Training to be a Music Therapist as a Career
25th July 2018
It is a question we get asked a lot, ‘how exactly do you become a music therapist?’ so we thought we would put together a little blog post to advise just what it takes to start a career in this rewarding field.
Bottom line is, being a music therapist can be an incredibly fulfilling job, but will take a lot of time and commitment to get there, and it can also be incredibly challenging work, so be sure this is the career for you. You’ve taken that on board and you still wish to be a music therapist? …then here is where to start…
The bottom line is to become a music therapist, as this is a HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) protected title, it means it is necessary to complete the required and approved postgraduate training in Music Therapy before being able to practice music therapy. Even if you’re super sensitive and musical…it’s still illegal to ‘have a go’ and claim you’re a music therapist. As it’s a postgraduate degree, it also means you’ll have to already have an undergraduate qualification. It doesn’t really matter what this is, but universities certainly prefer healthcare, music or something psychological.
There are several skills required to be a music therapist, excellent communication, listening and observation skills are a given. As is a high level of musical knowledge and ability, empathy and finally the ability to gain clients’ trust and build a great working relationship with them. A music therapist also requires a particular character and attitude, as well as maturity and life experience in order to support people who may be dealing with very challenging life experiences.
Self-confidence to work with people on their own or in groups is important too as you will be encouraging clients to communicate through music their expressions, emotions, feelings and subsequently bringing out their own confidence, if you are a little shy (most of us are in some way or another) then you may just find this career a little daunting. It’s also really important to know what issues are yours, and what are your clients’ – most courses require you to undertake counselling of some sort during your training, but many music therapists continue with this alongside their work forever.
For full information on how to start a career within Music Therapy contact the British Association for Music Therapy (www.bamt.org) for lists of courses and training courses available.
If you are interested we are looking to hold student workshops days. Send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will certainly be in touch when one of these days becomes available.