conditions of a Music Therapist

Previous work experience in a relevant field is required for entry onto the postgraduate courses. Most of the beginners to music therapy have had substantial voluntary or paid experience in a related field, for example, in a health, education or social care setting.

Voluntary opportunities may be available with:

For example:

  • Music in hospitals- provides live music to adults and children with all kinds of illness and disability.
  • Music therapy International- for opportunities abroad.
  • Schools- They can visit schools for more opportunities.

Training/ Education required

music therapists must be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). Professional training is at postgraduate level at one of the following institutions approved by the HCPC:

  • Angila Ruskin University.
  • Guildhall Music and Drama- course validated by City University London
  • Nordic Robins - course validated by City University London
  • University of Roehampton
  • University of South Wales
  • University of West England, Bristol.

Job outlook

The outlook is good for becoming a Music Therapist, with experience, music therapists can apply for more senior posts within the music therapy team or as an arts therapies manager.

Salary Range

Starting salary for music therapists: $25,783 to $34,530

A more experienced music therapist may earn between $30,764 and $40,558, while a principal music therapist may earn $39,239 to $47,088.