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What Can You Do With a Music Therapy Degree?

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What Can You Do With a Music Therapy Degree?

A music therapy degree allows you to apply your passion for music to aid those suffering from physical, emotional, cognitive or social challenges. You’ll have the chance to work with individuals of all ages – from babies to adults – in developing communication skills, improving self-expression and connections with others while learning about emotional wellbeing.

This field offers a vast array of job prospects in hospitals, mental health facilities, schools, substance abuse treatment centers and private practices. Not only can you work one-on-one with patients but you may also teach them how to play music or lead group sessions for therapeutic benefit.

Although there are no specific qualifications needed to become a music therapist, you must complete an accredited degree program. On average, earning either a bachelor’s or master’s degree takes four years and prepares you for taking the Certification Board for Music Therapists exam in order to be licensed as an accredited music therapist.

The Music Therapy Association (AMTA) certifies degree programs, so be sure to select one with an AMTA-approved curriculum and clinical experience. Throughout your coursework, you’ll cover a wide range of topics such as theory/research, music-making skills, therapeutic applications, and supervision.

Additionally, you’ll take courses in human development and psychology to develop communication skills with clients. Furthermore, safety will be addressed, including infection control procedures and instrument sanitation.

Music therapists work in a variety of settings and with various populations, from children in pre-operative care to those suffering from severe dementia. You will be responsible for providing therapeutic services using various musical techniques such as songwriting, improvisation, and guided listening.

According to your clients’ individual and group needs, you’ll conduct group sessions or individual consultations. Together with them, you’ll establish goals for their sessions and identify ways music can assist with their growth.

A degree in music therapy isn’t a replacement for performing professionally, but it does give you the skillset to perform for an audience or stage in a band. You may find that sharing your passion for music with others and using it as a therapeutic tool can be very rewarding.

Becoming a music therapist is possible with just a bachelor’s degree and no additional training, though you must be licensed to practice in your state. In order to take the Certification Board for Music Therapists’ national exam, make sure your bachelor’s degree comes from an AMTA-accredited program.

A college teacher with a music therapy degree can offer therapeutic services to students in classrooms or counseling offices. However, this profession can be rewarding and difficult; therefore, not everyone is suitable.

You may consider pursuing a doctoral degree in music therapy or another related field for advanced skills in research, theory and development as well as clinical practice. With your doctorate you could potentially pursue a career as professor or clinical supervisor, or even an academic research role.

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