Music Therapist Salary

Music is an important part of people’s lives. It has also been reported to have therapeutic capacities. In the field of medicine, a number of medical professionals also believe in the effectiveness of music in alleviating people’s pain. Thus, music is normally used in therapies, especially with patients suffering from various neurological disorders, such as autism or dementia. Positive effects have been associated with the use of music during therapies.

In relation to therapies, music therapists perform a dual role: that of a musician and a therapist. Their tendency to perform either role varies depending on the condition of patients during therapy.

According to Chrissy Pearson, clinical manager of the Music Therapy Centre in Toronto, there is no typical day for music therapists. Their work for the day entirely depends on the patient and the type of setting where the therapy takes place.

Music therapists may work as contractors or be employed full-time by hospices, substance abuse and addiction centers, nursing homes, community support programs, hospitals, correctional facilities, and special education facilities.

Music therapists may deal with late-stage cancer patients, teach students with autism to identify music patterns, or aid dementia patients with fading memories especially those who tend to forget information about themselves but remember specific songs from their childhood.

Music is effective in stimulating specific brain areas that are not accessible through speech and physical movements. Music therapy serves as means by which people with autism understand social and emotional cues. Music therapy also provides support in breathing regulation of palliative care patients. Meanwhile, there are patients who lost their speaking capacities but managed to communicate with other people through songs.

Basically, music therapists aim to help their patients achieve non-musical goals using music. Medical experts greatly believe in effectiveness of music in aiding people suffering from brain injuries or neurological disorders.

The Canadian Association for Music Therapy is an organization known for providing the necessary standards in music therapy. People who want to take up music therapy should check out Capilano University in North Vancouver, the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, and Acadia University in Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo offers undergraduate and master’s degree in music therapy.

Other programs related to music therapy include music education and psychology courses, social work training, counselling, and internships.

In addition, after finishing their degrees, music therapists are expected to pursuing education as per requirement for renewal of membership in CAMT. Some of continuing education programs for music therapists include classes, workshops, conferences, and working in related industries.

Salary of music therapists depend on their type of employment (contractual or full-time) and level of experience.

Full-time music therapists may earn up to $35,000 to $75,000 per year depending on a number of factors, including geographic locations, years of experience and qualifications. However, for those who are working for private clients, salary ranges from $25,000 to $85,000.

In Canada, the demand for music therapy is great but financial support patients is lacking. For instance, the family of child with physical disability is already burdened with expenses for various equipment and other types of therapies. Thus, having patients undergo music therapy is not always the first option. Clearly, there is a need for available resources given the increasing demands for music therapy.

Meanwhile, music therapists also face challenges in continuing their professional education and undergoing additional skills training. Moreover, music therapists are also burdened with emotional stress that come with their work.

It is a fact that music therapy can be difficult but music therapists may find it very rewarding. In addition, they become motivated when they see the progress in their patients no matter how small it is.

On the other hand, people still have some misconceptions regarding music therapy. For instance, not all people realize that playing music as entertainment is entirely different from using it in educational or hospital settings.

There are also a lot of options for music therapy online we took part in an online live music stream broadcast workshop.  Think about checking some of them out.

Songs That Influence

Music has been part of human life since ancient times. It has become an important cultural and political factor witnessed through real-world events and served as motivator for people to accept positive changes and unite during the times when unity amongst people was greatly needed. As such, some songs had huge impact that they have been constant part of people’s lives through times. These songs are ranked based on their influence regarding revolutionary movements, condemned justice, and raising hope for the next generation.


A Change is Gonna Come was a protest song written by Cooke in support of civil rights movement in the US. The song was inspired by Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind. Some of the lines in the song describe Cooke and his friends’ experience during their arrest in Louisiana. The song also discusses segregation. However, before the song was released, Cooked was shot by a motel owner on the cause of allegedly raping a young girl. To this day, controversy still lingers around Cooke’s death.


