Becoming a Music therapist

NHS Careers

Music therapy aims to facilitate positive changes in behaviour and emotional well-being and is essentially a social activity involving communication, listening and sharing.

Everyone has the ability to respond to music and sound so a variety of approaches are used. Fundamental to all is the development of a therapeutic relationship between the client and the therapist. Each usually play an active role in each session with clients being encouraged to use a range of instruments including their own voice. This allows them to explore the world of sound and to create a musical language of their own.

The therapist also aims to enhance the client's quality of life by developing an increase sense of self awareness.

Many people with no specific problem are now using music therapy to gain an insight to themselves. Music can also be a great motivator.

A variety of settings

Music therapists work with children and adults of all age ranges and ability including:

  • pre-school children, primary and secondary school children
  • adolescents (outside the school system)
  • people with learning disabilities, mental health problems, communication problems
  • people with addiction problems
  • challenging behaviour
  • eating disorders
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • stress management.

They also work in a variety of settings including:

  • hospitals
  • special schools
  • day centres
  • hospices
  • the community

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