Music Therapy is an allied health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication. It can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.
Job opportunities in Music Therapy:
Music Therapists work with everyone from children to elderly Alzheimer’s patients, as well as clients with substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, mental health problems and developmental disabilities.
Music Therapists can work in various settings such as addiction recovery centres, hospitals, adult schools to special education programs. They partner with Nurses, Doctors, Counselors, Physical Therapists, Speech Therapists, and Client Service Directors, Hospitals, Treatment Centres, etc. to help their clients reach their goals.
Eligibility criteria and Personality:
A deep knowledge of several musical instruments is vital. Music Therapists have a firm knowledge of instruments like guitar, piano, and ukulele and that they work on developing technical skills in drumming and a strong vocal presence.
You must have “a passion for serving people. Your number one goal has to be to help people with a love for music. For anyone interested in this career, two essential qualities are patience and persistence because it’s hard to become a Music Therapist. Compassion and understanding are also important. You have to like people, be creative, and be a problem solver. Working as a Music Therapist isn’t a way to get paid to play music for a living, It’s a lot of work, but it’s rewarding.
Aspiring Music Therapists take courses in music, biology, psychology, physiology, social and behavioral sciences. Music Therapists must have at least a BA in their field. Those interested in graduate school can obtain an MA degree or a doctoral degree that combines music therapy with related areas of study. Aspiring Music Therapists who did not major in music for undergraduate can sometimes take equivalency courses before pursuing their MA, depending on the school.
All Music Therapists must pass a certification exam from the Certification Board for Music Therapists and continue to pass the exam every five years or take recertification credits. Successfully passing the exam will give the Music Therapist the designation of Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC).
(NOTE: In India, the listed colleges (below) offer diploma or certificate courses in Music Therapy).
Curriculum for Music Therapy Courses
The Approved Curriculum for the baccalaureate degree in music therapy includes coursework in music therapy, psychology, music, biological, social and behavioral sciences, disabling conditions and general studies.
The undergraduate curriculum includes practical application of music therapy procedures and techniques learned in the classroom through required field work in facilities serving individuals with special needs in the community and/or on-campus clinics. Students learn to assess the needs of their clients, develop and implement treatment plans germane to those needs, and evaluate and document clinical changes.
Colleges offering Music Therapy courses in India:
Indian Association of Music Therapy, Delhi
The Chennai School of Music Therapy, Chennai
MET Institute of Alternative Careers (MET IAC), Mumbai
Nada Centre for Music Therapy, New Delhi
The Indian Institute of Medical Music Therapy, Chennai
Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Puducherry
The Music Therapy Trust, Delhi
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