What is the music therapy credential?

MT-BC is the credential required to ethically practice as a music therapist. Once coursework and clinical training are completed, one is eligible to take the national examination administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT), an independent, non-profit certifying agency fully accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. After successful completion of the examination, graduates are issued the credential necessary for professional practice, Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC). To maintain this credential, music therapists must demonstrate continued competence by completing 100 recertification credits or retaking and passing the CBMT examination within each five-year recertification cycle. The MT-BC credential is awarded and administrated by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). More information can be found at www.cbmt.org.

What instruments are used music therapy?

Music therapists must also be trained, accomplished musicians. Common instruments used are guitar, piano, percussion, voice, etc., but a music therapist must be versatile and able to adjust to changing circumstances and many different instruments may be used within a therapeutic context. There is not one single instrument every music therapist needs to play in every session, but rather, music therapy students choose one instrument to be their major instrument of focus during their educational course of study and are given basic training on a variety of instruments. The choice of instrument or musical intervention used in a music therapy session is dependent upon goals and objectives, the client’s preferences, and the music therapist’s professional judgement.

What is the most common type of music in music therapy?

Music therapists utilize music as a therapeutic tool; the genre and type of instrument is tailored to the individual and to the goals that are established between the client and the music therapist. Since music choice/usage is tailored to each client’s needs and preferences, there is really no “most common” type of music or instrument. All styles of music have the potential to be useful in effecting change in a client’s or a patient’s life. The individual’s preferences, circumstances and need for treatment, and the goals established will help the trained music therapist determine what music to use.

What is a typical music therapy session like?

Since music therapists serve a wide variety of persons with many different types of needs there is no such thing as an overall typical session. Sessions are designed and music selected based on the individual client’s treatment plan. However, you can see and hear some examples of how music therapy is used in clinical settings in the video: “Partnerships in Care: Uses of Music Therapy in Medical Settings.” Music therapy can also be used in many other settings. See under the menu item, About Music Therapy>What is Music Therapy?>Music Therapy with Specific Populations and our press release, “Setting the Record Straight: What Music Therapy Is and Is Not” for more information on the settings and populations with which music therapy can be helpful and how it differs from music for entertainment.

Where can I find a music therapist in my area?

Find A Therapist