A Music Therapist is someone who uses music as a tool to better the lives of the people with whom they work. The Music Therapist uses a holistic approach, working together with their client(s) in order to meet the needs identified through assessment. A Music Therapist may use singing, songwriting, improvisation, recording, movement to music, or lyric analysis in their work.
A Music Therapist holds a Bachelor of Music Therapy (BMT) at minimum. A Bachelor of Music Therapy is a four-year degree followed by a supervised 1000 hour internship. Accredited Music Therapists use the MTA (Music Therapist accredited) designation.
Music Therapists work in health care settings, schools, and in the community on an individual or group basis
Patients and their family members receive my services, benefiting from the ways that music therapy can increase quality of life for palliative patients. Music therapy can connect loved ones, help to express emotion and thoughts, decrease anxiety and the perception of pain, help gain a new perspective, aid in reminiscence and life review, and encourage creativity and self-expression. The staff also can benefit from the presence of music in the work environment.
The favourite part of my work is seeing how music has been a part of the lives of the patients with whom I work. The patients that I meet have amazing strength and it is a privilege to be able to work with them. I love seeing the smile on a patient’s face when they hear a special song they have not heard for a while, or when they show small signs of engagement (toes tapping, eyebrows lifting, etc) when not fully able to communicate.
It is always a challenge to increase the public’s awareness of what a Music Therapist is and does.
If there is not a Music Therapist available to fill a leave, then the patients would not have the service.