Music therapists are therapists who use musical performance, lessons, songwriting and music listening to promote wellness, improve communication, enhance memory, and provide unique opportunities for interaction. They are healers, analyzers, and creators who use their skills, knowledge, and musical talent to help clients with issues ranging from speech and hearing impairments to psychiatric disorders.
Music therapists must be observant, empathetic, and excellent listeners and communicators. They must also be proficient musicians with extensive knowledge of music performance and theory. A music therapist’s responsibilities include designing musical practices to help improve clients psychological or physical health; providing musical therapy sessions; and monitoring and recording client progress.
Usually working as part of a therapy team, music therapists work in a variety of settings, from addiction recovery centers and special education programs to adult schools and private practice. At minimum, they are required to have a bachelor’s degree in music therapy as well as a certification from the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Job growth for all recreational therapists is expected to increase 7% by 2028.