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Job Prospects for Music Therapists

written by: Lisa Good•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 7/6/2011

There are many careers to explore for music therapists. Come see the wide variety of job prospects for music therapists and learn where and how this profession is on the rise in today's job world.

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    Ever Expanding Field

    Piano Keys Music therapy is an ever expanding field. The medical field is recognizing the positive effects of music therapy for patient's at an increasing rate. There are many job prospects for music therapists and a broad range of settings in which to perform these careers. Music therapists may work with a broad range of people, anyone from the elderly to the disabled community. Music therapy is a personal experience and the work is usually performed one on one.

    Music therapy has been shown to benefit people in different ways. It can enable people with Alzheimer's to recall certain memories, be calming to an autistic child, and aid drug and alcohol patients to be able to cope with addiction. Music therapists typically work for some type or organization but some go into private practice for themselves.

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    Hospital Setting

    More and more music therapy is being used in a hospital setting. The music therapist uses music to alleviate pain, promote movement for physical rehabilitation, and elevate patient's mood and counteract depression. Music therapists also use music therapy to induce sleep and relax muscles in the autonomic nervous system.

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    For the Elderly

    Music therapists can be employed at nursing homes, assisted care facilities, home health agencies or even the elderly private home. Music therapy is used with the elderly to help them regain or maintain their quality of life. Music therapy has been shown to help Alzheimer's patients recall certain events in their lives. It is also used to help the elderly maintain their physical, emotional, and/or social levels of functioning.

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    Psychiatric Setting

    Music therapists can find employment in psychiatric hospitals, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and private practices. Therapists use music therapy to change patient's moods, practice problem solving, and in group therapy settings to allow patients to recall certain aspects of their lives. Music therapy can be used to help the patients explore personal feelings and practice resolving conflict successfully.

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    School Setting

    School districts employ music therapists usually to meet music therapy goals on a child's individualized education plan. In schools musical therapy is utilized for non musical areas. Music therapy has been shown to have a profound effect on helping autistic children find a way of communication and stimulate their communication efforts. It is also utilized to help students with their physical coordination skills which is an important daily life skill.

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    Conclusion

    There are many different job prospects for music therapists in a variety of settings. It doesn't matter if the therapist prefers working for an organization or in private practice or if they prefer working with young or elderly people, there is a career opportunity for either. There are many opportunities in schools, nursing homes, private homes, and hospital settings for music therapists. The music therapist only needs to decide what setting they feel they would enjoy having a career in and follow the leads!

    Image Credit - http://www.publicdomainpictures.com