Music Therapists

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Also known as:
Art Therapist, Auriculotherapist, Educational Therapist, Hydrotherapist, Music Therapist, Peripatologist

Video transcript

According to Greek mythology, Orpheus used the power of music to save his lost love from the darkness of the underworld. Today's music therapists use music's healing power to reach patients who need specialized care. Music therapists develop music-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. They teach clients how to use music to improve their well-being; it can help people adjust to life changes, feel less anxious or depressed, and generally experience clearer thinking and more positive emotions. Experienced musicians enter this field with the ability to sing and play instruments such as keyboard, guitar, or percussion. They assess clients' needs... and their interest in different aspects of music... to design a specific musical experience that might include playing instruments, singing, and moving or dancing to music... or a therapist might play music to patients and invite them to draw, meditate, or just listen. Typical employers of music therapists include general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, and schools. Some music therapists work in their own private practice. Most music therapists have a bachelor's degree in their field. Many employers prefer national certification. These professionals combine the knowledge of a therapist with strong music skills to elicit a level of healing that for some patients words alone could never reach.

Plan, organize, direct, or assess clinical and evidenced-based music therapy interventions to positively influence individuals' physical, psychological, cognitive, or behavioral status.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Conduct, or assist in the conduct of, music therapy research.

Identify and respond to emergency physical or mental health situations.

Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.

Adapt existing or develop new music therapy assessment instruments or procedures to meet an individual client's needs.

Assess the risks and benefits of treatment termination for clients.

Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns engaged in music therapy activities.

Gather diagnostic data from sources such as case documentation, observations of clients, or interviews with clients or family members.

Collaborate with others to design or implement interdisciplinary treatment programs.

Participate in continuing education.

Select or adapt musical instruments, musical equipment, or non-musical materials, such as adaptive devices or visual aids, to meet treatment objectives.

Apply current technology to music therapy practices.

Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Developing Objectives and Strategies Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.