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Music Therapy 101

Education and Training

What is music therapy?
History of music therapy
Who seeks help from music therapists?
Who uses music therapy for treatment?
Theory and Implementation
Education and Training
Music Therapy Links
Case Studies
Beat Stress Flyer



Education and training in Music Therapy is multidisciplinary, including a broad base of subject areas such as anatomy, physiology, psychology, counseling, anthropology, movement/dance, oral and written communication (Davis, Gfeller, & Thaut, 1999).

 According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), the requirements to become a registered Music Therapist are as follows:

1. Have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Music Therapy from one of the over 70 AMTA accredited colleges or universities.

2. Complete 1200 hours of clinical training, which includes a supervised internship.

3. Pass the national board certification exam

The Certification Board for Music Therapist grants the credentials of MT-BC after successful completion of the former requirements.  Graduate degrees in Music Therapy primarily focus on advanced clinical research and practice (


Individuals must have excellent functional musical skills such as the ability to play social instruments such as the piano and/or guitar and have a broad knowledge base of various styles of music such as jazz, pop, r & b, religious and classical (Davis, Gfeller, & Thaut, 1999).  The individual must also know how to use music as a very flexible and aesthetically pleasing therapeutic medium.  Intrapersonal qualities needed to become a music therapist include good physical health, emotional stability, patience, empathy, understanding, creativity, and good interpersonal skills.