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Music therapist

Music therapy is a psychological therapy that aims to facilitate positive changes in emotional wellbeing and communication through the engagement in live musical interaction between client and therapist.

Hear from real-life music therapists in our exclusive film.

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Everyone has the ability to respond to music and sound so a variety of approaches are used. Fundamental to all is the development of a therapeutic relationship between the client and the therapist. Each usually play an active role in each session with clients being encouraged to use a range of instruments including their own voice. This allows them to explore the world of sound and to create a musical language of their own.

The therapist also aims to enhance the client's quality of life by developing an increase sense of self awareness.

Many people with no specific problem are now using music therapy to gain an insight to themselves. Music can also be a great motivator.

A variety of settings

Music therapists work with children and adults of all age ranges and ability including:

  • pre-school children, primary and secondary school children
  • adolescents (outside the school system)
  • people with learning disabilities, mental health problems, communication problems
  • people with addiction problems
  • challenging behaviour
  • eating disorders
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • stress management.

They also work in a variety of settings including:

  • hospitals
  • special schools
  • day centres
  • hospices
  • the community
  • and within the prison service
Entry requirements and training

More information on entry requirements and training


More information on pay for music therapists.

How to apply for job vacancies

Job vacancies are advertised in a range of places. Most trusts now advertise on NHS Jobs. Some will also advertise in trade journals and on trust websites. For a list of trusts, visit NHS Choices.

Other relevant roles

There are occasionally opportunities to work alongside music therapists and other mental health professionals in related roles.

Further information

British Association for Music Therapy
24-27 White Lion Street
N1 9PD

Tel: 020 7837 6100
Email: info@bamt.org
Websites: www.bamt.org