Every year, every month, every week, and probably every day, students are asked what they want to do as their future career. The more commonly known phrase is “what do you want to do when you grow up?’ When people are younger they do not have to think about it; they just spit out what ever sounds “cool”, or something they think will be fun and exciting. Now, when we are older we have to put at least some thought into it. Some of these thoughts may go through our head when we think about our future career: “What do I like”, “What is easy to do?”, “What can I do?” It usually is a pretty hard task just to answer what we want to do as our career. There are people who think of this as an easy task. Like the people who have been interested in exploring space their whole lives and are dead set on becoming astronauts. Maybe even the people who are crazy about writing and know in their hearts that they want to be a famous writer. But there are some people who get caught in between two careers that they want to do the most. So what do they do? Well in this case, we have a girl who wants to help people so she was thinking about being a therapist. On the other hand she is also obsessed with music so she thought about being a musician. The exciting thing about this is that she can do both. This career is called a music therapist. Music therapists are the exact mixture of a musician and a therapist. They often help people who are disabled or who are just prescribed to music therapy by their doctor. Since music therapy is not a very common career the girl did farther research on it to make sure it was something she really wanted to do. All of the information in this paper reveals the research she did.
Music therapy has most likely been used since music was invented. A hypothesis about this occurrence was, a caveman clacked two rocks together in different rhythms and he did that in front of his tribe. They eventually all started doing it because they liked it so much. That is only one opinion though. From that, we now use music to promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication, and help the condition of people who are disabled or have a major illness. Music therapy is just an easier type of therapy. You can speak to people without actually having words coming out of your mouth. It has also preformed many miracles with its natural healing “powers”. An example of a simple miracle music therapist can perform is the ability to be an effective painkiller. One of the more famous stories was about a women was in labor and she did not need any pain medication because the music therapist that was playing his guitar was enough to ease her pain (College in Colorado). Music therapy has also proven to be a useful Alzheimer’s medication. Music helps the brain process thoughts that might have been forgotten. For children who have autism or any similar disease, music therapy is a strongly recommended medication (College in Colorado). It helps them focus, and when they feel ready they can even interact with the music therapist’s performance. Some disabled children will actually improve their condition just by listening to music every day (CIC, College in Colorado).
Going to college is a mandatory task if someone is going to become a music therapist. To get a certificate from the International Music Therapy Association you need at least a Bachelor’s degree in music therapy. The certificate enables you to become a professional music therapist. You cannot be a professional music therapist without it. It is imperative to take these classes: psychology, music, biological science, social science, behavioral science, disability studies, general studies, and last but not least a music therapy class. It is also required that you have to have some kind of music therapy field work. Forty-five percent of a music therapist’s career has to do music alone. Music foundations that can help with the career of a music therapist are: music theory, composition and arranging, music history and literature, applied music major, conducting, and learning the piano, guitar or your voice. Although you only need about 15% of clinical foundations all of them are academically challenging. For example, psychopathology, normal human development, principles of therapy, and the therapeutic relationship are all classes that take an extreme amount of attention and understanding to pass. Of course you would have to use music therapy in the career of a music therapist but according to research, music therapy is only about 15% of the main job. Like stated earlier, 15% may only seem to be a small fraction of a whole job but with courses like the psychology of music, influence of music on human behavior, and music therapy with various populations, there is no reason to think that it would be easy to do. Finally, 20-25% of a music therapy career goes to the average every day courses you have to take in college anyways. A majority of your general education will be dedicated to English class, math class, social studies, different arts classes, humanities classes, and physical sciences. Although all of these classes and these degrees seem like too much hard work, several people believe that the more work you do towards being a music therapist increases the amount of people that you will be able to help in the future.
It is just money, money, money, and more money. That is all people seem to think about these days. When someone chooses the career of a music therapist they have to think about a little more than just money. Nevertheless, music therapists do have to make some sort of a living doing their job. In the survey of 2011, the American Music Therapy Association found that the average overall pay of a music therapist that year was $48,066 per year. They also found that the range of incomes was from $20,000-$188,000 per year. That is quite a difference in numbers, is it not? Many different variables play into this survey. For instants, it is proven that if you continue your education and get a master’s degree in music therapy you get paid more than someone who only has a bachelor’s degree (Indeed). Another factor that needs to be included is the fact that if you are a self-employed music therapist you will get paid a sufficient amount more than someone who works in an office or a hospital. One more influence on the survey’s results and something that would have been a contributor in a music therapist’s salary is the ratings. Music therapists and their agencies are rated on their speed of success in their patient’s recovery or improvement. If their agencies’ rating is higher than normal, they get paid more. As said earlier, most music therapists do not thrive on being rich. On the contrary they believe that teaching disabled people to remember things that have been forgotten, how to talk, or even to be able to move and function normally is a lot more valuable than money itself.