I Wanna Hold Your Hand was considered revolutionary song of the 1960s. The Beatles became the biggest rock’n’roll band during that time, and until now, no one can argue regarding the popularity of Beatlemania. The song was a hit in the US during the time when the country was still suffering from the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In 1964, the band performed on the Ed Sullivan show, which was watched by 70 million viewers.


The popular Christmas single was spearheaded by Bob Geldof, the lead singer of Boomtown Rats. The song was part of program aimed at raising funds for Ethiopian famine. Some of artists who sang the track included David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Bono. Thought the song sounds festive, careful analysis of the lyrics indicates its bleak message.

  • WAR (1970) – EDWIN STARR

War was written by Norman Whitefield and Barrett Song, and it served as protest to Vietnam War. “War” was considered the first political Motown song.


“Strange Fruit” was another protest song. It was sung by Billie Holliday and symbolized brutality and racism, which were previously prevalent in the American South. Billie Holliday made history for being the first person to sing a song with such controversial lyrics. The song was Time magazine’s song of the century in 1999. Currently, the song still bears significance, for example, Kanye West, used a sample of it in his album, Yeezus.


Imagine is a song that has always been associated with John Lennon and usually considered as best-known solo work of the artist. The track represented Lennon’s desire to achieve peace and harmony. The song became more sensationalized after Lennon’s assassination, but some people managed to criticize the song.


Same Love professes support for gay rights. The song was especially important for Mary Lambert, who has religious background and grew up feeling sinful because she is gay. Macklemore said that he had wanted to write the song for a very long time but he had no idea how he would tackle gender issues. He also added that the song was not about marriage equality but also the negative connotation of the word “gay.”


Sunday Bloody Sunday is reflection of the horrifying events of Bloody Sunday incident, which happened in Derry in January 1972. In the said incident, 13 Irish citizens were killed by British paratroopers during a civil rights protest. Though the song condemns the incident in Ireland, it was also story of interpersonal struggles of Bono. Bono was known for waving a white flag while performing the song.


God Save the Queen is a rebel song against British politics. The song was written during the period when most young people thought that they were estranged from the royal monarchy. The song was released during The Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The Sex Pistols tried to perform the song but authorities came and intervened. God Save the Queen then became a popular song representing the punk movement in England. It symbolized the anger felt by young generation at that period.


Fight the Power is song meant to support the black community, and the additional controversy only made the song more popular. Aside from African Americans, people of other race could relate to the song as well.

Music In Society


Music has been a part of society for ages. Over time songs have found application in almost all aspects in the society. No one can really deny the amazing need for songs in the society and its ability to invoke emotion from all. In most cases it has been termed as the world’s universal language, evident by how it is possible to unite people from all walks of life into a similar opinion.

Music as a mirror

Most of the times the song types and message is usually influenced by the society in which it is composed. Whatever the genre the song might take, the message is usually derived from the surrounding of the composer. As such, in most cases music acts as a reflection of what goes around in society. Therefore, you can easily learn a lot about a people by listening to their songs. On a global scale, the songs have taken the same kind of trend as well. Most international artists tend to sing about the current conditions in the world.

Emotional outlet

It’s a common expression to hear someone tell you to sing your heart out. Songs have been a way of expressing emotion for centuries. It’s more of an outlet that lets you express what words cannot really put into context your feelings.

Scientific research has shown that human beings are rooted in songs. This is evident by the fact that songs show to evoke emotions in all kinds of people. Even in our younger years, it has been seen that children tend to respond to songs and beats. In a way, songs are a way in which children can connect unfamiliar emotions and even in later cases songs are used as learning tool for children.

There is also segments of music that exist to get an emotional response.  Such as Punk Rock.  The entire movement was youths thumbing their nose at the older generation.

Influence inner dialogue

The inner dialogue is a part of us that exist unconsciously. This part of ourselves is responsible for all the planning of activities and even the worries we have about everything that is involved in our life. This part of ourselves is usually uncontrollable. However, song composers and specialists have shown that listening to songs does influence this part of us and can even influence it to a specific way of life. In cases where some have been able to stop the inner dialogue, individuals have described the feeling as having a greater awareness of themselves and the world around them.

