Music therapist

Discover how music therapists use the power of music to help people deal with feelings they cannot put into words. 

Music therapists use music to help their clients achieve therapeutic goals through the development of the musical and therapeutic relationship. The role of the music therapist is not to teach clients how to play an instrument, and there is no pre-requisite to ‘be musical’ to engage in music therapy.

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Music therapy is a psychological therapy that aims to facilitate positive changes in emotional wellbeing and communication through the engagement in live musical interaction between client and therapist.

Central to music therapy is the relationship that is established and developed between client and therapist. A wide range of instruments can be used, including the voice, and the music created is often improvised. Using music in this way, clients can create their own unique musical language in which to explore and connect with the world and express themselves.

You'll work with the natural musicality of clients and offer a client-led approach. You'll use a wide range of musical styles and genres including free improvisation to offer appropriate, sensitive and meaningful music interaction with their clients. Therapists also work one to one or in groups, depending on the needs of the client.

Music therapy can be particularly helpful when emotions are too confusing to express verbally.  This could be because of communication difficulty or when words are too much or not enough.  

You'll work with people of all ages:

You'll use music to help clients through emotional or mental problems, learning and/or physical disabilities, developmental disorders, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions or physical illnesses. As a music therapist you could work in a variety of health, social care and educational settings including:

Will I work with other staff?

Yes, you will work with other health professionals as part of a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to provide a holistic, joined up approach to clients’ care. Music therapists provide a valuable insight into MDT assessment and contribute to care plans. 

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