All about Music Therapy and a Career as a Music Therapist

For almost all of us, the idea of winding down after a long hectic day is relaxing with
some music in the background while we finish our chores. Having a party requires good
background music so people can dance to the tunes. The day when you are feeling sad
or depressed or maybe nostalgic you tune in to music which helps calm you down. For
almost every event of your life you need music. The genre or the type may change
depending on the mood you are in. But it’s always there; leading us to believe that
music has a therapeutic value attached to it. This is why in the last few decades the
profession of music therapist has gained a lot of attention and traction among people.
People are seeking professional music therapists for help.

Music Therapy is gradually becoming a well established and recognized health
profession in which music is used in a manner that addresses a person’s physical,
emotional, cognitive and social need. Music therapy can also provide avenues of
communication by helping people who find it difficult to express in words. A well
established music therapy helps individuals to overcome the limitations of a disability or health problems, or to resolve personal issues. It also helps people with their overall
well-being. A well trained music therapist makes use of scientific, theoretical and
musical dimension in their treatment and consultation.

So what exactly is the impact of music therapy on an individual?

Music Therapy helps to promote brain and motor activity. It promotes wellness, helps to
manage stress, alleviate pain, enhances memory, improves communication and
provides unique opportunities for interaction. A well formed music therapy has all forms
of musical experience integrated in it, such as listening to music or playing a musical
instrument or even writing music. It all depends on how much a person can cope up

Music has a way to keep depression and anxiety at bay. Depending upon the needs of
the clients involved, music therapy sessions are either offered on an individual or group

How to become a Music Therapist?

All you need is love for Music! And with appropriate guidance you can become a music
therapist. Additionally, you also need to have an integral desire to help people by caring
for them and offering emotional support to clients and their families. Other attributes
include empathy, creativity, patience, imagination and an open mind to accept new
ideas and thought process. Before you become a music therapist and help others you
need to be able to gain self awareness.

A career in music therapy requires you to have a background in music. In India it is still
an emerging field and there are very few colleges that offer graduate and post graduate
courses in Music therapy. However before you can opt for a certificate course an you
need to possess high level of musical ability along with an appreciation for extensive
range of music styles. Being a Music Therapists requires you to have a firm knowledge
of instruments like guitar, piano, drums etc and need to work on developing technical
skills in drumming along with a strong vocal presence.

As a pre-requisite, an aspiring Music therapist can start preparing themselves
by learning to play at least one musical instrument and also learn singing.
Music therapists need to have an understanding of music history, theory,
harmony and composition. This all needs to be learnt even before you decide
to start a professional music therapy course.

Job Opportunities available in Music Therapy

A music therapy can be introduced to any individual, ranging from kids to adults and
individuals who need special attention and care. Anybody can opt to undergo and seek
counsel in music therapy and its definitely not restricted to people who are in dire need
of counsel and support. A music therapy can even help alleviate everyday stress for an

Music therapists use music and all of its features to help patients improve their mental
health. There is range of opportunities available for a music therapist across variety of

They can work with clients having physical disabilities which include hospitals and
health care institutes. Loads of work can be done with patients who require special care
such as cancer, HIV and other life threatening illnesses. Then there is a scope of work
with adults and children having autistic spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, mental
health problems, learning difficulties and neurological conditions.Other areas include working with rehabilitation centers, palliative care centers and
agencies for people facing various challenges. Music therapist’s are also employed by
National Health Service trusts, special schools, community mental health agencies,
prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers etc.

People who want to take their music therapy a notch above can also work in research
and development by researching on effective methods of music therapy.

Once a music therapist gains ample of experience, they can even open their own studio
and work as a private practitioner. Some music therapist even provide home tutoring
i.e visit patient’s home to provide counseling and therapy.
As we mentioned earlier a music therapy is yet an emerging field in India and has a lot
of scope in various aspects of life.

A career in Music Therapy is quite rewarding and any individual, who loves
music, knows to play a music instrument and has an interest towards
helping fellow beings; a career in Music Therapy is a very good idea. For
starters you can join a good music class and learn to play a musical
instrument of your choice. And might we suggest Furtados School of
Music is a good place to start this journey.

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