#1 If you are a musician and also have a strong desire to help people, music therapy as a career may be perfect for you. Personally, I was torn between becoming a music teacher or a special education teacher. I vividly remember learning about music therapy while I was a junior in high school, and instantly knew that it was the career for me.
#2 You get to learn all about psychology, anatomy and physiology, and—perhaps most importantly—how the brain functions and responds to musical stimuli.
#3 Brain research is exploding! We have known for a long time (at least since 1950, when music therapy was established as a profession) that music works to improve functional outcomes for daily living. We are now being given the chance to see into the brain and to understand why music-based interventions are so powerful and effective. Every year, the supporting science becomes more and more clear.
#4 Music therapy professionals are incredibly supportive. Online networking has made this easier than ever. The days of feeling isolated in private practice or as the only music therapist at a facility are gone.
#5 You receive a very thorough education and then have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. There are music therapists working in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, jails, mental health clinics, and private practice. Most therapists tend to narrow down their specialty, but it is also common for therapists to choose a new career path or diversify into multiple settings.
Recently, I was thinking about a brief “down-to-earth” summary of what I do and why I love my job. I came up with this: “I love to help kids and adults learn, and I get to use music to do it.”
If you are considering music therapy as a profession and have some questions, feel free to email me. Our numbers are growing quickly and we’d love to have you join us.
If you are a music therapist, what would you add to the list? Do my top five reasons resonate with you or do you have your own? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This post is being written as part of the 2015 Social Media Advocacy project. Read more about what other music therapists are saying here. It’s an exciting time to be part of the music therapy profession!