5 min read

Music Therapist Job Description and Top Skills

Team Glider

Updated on February 13, 2024

What is a Music Therapist?

A music therapist is a trained and certified healthcare professional who utilizes music-based interventions to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages and abilities. Music therapists work collaboratively with clients, families, and interdisciplinary care teams to assess needs, develop personalized treatment plans, and implement evidence-based music interventions to achieve therapeutic goals and enhance quality of life.

Music Therapist Job Description

We are currently seeking passionate and skilled music therapists to join our healthcare team and provide transformative therapeutic experiences to our patients. As integral members of our interdisciplinary care team, successful candidates will utilize the power of music to promote emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being and facilitate healing and growth in individuals across various clinical settings.

As a music therapist, you will have the opportunity to leverage your musical talents and clinical expertise to engage clients in creative and meaningful musical experiences, fostering self-expression, communication, and connection in therapeutic relationships.

The ideal candidates will possess strong musical skills, empathy, and a passion for using music as a healing modality to support individuals’ holistic well-being.

What Does a Music Therapist Do?

  • Assess Client Needs: Conduct comprehensive assessments of clients’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and social functioning, including musical preferences, abilities, and therapeutic goals, to develop individualized music therapy treatment plans tailored to clients’ unique needs and strengths.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary care teams, including physicians, psychologists, social workers, and allied health professionals, to integrate music therapy interventions into holistic care plans and promote interdisciplinary communication, coordination, and collaboration in client care.
  • Implement Music Therapy Interventions: Lead individual and group music therapy sessions using a variety of music-based interventions, including live music improvisation, songwriting, lyric analysis, music listening, and movement to music, to address clients’ therapeutic goals, such as emotional expression, stress reduction, pain management, cognitive stimulation, and social interaction.
  • Facilitate therapeutic singing, instrumental playing, and music-making experiences to engage clients in creative self-expression, promote relaxation, and enhance mood regulation, utilizing music as a nonverbal means of communication and emotional support in therapeutic relationships.
  • Evaluate Treatment Progress: Monitor and evaluate clients’ responses to music therapy interventions, documenting session progress, client insights, and treatment outcomes regularly to track therapeutic progress, adjust treatment plans as needed, and communicate findings to interdisciplinary care teams and stakeholders.
  • Provide Education and Support: Educate clients, families, caregivers, and community members about the benefits of music therapy, the therapeutic use of music, and strategies for integrating music into daily life to promote wellness, self-care, and resilience across the lifespan.
  • Offer emotional support, validation, and encouragement to clients and their families during challenging life transitions, illness, or loss, fostering empathy, compassion, and connection in therapeutic relationships.
  • Maintain Professionalism and Ethics: Adhere to professional standards of practice, ethical guidelines, and regulatory requirements in music therapy, including patient confidentiality, informed consent, professional boundaries, and cultural competence, to ensure ethical and responsible practice in healthcare settings.
  • Engage in Continuous Learning: Participate in ongoing professional development, continuing education, and clinical supervision to enhance music therapy skills, expand clinical knowledge, and stay current with advances in music therapy research, evidence-based practices, and therapeutic techniques.

How Much Do Music Therapists Make?

The average salary for Music Therapists is $63,442. However, the salary range typically falls between $56,836 and $70,499. Various factors, such as education, certifications, additional skills, and years of experience, can significantly influence salary variations within this profession.

