Music Therapists

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About the Job

Plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients' psychological or behavioral status.

It is also Called

  • Music Therapy Specialist
  • Music Therapist, Public School System
  • Music Therapist, Primary Service Coordinator
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Rehabilitation Therapist
  • Hospice Music Therapy
  • Hospice Music Therapist
  • Home Care Music Therapist
  • Expressive Music Therapist
  • Director, Private Music Therapy Agency
View All

What They Do

  • Apply selected research findings to practice.
  • Apply current technology to music therapy practices.
  • Adapt existing or develop new music therapy assessment instruments or procedures to meet an individual client's needs.
  • Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.
  • Conduct or assist in the conduct of music therapy research.
  • Gather diagnostic data from sources such as case documentation, observations of clients, or interviews with clients or family members.
  • Identify and respond to emergency physical or mental health situations.
  • Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns engaged in music therapy activities.
  • Assess the risks and benefits of treatment termination for clients.
  • Collaborate with others to design or implement interdisciplinary treatment programs.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: ASI.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Artistic interests, but also prefer Social and Investigative environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.


In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $46,700 with most people making between $31,120 and $64,900


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,410 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,570 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 16 openings due to growth and about 34 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education