Profession music therapist

Music therapists use music-therapeutic interventions to treat patients with behavioural disorders and pathogenic conditions to prevent, mitigate or eliminate symptoms and to change behaviours and attitudes requiring treatment. They promote and maintain or restore the development, maturity and health of the patient/client by music-therapeutic interventions. Music therapy especially provides help for people with with emotional, somatic, intellectually or socially induced behavioural disorders and pathogenic conditions, such as psychoses (schizophrenic disorders, bipolar disorders) and personality development disorders.  

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Personality Type

  • Social / Investigative
  • Investigative / Social


  • Behavioural therapy

    The characteristics and foundations of behavioural therapy, which focuses on changing patients` unwanted or negative behaviour. It involves studying the present behaviour and the means by which this can be un-learned.

  • Music therapy theories

    The meta-theories, theories and practical concepts and interventions in music therapy and other scientific disciplines such as medicine, psychology, psychotherapy, music science and music pedagogics.

  • Psychopathology

    The criteria of psychiatric diagnoses, the use of the disease classification system, and the theories of psychopathology. The indicators of functional and organic disorders and the types of psychopharmacological medications.

  • Types of music therapies

    The different types of music therapies such as active, receptive and functional music therapy.

  • Sociology

    The group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • Health care legislation

    The patients` rights and responsibilities of health practitioners and the possible repercussions and prosecutions in relation to medical treatment negligence or malpractice.

  • Personal development

    The techniques and methods used to improve awareness and identity and develop talents and potential in human beings.

  • Human psychological development

    The human psychological development across the lifespan, theories of personality development, cultural and environmental influences, human behavior, including developmental crises, disability, exceptional behavior, and addictive behavior.

  • Psychiatric diagnostics

    The diagnostic systems and scales applied in psychiatry to determine the type of mental health disorder in adults, children and elderly.

  • Music therapy clinical practice

    The therapeutic and musical support provided to facilitate effective treatment involving music-based interventions for patients in the medical setting such as a clinic.

  • Palliative settings

    The arrangement of the surrounding environment to alleviate the pain of patients in need of palliative care.

  • Anthropology

    The study of development and behaviour of human beings.

  • Psychotherapy principles

    The fundamental principles and methods applied in psychotherapy to explore and solve troublesome behaviour or feelings.

  • History of musical instruments

    The historical background and chronology of various musical instruments.

  • Music therapy processes

    The development stage of a music therapy process which includes receiving patients referred to from healthcare professionals, educational professionals, completing an assessment through the study of medical or education records, interviewing the patient and observing the patient`s responses to music therapy techniques.

  • Peer group methods

    The techniques relevant for peer group education, where each member is encouraged to express or exchnage a particular type of behaviour or piece of information.

  • Disability types

    The nature and types of disabilities affecting the human beings such as physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional or developmental and the specific needs and access requirements of disabled people.

  • Neurology

    Neurology is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

  • Psychopharmacology

    The awareness of various effects that medicines have on the patient or client's behaviour, mood and thinking.

  • Medical studies

    The basics and terminology of medical studies.

  • Developmental possibilities in music therapy interventions

    The developmental possibilities, motivation and impact on human thinking, awareness and actions and their importance for psychosocial and music-therapeutic interventions.

  • Geriatrics

    Geriatrics is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

  • Cognitive psychology

    The human mental processes such as attention, memory, language use, perception, problem solving, creativity and thinking.

  • Neonatology

    The branch of paediatric medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of the new-born.

  • Planning principles for music therapy interventions

    The international classification systems (ICD, DSM), clinical-psychological diagnostics and psychodynamics for the planning of music therapy interventions.

  • Music therapy schools

    The existing schools teaching music therapy and their importance for advancement in the field.

  • Health care occupation-specific ethics

    The moral standards and procedures, ethical questions and obligations specific to occupations in a health care setting such as respect for human dignity, self-determination, informed consent and patient confidentiality.

  • Psychological theories

    The historical development of counselling and psychological theories, as well as the perspectives, applications, and interviewing and counselling strategies.

  • Paediatrics

    Paediatrics is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

  • Inter-professional communication in the psychosocial field

    The characteristics, the means and communication channels used between professionals in the psycho-social field, the specialised terminology and type of support.

  • Reflexion

    The way to listen to individuals, to summarise the major points and clarify what they are feeling in order to help them reflect on their behaviour.


  • Deal with emergency care situations

    Assess the signs and be well-prepared for a situation that poses an immediate threat to a person's health, security, property or environment.  

  • Develop a collaborative therapeutic relationship

    Develop a mutually collaborative therapeutic relationship during treatment, fostering and gaining healthcare users' trust and cooperation.

  • Design evaluation methods in music therapy

    Design methods for evaluating and measuring client progress and the effectiveness of therapeutic strategies within music therapy.

  • Play musical instruments

    Manipulate purpose-built or improvised instruments to produce musical sounds.

