How to Become a Music Therapist…


And why.


The field of music therapy has been receiving a lot of media attention recently. And for good reason.

Music has been used in healing since long before the advent of modern medicine. And now, researchers are figuring out just what it is about music that can promote positive change in all types of individuals.

What we need (and what the market needs) now are more qualified professionals to implement the effective music techniques that are backed up by scientific research.

Could you see yourself working alongside doctors, nurses, and other professionals like physical therapists and speech therapists? Or perhaps with educators in the school systems? You can use the music skills you spent so many hours developing to make a positive impact on peoples’ lives. You can learn how to become a music therapist. For more information, watch the video!

This sounds awesome, but…

just exactly what is Music Therapy?

Typically, music therapists use music as therapy to work on non-musical goals.

Huh? Non-musical goals?

Because music affects so many different parts of the brain, we can use it and work within it to address things like: communication skills, physical/motor skills, academic/cognitive skills, emotional health, socialization, and more.

How does it differ from music education? Well, in music education, the goal is to actually teach music skills. Without music educators, there wouldn’t be any music therapists!

Music therapists utilize their music skills, as well as an array of clinical skills learned in a program at a college or university, to tap into universal musical abilities and responses to music in order to achieve therapeutic goals.

Because music therapy is an allied health profession – like physical therapy, dance therapy, occupational therapy, and others – there is significant training involved in becoming a music therapist.


Where can I study music therapy? Here is a list of schools offering music therapy degree programs in the United States and Canada:

How should I prepare for a music therapy degree program? Here is a list of four things you can do before entering a college or university that well put you ahead.

And here is a list of programs outside of the US…although there may be others that I don’t know about:

Are you wondering how to become a music therapist? If you know you want to become a music therapist right out of high school, and you attend a college or university with a music therapy program, it will most likely take you 4 to 5 years to complete your training. Read this post to learn more about the process. I also talk about other ways of entering the profession, in case you already have a degree in something else but want to make a career change.  

Employment Questions

Are there jobs in music therapy? In this post, I answer that question and discuss my journey as a music therapist:

Where do music therapists work? In this post, I list several settings where music therapists are currently employed:

After your coursework…

After your training, a 6 month internship is required. Here are 6 steps for surviving internship:

…and 5 things to do before the end of internship…from an intern!

Now for the J-O-B

After internship, it’s time…to get a job! Here are some mock interview questions to help you prepare:

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Thanks for using this resource!


Matt Logan, MA, MT-BC