How to Become a Board Certified Music Therapist

by   |  August 8, 2012
How to Become a Board Certified Music Therapist

How to Become a Board Certified Music Therapist

The increasing demand for music therapists has outstripped the supply in the United States.   That spells “job security” for current music therapists, as well as many who are currently pursuing music therapy as a career.
 
How does one go about becoming a board certified music therapist anyway?   It’s no squishy task.   You’ve got to jump through all the right hoops.   Here’s how you do it:
 
1)           Pick an instrument.   First, you have to be a musician.   Choose an instrument and start learning how to play.   Sound easy?   It isn’t hard if you enjoy studying music.   Becoming a skilled musician takes years of intense study.   If you have no music skills, you can kiss your music therapist dreams goodbye.   If you are already a decent musician, proceed to Step 2.
 
2)           Investigate.   Do your research.   Learn what it’s like to be a board certified music therapist.   Shadow some professionals and see if it’s something you’d like to do.   Also, keep checking back with My Dream Teacher because we’ve interviewed a bunch of them.
 
3)           Get a degree.   You’ve got to get a college degree approved by the American Music Therapy Association.   The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in music therapy.   If you already have a bachelor’s in something else, you can get what’s called an equivalency degree.   This means you can take classes that you would have taken to earn a music therapy degree.   If you are so motivated, master’s degrees, master’s equivalencies, and doctorate degrees are also available in music therapy.
 
4)           Get an AMTA-Approved Internship.   After completing your education, you must get an internship at an AMTA-approved training facility.   These typically last for six to nine months.
 
5)           Get certified (MT-BC).   You must take the national board certification exam, which is administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.   Once you pass, you receive your certification, and you can print MT-BC next to your name on your business card.
 
6)           Get a job.   It’s a good idea to start your practice by getting a job at an authorized care facility.   From there, you have the option to always work in facilities or to start your own private practice.
 
7)           Renew your certification.   You are required to renew your license every five years.

More on: Careers, Education, Music Therapy
About the Author:

Having achieved so many of her own dreams, Mimi West has devoted her career to paying it forward to the rising generation of musicians. You can follow her on Twitter @mydreamteacher.
Publshed: August 8, 2012  | 
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