  • Provide directions in music therapy sessions

    Provide verbal and nonverbal directions and cues necessary for successful patient participation in music therapy.

  • Formulate a case conceptualisation model for therapy

    Compose an individualised treatment plan in collaboration with the individual, striving to match his or her needs, situation, and treatment goals to maximise the probability of therapeutic gain; considering any possible personal, social, and systemic barriers that might undermine treatment.

  • Ensure safety of healthcare users

    Make sure that healthcare users are being treated professionally, effectively and safe from harm, adapting techniques and procedures according to the person's needs, abilities or the prevailing conditions.

  • Develop educational materials on music therapy

    Develop materials to educate patients, caregivers, staff, and the public about music therapy.

  • Promote inclusion

    Promote inclusion in health care and social services and respect diversity of beliefs, culture, values and preferences, keeping in mind the importance of equality and diversity issues.

  • Provide health education

    Provide evidence based strategies to promote healthy living, disease prevention and management.

  • Use e-health and mobile health technologies

    Use mobile health technologies and e-health (online applications and services) in order to enhance the provided healthcare.

  • Use techniques to increase patients' motivation

    Encourage the patient`s motivation to change and promote the belief that therapy can help, using techniques and treatment engagement procedures for this purpose.

  • Meet the requirements of social security reimbursement bodies

    Ensure that the sessions are compliant with the requirements of the national social security bodies and that reimbursements are acceptable.

  • Educate on the prevention of illness

    Offer evidence-based advice on how to avoid ill health, educate and advise individuals and their carers on how to prevent ill health and/or be able to advise how to improve their environment and health conditions. Provide advice on the identification of risks leading to ill health and help to increase the patients' resilience by targeting prevention and early intervention strategies.

  • Integrate scientific findings into music therapy practice

    Use the information gathered from various scientific findings and research to feed the daily practice and bring about improvements and innovation in the therapeutic interventions used in music therapy.

  • Apply music therapy treatment methods

    Use various active and receptive intervention techniques in music therapy such as singing, playing instruments, improvising or rhythmic based experiences.

  • Manage healthcare users' data

    Keep accurate client records which also satisfy legal and professional standards and ethical obligations in order to facilitate client management, ensuring that all clients' data (including verbal, written and electronic) are treated confidentially.

  • Comply with legislation related to health care

    Comply with the regional and national legislation that is relevant to one`s work and apply it in practice.

  • Record treated patient's information

    Record information accurately relating to the progress of the patient during therapy sessions.

  • Demonstrate a technical foundation in musical instruments

    Demonstrate an appropriate foundation on the technical workings and terminology of musical instruments such as voice, piano, guitar, and percussion.

  • Perform musical improvisations in therapy

    Improvise music as a reaction to what the patient is communicating, in order to enhance the individual nature of the relationship between therapist and patient. Improvise instrumentally, vocally, or physically to meet client's therapeutic needs.

  • Implement evaluation methods in music therapy

    Implement methods for evaluating and measuring client progress and the effectiveness of therapeutic strategies.

  • Respond to changing situations in health care

    Cope with pressure and respond appropriately and in time to unexpected and rapidly changing situations in healthcare.

  • Record healthcare users' progress related to treatment

    Record the healthcare user's progress in response to treatment by observing, listening and measuring outcomes.

  • Hold group music therapy sessions

    Hold music therapy sessions in groups to encourage patients to explore sound and music, taking an active role in sessions by playing, singing, improvising and listening.

  • Apply organisational techniques

    Employ a set of organisational techniques and procedures which facilitate the achievement of the set goals set such as detailed planning of personnel's schedules. Use these resources efficiently and sustainably, and show flexibility when required.

  • Use music according to the needs of patients

    Select and adapt music, musical instruments, and equipment to accord with the strengths and needs of the patients.

  • Recognise patients' reaction to therapy

    Respond to significant changes, patterns and dangers in the patient's response to therapy.

  • Communicate effectively in healthcare

    Communicate effectively with patients, families and other caregivers, health care professionals, and community partners.

  • Work in a multicultural environment in health care

    Interact, relate and communicate with individuals from a variety of different cultures, when working in a healthcare environment.

  • Apply music therapy methods

    Apply existing music therapy methods, techniques, materials, and equipment in line with the patient`s therapeutic needs and the treatment plan already created.

  • Comply with quality standards related to healthcare practice

    Apply quality standards related to risk management, safety procedures, patients feedback, screening and medical devices in daily practice, as they are recognized by the national professional associations and authorities.

  • Apply context specific clinical competences

    Apply professional and evidence based assessment, goal setting, delivery of intervention and evaluation of clients, taking into account the developmental and contextual history of the clients, within one`s own scope of practice.

  • Identify patients' behaviours

    Analyse and identify patient`s functional and dysfunctional behaviours.

  • Provide feedback on patient's communication style

    Provide feedback on, reflect, rephrase, and translate patients` communication.

