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.