A music therapist can work and live basically anywhere. Nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, physical rehabilitation centers, mental health agencies, public and private schools, substance abuse facilities, forensic facilities, hospice programs, and day care facilities are just a few of the places music therapists can work (Music Therapy Brochure). So, when someone decides that they want to be a music therapist but they do not want to move, they can just find one of the places listed above that is in their town or close to their town they will most likely get a job. Even if you cannot find one of the places listed above in your town, you can create a whole new music therapy business. After college it seems to be pretty easy to move where ever you want to, but when you are choosing colleges you have to make sure that they have everything you need to be a music therapist. A dilemma that has always delayed people is the amount of time you want to put into your career. Only specific schools will have available programs to get a master’s degree, while others will only have up to a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree. Over 72 schools in the U.S. have music therapy programs and a little less than half of the schools have master’s degree programs. The University of Alabama, California State University (Northridge), Howard University, Florida State University, and Georgia College are just a few schools who only have up to a bachelor’s degree in music therapy available. On the other hand, Arizona State University, Colorado State University, Illinois State University, and the University of Georgia are schools that provide a master’s degree program for music therapy. Some of these schools even provide the required internship needed to get the certificate from the International Music Therapy Association.
After college people are exhausted. Usually finding a job would be your next important task, but in cases such as this a job will have to wait. A 6-9 month internship will be put into place on your schedule right after you finish college with at least a bachelor’s degree in music therapy. This internship includes the opportunity to meet some of the type of people that you would be working with for the rest of your music therapy career. You will also be able to make some decisions on where you would want to work and who you would want your employer to be. After you have finished your internship you will be able to get your certificate from the International Music Therapy Association. From there, every five years you would be required to take an exam that shows how well you are for the job.
Job Benefits! Although there are only a few job benefits from being a music therapist negotiation with your boss is always an open option. Something that is very beneficial to a music therapist these days would be full health insurance; they also get at least three weeks of vacation time (State University. com). If you do happen to get sick, you have the option of taking a sick leave. Other than those benefits, there are emotional benefits you gain from being a music therapist. Such as the ones mentioned before about being able to help and understand your clients. That benefit is probably the highest benefit you can get from being a music therapist.
Music therapists, like all therapists, have to go through several life impacts. Having to work with people is probably the reason for most of these life impacts. Farther into the job, music therapists begin to notice that they are more patient and empathetic. In a sense they are slowly finding out who they are as a music therapist (Roia). They can be happy, or loving, or even aggressive. The clients a music therapist usually gets are disabled or have some kind of illness that they need to overcome, and are usually the hardest patients a music therapist has to deal with. That is where all the new empathy and patience comes from. And that is why after a long time into the job, even the smallest step towards recovery is counted as a big step. It is just because of the difficulty level they have to push through to try and understand people who are disabled. But music therapists eventually start to enjoy every minute of it. Every moment that puts a smile on a disabled child’s face is a life impact, because that child or that old women/man can touch you heart more than any amount of money or more than any job benefit can.
What is a music therapist? Why would anyone want to be a music therapist?
A music therapist is someone who uses music to touch someone else’s heart. A music therapist gets to have music as the center of their career, while they also get to have the warm sensation in their hearts from helping someone else. The little girl who researched all of this is just ending middle school and has chosen music therapy as her main career. She is also going to learn four new instruments so she can fulfill her career. She will also learn to get comfortable with using her voice in front of other people. And now that little girl has something to say whenever somebody asks her what she wants to when she grows up.
About.com Health Careers
Music Therapist Careers
Found on May 17th, 2012
American Music Therapy Association
Found on May 15th, 2012
American Music Therapy Association
Found on May 20th, 2012
College in Colorado
Music Therapist (What they Do)
Found on May 10th, 2012
College in Colorado
Music Therapist (What to Learn)
Found on May 14th, 2012
College in Colorado
Music Therapist (Money and Outlook)
Found on May 16th, 2012
Music Therapist Salary
Found On May 16th, 2012
Music Therapy Brochure
Copyright July 29, 2011
Found on May 17th, 2012
The Mindful Music Therapists
Date Found May 20th, 2012