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Is Music Therapy a Good Fit?
Music therapists are highly creative, energetic, and positive. They are interested in people and have a desire to help. They demonstrate strong communication skills (as they are required to document assessments, evaluate progress, and defend services) and work well with others. Because music therapists are able to work in a variety of settings and with numerous populations and age groups, they are able to adapt techniques and strategies, thereby individualizing treatment depending on client needs.
Other important attributes include being empathetic, patient, imaginative, open, and understanding. Perhaps most importantly, though, music therapists, like their clients, have a love for music, although unlike their clients, prospective music therapists must have a background in music.
Consider volunteering in settings that utilize music therapy to see whether this is a career field that fits your interests and personality.
–– Mary Holliday, a board-certified music therapist and former chair of the Workforce Development and Retention Committee for American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). Check out her article “Music Therapy: Making a Difference One Note At a Time.”
According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), if you have a bachelor’s degree in music but not in music therapy, you can apply for a 60-credit, 3-year combined equivalency/master’s degree program. For a complete list of music therapy degree programs, visit AMTA’s website.