Top Reasons to Pursue a Career in Music Therapy

Music therapy makes use of music interventions through counseling sessions to help clients struggling with mental, emotional, and physical ailments. Music therapists can guide their patients in creating music, singing, or dancing. This web page digs into the advantages — and some challenges — of a career in music therapy.

Combining Your Passion With Your Career

Many people dream about obtaining a job that can make a real difference in people's lives. Earning a degree in music therapy can start learners on the path toward turning their passion for music into a rewarding career that empowers others.

Creativity and Variety

Tuning out the world's distractions and listening to music can feel cathartic, but simply listening does not constitute music therapy. This form of counseling involves actively engaging with music, which music therapists can administer through several different methods. Music therapy can also help people struggling with many different challenges, such as Alzeimer's disease and learning disabilities. Here are some of the most well known techniques:

Counselors call one type of music therapy "receptive interventions." This technique involves actively listening to music and monitoring thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Patients can also pay attention to song lyrics and discuss them with therapists or other participants during group counseling sessions.

During creative interventions, clients make music themselves. Creating music, either by writing or improvising, can help people work through challenges, express themselves in an honest way, and increase their self-esteem.

Research has shown that drumming, a notable nonverbal technique, can help people fight neuroendocrine and immunological disorders, control chronic pain, and reduce anxiety and negative feelings that stem from trauma.

Diverse Settings

Music therapists can offer their professional services in many different workplaces. They may work at rehabilitation centers, hospice programs, prisons, and outpatient clinics, among other places.

At senior centers and nursing homes, therapists can guide the elderly in maintaining their physical health through counseling techniques related to music and movement

At psychiatric facilities, music therapists help patients with mental illnesses. Music counseling can help them practice problem solving and resolve internal conflicts. At hospitals, patients also benefit from music therapy. Counselors help people suffering from chronic pain through music therapy in conjunction with pain medication. Moving to music aids patients working through physical rehabilitation. Music therapy can also help with calming or even sedating hospital patients.

Both the young and the elderly benefit from music therapy. At senior centers and nursing homes, therapists can guide the elderly in maintaining their physical health through counseling techniques related to music and movement. Additionally, creating music keeps senior citizens' cognitive skills sharp.

Music therapists may find work in schools, especially helping children with special needs. Music counseling assists students with speech impediments and nonverbal communication issues through improvisation, singing, and songwriting. Children with autism practice self-expression and interacting with others, especially in group settings where they need to take turns listening and responding to others.

Helping Others

Music therapists help patients in many different ways. Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder can work through painful memories by writing their feelings out in song lyrics, for example. Patients with Alzheimer's can also benefit from music therapy. Since music provokes sensory stimulation, people struggling with memory loss can sometimes recall certain feelings when listening to a familiar song.

In addition, this form of counseling mitigates chronic pain by lowering blood pressure, improving respiration and cardiac output, reducing heart rates, and relaxing muscle tension. These physiological effects can also help people suffering from severe anxiety.

since music provokes sensory stimulation, people struggling with memory loss can sometimes recall certain feelings when listening to a familiar song

Music therapy can also help individuals in good health. This type of counseling can reduce stress and promote relaxation. It helps individuals examine any self-destructive thoughts and become more introspective, which can then stimulate greater self-confidence and a more fulfilled life. It can also assist people in strengthening their relationships.

Music therapy also provides benefits that might not seem obvious. For instance, music therapy can aid pregnant women with labor and delivery. In addition, music therapy can help adults — especially senior citizens — overcome loneliness. Group therapy sessions connect people and bolster relationships.

Job Stability and Satisfaction

Many music therapists guide people in making significant changes in their lives, which alone can provide a sense of purpose. Music therapists can also look forward to daily work that challenges them with problem-solving and intellectual stimulation.

music therapists can invest their interests into a career that helps people manage illnesses and empowers them to lead healthy and full lives

Studies show that music therapists generally feel satisfied in their profession. One 2013 study found that these professionals gain a sense of motivation from the satisfaction of watching their clients succeed. The research also illustrated that job satisfaction increased over time.

The main drawback for many therapists, according to the study, was the salary. Along with other therapists, they earned a median income of $57,680 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The work can also prove emotionally challenging, especially with patients who struggle to show progress. Some professionals feel a sense of burnout throughout their career as well.

All in all, music therapists can invest their interests into a career that helps people manage illnesses and empowers them to lead healthy and full lives.

What is Music Therapy?
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