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Occupation Details

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Music Therapist

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

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A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

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At a Glance... header image

Uses music to help people with physical, mental, emotional and physiological difficulties to express themselves and to develop their potential.


The Work header image

Music therapists help people with physical, mental and emotional difficulties to express themselves. Music therapists do not teach clients to play instruments. Instead, they encourage their clients to use musical instruments and make sounds, as a way of relieving a particular problem.  
 
For instance, clients who feel isolated may benefit from learning to use sounds to express emotions or relieve depression. Others may find that musical movement helps their physical co-ordination.  
 
The therapist, usually in consultation with other professionals and the client, decides on the goals of therapy and works out a programme to meet the client's needs. The therapist has to decide with each client whether it will be better to work on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting.  
 
Music is used to help the client to listen, move and communicate. As a result, clients may develop confidence in their abilities and become more aware of other people. Clients may be children, young people or adults.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Adapt existing or develop new music therapy assessment instruments or procedures to meet an individual client's needs.

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Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of specific treatments or therapy approaches.

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Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for therapy.

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Assess client functioning levels, strengths, and areas of need in terms of perceptual, sensory, affective, communicative, musical, physical, cognitive, social, spiritual, or other abilities.

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Communicate client assessment findings and recommendations in oral, written, audio, video, or other forms.

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Communicate with clients to build rapport, acknowledge their progress, or reflect upon their reactions to musical experiences.

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Confer with professionals on client's treatment team to develop, coordinate, or integrate treatment plans.

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Customize treatment programs for specific areas of music therapy, such as intellectual or developmental disabilities, educational settings, geriatrics, medical settings, mental health, physical disabilities, or wellness.

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Design music therapy experiences, using various musical elements to meet client's goals or objectives.

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Design or provide music therapy experiences to address client needs, such as using music for self-care, adjusting to life changes, improving cognitive functioning, raising self-esteem, communicating, or controlling impulses.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need to be mature, understanding, sensitive and emotionally secure. Clients may progress very slowly or fail to progress at all, so patience and resourcefulness are important.  
 
A high level of musical skill and creativity is a necessity. Ability to play keyboard, guitar and sing is required by completion of training.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Music Therapist - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists
  Address: P.O.Box 4176, Dublin 1
  Tel: 087 992 1746
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Irish World Academy of Music and Dance
  Address: University of Limerick, Limerick.
  Tel: (061) 202590
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Social & Caring
Entertainment & Performing Arts

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