Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
Source: Music Therapy Association
Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity or neural plasticity, is an umbrella term that describes lasting change to the brain throughout an individual’s life course.
A Career in Music Therapy
A Career in Music Therapy offers challenge, opportunity, and distinctive rewards to those interested in working with people of all ages with various disabilities. Music therapists are employed in many different settings including general and psychiatric hospitals, community mental health agencies, rehabilitation centers, day care facilities, nursing homes, schools and private practice. Music therapists provide services for adults & children with psychiatric disorders, cognitive and developmental disabilities, speech and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, and neurological impairments, among others. Music therapists are usually members of an interdisciplinary team who support the goals and objectives for each client within the context of the music therapy setting.
The Education of a Music Therapist
The education of a music therapist is unique among college degree programs because it not only allows a thorough study of music, but encourages examination of one’s self as well as others. The undergraduate curriculum includes coursework in music therapy, psychology, music, biological, social and behavioral sciences, disabilities and general studies. Entry level study includes practical application of music therapy procedures and techniques learned in the classroom through required fieldwork in facilities serving individuals with disabilities in the community and/or on-campus clinics. Students learn to assess the needs of clients, develop and implement treatment plans, and evaluate and document clinical changes. At the completion of AMTA-approved academic training and internship, the student is eligible for admission to the certification exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists, Inc. Upon passing the national examination administered by the CBMT, the student acquires the credential Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC). Coursework requirements vary; contact individual universities for specific information.
Salary: In 2014, the overall average salary reported by all music therapists surveyed was $50,808. The overall median salary reported in 2014 was $46,000 and the overall most commonly reported salary was $40,000. 2014 salaries reported ranged from $20,000 to $200,000.