Spiritual connector

For ages we have been aware of the fact that songs are capable of evoking a certain state of spiritual awareness. Believers from all religion can agree with the fact that the right kind of songs can induce a certain altered state of consciousness in which the parties can connect with a spiritual being or reality.

A Musician knows his Music

Are you a budding musician? Learning instruments is one part of being a great musician. You also need to be competent in the various forms of music. Having complete knowledge of your music styles will help you have a complete understanding of music. It gives you a broader understanding of the subject. A good musician will listen to all forms of music and criticize it. This criticism can be both positive and negative. Having a lot of forms of music etched in your memory also makes it easier for you to jam and improvise. Here is a comprehensive list of all forms of music:


  1. Delta Blues
  2. Jumpy Blues
  3. East Coast Blues
  4. Chicago Blues

Classical music

    1. Opera
    2. Gregorian chant
    3. Madrigals
    4. Chamber music
    5. Choral
    6. Symphony

Country music

The music that was developed in the Southern United States is called country music. This music was created in the 1920’s and is usually associated with cowboys. This form of music used electric guitars, harmonicas, fiddles, banjos and acoustic guitars to create their songs.

Electronic music

The term electronic music was introduced in 1942 when a musician named Pierre Schaeffer set up an electronic music studio with the help of recorded normal sounds, speed tape recorders, microphones or phonographs. As the name suggests, electronic music is not associated with sound created by acoustic instruments but they are created by electronic beats.


Jazz music had its origins in European as well as African music. The African American people dominated this form of music and played and were prominent in the Southern parts of the United States. The African undertones are prominent in this form of music.

Latin music

This music has its roots in Latin America. The music is defined by the cultural, background, geography and history mentioned in the music.

Pop Music

The word pop music is confused with the word popular music. This is not so. The music that evolved from the rock and roll revolution that was evident in the middle 1950’s and continues on even today is called as pop music.


This music is distinguished by the powerful bass drums and electric guitars. The genre originated in the early 1960’s and 1970’s widely in the United Kingdom as well as in the United States. This is an aggressive form of music. The lyrics used are provocative, controversial or they can be satirical too.

Rap music

This music has a history in African-American people singing it. This music is generally not sung but spoken in a smooth and fast way to create a music of its own.

These are some of the most important forms of music.

How to be a good musician

Being a musician does not only entail that you play your instrument well or you are fond of your instrument. Being a musician also means that you can understand, perform, play and understand music. If you need to be a good artist you also need to show your dedication towards music. You can never be biased towards any particular format of music but on the contrary you need to have a variety of interests. You also need to show your dedication by practicing music not only as a hobby but also as a profession. Here are some tips on excelling as a great performer:

  1. Learn more about Music Theory

You need to have a deep understanding about the music culture. Also you need to devour literature on music so that you have a deep understanding about the subject. Most of the great musicians have an inbuilt ability to perform great music but if you want to make it to the limelight you need to be well versed with the chords and notes of the instrument you play.

  1. Play with other people

Never go solo. Playing in a band will help you realize your faults and imperfections. You will be able to get in sync with the chords that other people are playing and it gives you a feeling of togetherness of music.

  1. Learn more than one instrument

You may be a master of one instrument, but can you play another instrument? The point is not to be proficient in all the instrument just as the saying goes “Jack of all trades is a master of none.” You need to try your hands at other instruments because you get a feel of the music of other instruments which will help you synchronize your music when you jam with your band. But the most important point is that you need to perfect your primary instrument before learning a new one.

  1. Perform

Make sure you perform excessively. Performing is a type of practice. You will hone your skills if you perform with your club. Without performing you will never realize your mistakes and faults. Performing will chip away your imperfections and you will also chase away your stage fright.

  1. Experiment

After learning all there is there to know about your instrument, you should move on and express yourself with your instrument. All great artists have done exceptionally good music because they experimented and achieved what no other ordinary artist could. Never worry about the unforeseen. Experimenting will help you learn new melodies and notes which you can compile to use in your music.

These are some of the ways in which you can become a good musician.