Students who want to help others, and enjoy playing music, may consider a career in music therapy. Perhaps you were raised by parents who work in medical or educational settings, or you really enjoyed volunteering at a skilled nursing facility. Maybe you’re interested in psychology, medicine, special education, or perhaps some sort of physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy, but you also want to draw from your passion for music.
Music plays such an important role in all of our lives, and we might seek a music therapy degree simply because we know the power music has to excite a crowd, uplift the tired spirit, and bring back a grandparent’s memories. However, music therapists have the unique power to offer so much more.
Music therapy has a proud history of research and development while establishing itself as a safe and effective therapy for a wide variety of clinical settings. You need proper training before safely working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or a psychiatric hospital. You need to understand anatomy, physiology, and neurology before working in neuro or physical rehab. You will master behavior modification and childhood development before helping a child with special needs. You must be prepared to help someone at the end of life, and to help their families through the grieving process.
To practice music therapy, you need a music therapy college degree from one of over 70 college and university programs approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). A bachelor’s degree will impart competency in musical foundations, clinical foundations, and music therapy-specific practices and principles. Master’s and Doctoral degrees focus on advanced clinical practice, research, and music therapy education.
The music therapy education requires a minimum of 1,200 hours of clinical training, including a six-month, full-time, supervised internship. Music Therapy St. Pete, LLC is proud to run an internship program, and welcomes you to apply! See here for more information! Internship transforms the aspiring student into a confident young professional.
Once the degree and internship are accomplished, the candidate can now sit for the national board certification exam to earn their credentials of MT-BC (Music Therapist - Board Certified). The MT-BC credentials are granted by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT), an accredited organization separate from AMTA. And then - congratulation! - you will be a music therapist! You will have acquired the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to safely and effectively provide music therapy.
MT-BCs must adhere to our Code of Ethics, Scope of Music Therapy Practice, Standards of Clinical Practice, and AMTA’s Professional Competencies. To maintain the prestigious credentials of MT-BC, you will either need to re-test every five years, or demonstrate sufficient continuing education, such as through graduate coursework, conference attendance, research publication, and other approved opportunities.