  • Develop original melodies

    Create new compositions such as simple accompaniments, and short pieces extemporaneously in a variety of moods and styles, vocally and instrumentally.

  • Encourage healthcare user's self-monitoring

    Encourage the healthcare user to engage in self-monitoring by conducting situational and developmental analyses on him- or herself. Assist the healthcare user to develop a degree of self-critique and self-analysis in regards to his behaviour, actions, relationships and self-awareness.

  • Apply music therapy assessment methods

    Apply specific music therapy procedures and methods for client evaluation and possible preliminary diagnosis.

  • Contribute to continuity of health care

    Contribute to the delivery of coordinated and continuous healthcare.

  • Empathise with the healthcare user

    Understand the background of clients` and patients’ symptoms, difficulties and behaviour. Be empathetic about their issues; showing respect and reinforcing their autonomy, self-esteem and independence. Demonstrate a concern for their welfare and handle according to the personal boundaries, sensitivities, cultural differences and preferences of the client and patient in mind.

  • Provide treatment strategies for challenges to human health

    Identify possible treatment protocols for the challenges to human health within a given community in cases such as infectious diseases of high consequences at the global level.

  • Interact with healthcare users

    Communicate with clients and their carer’s, with the patient’s permission, to keep them informed about the clients’ and patients’ progress and safeguarding confidentiality.

  • Apply health sciences

    Apply a broad range of bio-medical, psycho-social, organisational, educational, and societal aspects of health, disease, and healthcare to improve healthcare services and to improve quality of life.

  • Identify characteristics of music

    Identify the elemental, structural, and stylistic characteristics of music from various periods and cultures.

  • Follow clinical guidelines

    Follow agreed protocols and guidelines in support of healthcare practice which are provided by healthcare institutions, professional associations, or authorities and also scientific organisations.

  • Respond to incidents in music therapy sessions

    Recognize, interpret, and respond appropriately to significant incidents in music therapy sessions.

  • Assess the patient's therapeutic needs

    Observe and assess the patient`s behaviour, attitudes and emotions in order to understand if and how their therapeutic needs can be met with a specific kind of therapy, collecting and analysing information on how the client makes, responds to, and relates to artistic stimulae. Relate this information to other aspects of the patient`s life.

  • Listen actively

    Give attention to what other people say, patiently understand points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times; able to listen carefully the needs of customers, clients, passengers, service users or others, and provide solutions accordingly.

  • Use therapeutic communication techniques

    Use communication techniques in a therapeutic manner to support the patient during the therapy sessions, encouraging descriptions of perceptions, offering help, giving recognition, seeking clarification and summarizing.

  • Direct movement experiences

    Assist clients or patients in moving in a structured or improvisatory manner for expressive purposes.

  • Organise relapse prevention

    Help the patient or client identify and anticipate high risk situations or external and internal triggers. Support them in developing better coping strategies and back-up plans in case of future difficulties.

  • Apply related sciences to music therapy

    Apply philosophical, psychological, physiological, and sociological basis of music as therapy.

  • Perform repertoire for therapeutic purposes

    Perform appropriate undergraduate repertoire in music therapy sessions, according to the needs of the patient.

  • Maintain healthcare user data confidentiality

    Comply with and maintain the confidentiality of healthcare users` illness and treatment information.

  • Apply music therapy termination methods

    Decide, together with the patient, on the methods to be used to conclude the music therapy sessions.

  • Inform policy makers on health-related challenges

    Provide useful information related to health care professions to ensure policy decisions are made in the benefit of communities.

  • Demonstrate musicianship

    Demonstrate musicianship, technical proficiency, and interpretive understanding on a principal instrument or voice.

  • Work in multidisciplinary health teams

    Participate in the delivery of multidisciplinary health care, and understand the rules and competences of other healthcare related professions.

  • Advise on healthcare users' informed consent

    Ensure patients/clients are fully informed about the risks and benefits of proposed treatments so they can give informed consent, engaging patients/clients in the process of their care and treatment.

  • Assess music therapy sessions

    Review and assess music therapy sessions to monitor their effectiveness and to facilitate the planning of any subsequent sessions.

  • Meet the requirements of legal bodies

    Ensure the practice methods and procedures used are in compliance with the regulations and requirements of the legal governing authority in the field.

  • Accept own accountability

    Accept accountability for one`s own professional activities and recognise the limits of one`s own scope of practice and competencies.

  • Plan music therapy sessions

    Make a treatment plan, outlining possible strategies and musical experiences that might be helpful in meeting the patient`s needs, setting clear goals for the patients to achieve and agreeing on a programme of activity with the patient, to be reviewed at regular intervals.

Optional knowledge and skills

ensure proper appointment administration employ foreign languages for health-related research cognitive behavioural therapy psychosociology psychoanalysis neurophysiology victimology employ foreign languages in care psychoacoustics pedagogy philosophy relaxation techniques develop a repertoire for music therapy sessions design musical events involving patients sexology