What are some good resources for music therapy training and practice?
February 24, 2015 9:52 AM   Subscribe

My husband is a symphony orchestra musician and is considering a different career in music. A number of people have recommended he look into music therapy.

What do music therapists typically do? Can you recommend some good introductory resources and/or training programs? Apart from his talent as a musician, what other skills/temperaments are needed? Any other advice? If it makes any difference, we're in a major Canadian city.
posted by angiep to Work & Money (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you already seen this?

Indeed.ca looks a little gloomy for music therapists. Seems as though a lot of those functions are being done by "recreation workers" with a grade 12 education (but I don't know the field at all, this is my impression).

What about teaching?
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:30 PM on February 24, 2015

A friend who is a musician was interested in music therapy; because of licensing requirements in her US state it wasn't practical. She's now in a speech language pathology program and has been delighted to find that MANY elements of music therapy can be used/are recommended in SLP practice & education.
posted by ThatSomething at 6:13 PM on February 24, 2015

A friend of mine is a gifted musician who worked as an administrative worker for many years before deciding to re-train as a music therapist. This is in Australia, so I'm not sure how representative her experience is, but perhaps this will help.

My friend completed a Masters degree in music therapy. In order to get into the program, she had to audition, which involved demonstrating proficiency with 2 separate instruments (in her case, piano and guitar). The training was intense and she said she felt very out of her depth next to a number of professional musicians - but I'm not sure how accurate that is, because she received a special award at the end of her program, so presumably she kept up just fine!

Now, several years post completion, my friend works in several different roles - she runs a music therapy play-group for young children with disabilities, and she works with kids with cancer at a hospital, as well as a couple of other things. I get the impression there is also work with adults in music therapy, I know my friend did a placement in a nursing home during her studies, so perhaps she is specialising in kids. She loves the work but she sometimes seems stressed that her work is so piecemeal - it leads to financial anxiety as well as a lot of travel time.
posted by Cheese Monster at 8:14 PM on February 24, 2015

I know of several clinics with an integral medicine approach which have a music therapist on staff. In the UK, music therapy is often based on Nordoff-Robbins (which is worth googling for info about music therapy and there seems to be one institute in New York). Their UK institute reading list - Google cache of PDF - is interesting. I myself took a class about music therapy a few years back and we read "Music Therapy in Context" as well as "Communicative Musicality" which were excellent introductions.
posted by yoHighness at 5:01 AM on February 25, 2015

Thank you all for your input and advice. I'll pass these along to my husband.
posted by angiep at 7:08 AM on February 25, 2015

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