Skill Requirements

  • Musical Proficiency: Music therapists must possess advanced musical skills, including proficiency in voice, piano, guitar, or other instruments, and a comprehensive understanding of music theory, harmony, rhythm, and composition, to facilitate effective music-based interventions and therapeutic experiences for clients.
  • Clinical Competence: Music therapists should demonstrate clinical competence and proficiency in applying music therapy principles, techniques, and interventions to address clients’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs across diverse clinical populations and settings, ensuring safe, ethical, and effective practice.
  • Empathy and Compassion: Music therapists must exhibit empathy, compassion, and sensitivity in working with clients and their families, recognizing and validating clients’ emotional experiences, fostering trust and rapport, and creating supportive and nurturing therapeutic environments that promote healing, growth, and well-being.
  • Interpersonal Communication: Effective interpersonal communication skills are essential for music therapists to build therapeutic rapport, establish trust, and engage clients in the therapeutic process, including active listening, nonverbal communication, empathy, and conflict resolution, fostering positive therapeutic relationships and client engagement.
  • Cultural Competence: Music therapists should demonstrate cultural competence and awareness of diverse cultural backgrounds, values, beliefs, and practices to provide culturally sensitive and responsive music therapy services that respect and honor clients’ cultural identities, experiences, and perspectives.
  • Clinical Documentation and Record Keeping: Music therapists must maintain accurate and comprehensive clinical documentation, including session notes, treatment plans, progress reports, and outcome measures, in accordance with professional standards, legal requirements, and institutional policies to ensure quality of care, continuity of services, and accountability in healthcare delivery.

Example KPIs for a Music Therapist

  • Client Engagement and Satisfaction: This KPI measures music therapists’ ability to engage clients actively in music therapy sessions, foster therapeutic rapport, and promote positive client experiences and satisfaction with music therapy services, as reflected in client feedback, satisfaction surveys, and session attendance rates.
  • Therapeutic Progress and Outcomes: This KPI evaluates music therapists’ effectiveness in achieving therapeutic goals, improving clients’ functioning, and enhancing quality of life through music therapy interventions, as demonstrated by objective measures, client self-reports, and interdisciplinary team observations.
  • Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Communication: This KPI assesses music therapists’ collaboration and communication with interdisciplinary care teams, including physicians, psychologists, social workers, and allied health professionals, to ensure coordinated, integrated, and holistic client care delivery and promote interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration in healthcare settings.
  • Professional Development and Clinical Supervision: This KPI measures music therapists’ engagement in ongoing professional development, continuing education, and clinical supervision activities to enhance clinical skills, expand clinical knowledge, and maintain competency in music therapy practice, as evidenced by participation in workshops, conferences, and supervision sessions.
  • Community Outreach and Advocacy: This KPI evaluates music therapists’ involvement in community outreach, advocacy, and public education initiatives to raise awareness about music therapy, promote access to music therapy services, and advocate for the integration of music therapy into healthcare, education, and social service settings.

How Can Glider AI Help You with Hiring a Music Therapist?

Glider’s recruitment platform is designed to prioritize competency over credentials, enabling organizations to assess candidates’ skills objectively and efficiently. Utilize Glider AI Skill Intelligence™ to streamline the hiring process, identify top-quality Music Therapist candidates, and ensure a mobile-first, candidate-friendly experience.

Glider AI’s Unique Features

  • Verify Medical Licenses
  • Validate Hundreds of Medical, Clinical, and Technical Skills
  • Ensure Hiring Compliance
  • Conversational Chatbot for Talent Screening
  • Powerful candidate analytics
  • Streamline Healthcare Hiring with AI and Automation

Go ahead and spotlight your Music Therapist with Glider AI today!

Schedule a Demo or contact us at info@glider.ai


Accelerate the hiring of top talent

Make talent quality your leading analytic with skills-based hiring solution.

Get started

Advanced Practice Nurse Job Description and Top Skills

What is an Advanced Practice Nurse? An advanced practice nurse (APN), also known as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), is a highly trained and specialized nurse with advanced clinical knowledge and skills. APNs have completed graduate-level education and hold advanced degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing […]

Hospice Nurse Job Description and Top Skills

What is a Hospice Nurse? A hospice nurse, also known as a palliative care nurse, is a registered nurse (RN) with specialized training in providing compassionate end-of-life care to patients with terminal illnesses. Hospice nurses work collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams to address patients’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, focusing on comfort, dignity, and quality of […]

Patient Services Representative Job Description and Top Skills

What is a Patient Services Representative? A Patient Services Representative is responsible for providing front-line support to patients and their families, assisting with appointment scheduling, registration, insurance verification, and billing inquiries. Patient Services Representatives serve as the primary point of contact for patients, addressing their needs, answering questions, and facilitating access to healthcare services while […]