Music therapists use music and sound to help improve people’s emotional well-being, relieve stress and build confidence.
Salary Range: £30,401 to £43,772
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
You’ll need to do a postgraduate course in music therapy accredited by the British Association for Music Therapy.
You should have a degree in music, although a degree in education or psychology may be accepted if you’ve got a high standard of musical ability.
You’ll also need 1 or 2 years of paid or voluntary work experience to apply for a postgraduate course. Examples of work include:
- mental health
- special needs
- social services
You’ll usually need:
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You may be able to do an arts therapist degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need a qualification and experience in art, drama or music to apply.
To do this apprenticeship, you’ll need:
- a degree in a relevant subject for a degree apprenticeship
Volunteering and experience
You’ll need paid or voluntary experience of working in the community, in youth work, or with people with disabilities or mental health issues.
- you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council
You could try an introductory course in music therapy to get an idea of what this work involves. Some universities and music colleges offer these courses, as well as the British Association for Music Therapy.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the British Association for Music Therapy, for professional recognition, career development and to make contact with other therapists.
Skills and knowledge
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- knowledge of psychology
- knowledge of the fine arts
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be flexible and open to change
- customer service skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
Depending on where you work, you may help clients in:
- expressing themselves through sound and music
- developing insight and creating ways of relating to other people
- becoming aware of their feelings
- interacting with other people more confidently
- bringing about positive changes in their lives
You may work in group and one-to-one therapy sessions with clients who have:
- learning disabilities
- emotional, behaviour or mental health problems
- speech and language difficulties
- an injury or illness or are recovering from an addiction
- write case notes
- evaluate the effectiveness of therapy
You could work in a therapy clinic, in a prison, in an NHS or private hospital or at a school.
With experience, you could become self-employed and build up your own practice, or move into teaching.
You could also become a senior music therapist and manage a team of therapists or music therapy unit.