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Music therapist

Alternative titles for this job include

Music therapists use music and sound to help improve people's emotional well-being, relieve stress and build confidence.

Average salary (a year)

£32,305 Starter

to

£45,838 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

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How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a music therapist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You'll need to do a postgraduate course in music therapy accredited by the British Association for Music Therapy.

You should have a degree in music, although a degree in education or psychology may be accepted if you've got a high standard of musical ability.

You'll also need 1 or 2 years of paid or voluntary work experience in a health, education or social care setting to apply for a postgraduate course.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information

Apprenticeship

You may be able to do an arts therapist degree apprenticeship.

You'll usually need a qualification and experience in art, drama or music to apply.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • a degree in a relevant subject for a degree apprenticeship

More Information

Volunteering

To get paid or voluntary experience of working in a health, education or social care environment you could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

You can also find volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

More Information

Registration

Career tips

You could try an introductory course in music therapy to get an idea of what this work involves. Some universities and music colleges offer these courses, as well as the British Association for Music Therapy.

Salaries for music therapists working outside the NHS will vary. The British Association for Music Therapy can give advice on recommended rates of pay.

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the British Association for Music Therapy, for professional recognition, career development and to make contact with other therapists.

Further information

You'll find more advice about careers and training in music therapy from the British Association for Music Therapy and Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

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What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could work with people of all ages with a wide range of needs.

On a typical day you could:

  • meet with clients, their families or other professionals
  • assess client needs and plan therapy goals
  • plan and prepare for sessions
  • use a variety of musical styles and instruments in client-led, group or individual therapy sessions
  • monitor progress and take part in review meetings
  • have regular clinical supervision sessions with a senior music therapist
  • write reports, make recommendations, create and update confidential records
  • clean and maintain instruments and order supplies

Working environment

You could work in a therapy clinic, in a prison, in an NHS or private hospital or at a school.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become self-employed and build up your own practice, or move into teaching.

You could also become a senior music therapist and manage a team of therapists or music therapy unit.

You could combine the role with other work such as teaching or performing, or move into academic research.

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a music therapist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a music therapist?

Search for training courses near you.

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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