How Do You Become a Music Therapist?

Training & Certification

Music Therapists require extensive training in order to hold the credential of MT-BC (Music Therapist- Board Certified). Here are the requirements:

  • Four-year bachelor’s degree or higher in music therapy and from an approved program.
  • Complete coursework in subjects such as psychology, anatomy physiology, music-based concepts and music therapy practicums within a variety of populations.
  • 6- month internship at an approved internship site.
  • At least 1200 hours of clinical training.
  • Pass the board certification exam administered by the Certification Board of Music Therapists.
  • Maintain the MT-BC credential by completing at least 100 continuing music therapy education credits every five years and submitting those credits for re-certification.

In addition, music therapists actively advocate for the field of music therapy by educating the community (e.g. presentations, legislation, word of mouth, in-services, etc.). Similar to other creative arts therapies, music therapists encounter many misconceptions about their practice due to lack of education. Therefore, music therapists strive to educate those who are misinformed and continue to grow and evolve the field.

When searching for a music therapist, one of the first questions to ask is if he/she is board-certified. Sessions will be different if administered by someone who has not completed any type of therapeutic training, and this has the potential to cause harm to patients or clients. It is always important to do your research when identifying and hiring a qualified professional.

For more information on steps to take in order to become a music therapist, visit the American Music Therapy Association website here.

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