In Australia, there are lots of health professionals who are not doctors or nurses. The jobs that they do are just as important to the health and wellbeing of our nation, but to distinguish their roles, they’re called Allied Health Professionals.
Under the umbrella of Allied Health, you’ll find services such as Audiology, Dietetics, Genetic Counselling, Optometry, Physio and lots more.
One of the services that you may not have heard of before is Music Therapy.
What is Music Therapy
You probably already know that listening to your favourite tunes can affect your mood, get you up on your feet having a dance, and even bring back memories. Playing music or singing has the same effect for lots of people too.
Music therapists use musical experiences that could help to improve their patient’s physical and mental health, functioning and over all wellbeing.
Music therapy is a well researched and accepted form of treatment, with many associated benefits.
Who can music therapy help?
If you’re thinking of a career in health, then the chances are that you like people and you enjoy helping them. People of all ages from newborns to the elderly might respond well to this treatment. A few examples of who could benefit include people with:
- Mental health needs
- Developmental delays
- Communication problems
- Physical, mental or learning disabilities
- Age related conditions such as Alzheimer’s
- Addiction and substance abuse issues
- Patients suffering with acute and chronic pain
- People with long term and terminal illnesses
How to become a Music Therapist in Australia
To work in Music Therapy in Australia, you’ll need to register with the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA).
To be eligible to register with AMTA, you’ll need to:
- Complete an undergraduate degree related to health or music.
- Complete a tertiary course that’s been accredited by AMTA. E.g. Master of Music Therapy at the University of Melbourne, or Master of Creative Music Therapy at WSU. Or complete an equivalent qualification that will be assessed by AMTA.
- Apply for registration.
You’ll then be able to apply for jobs and practise as a Registers Music Therapist (RMT) anywhere in Australia.
Alternative pathways to Music Therapy as a Career
If you’d love to become a Registered Music Therapist (RMT) but university isn’t an option right now, you could consider looking at TAFE and other music and health related qualifications. Volunteer and get some work experience providing some form of musical therapy (it could be at your local community centre, childcare centre, school, or old people’s home for example).
Your efforts and qualifications could count towards undergraduate studies and help you to get into university down the track.
Or, if you’d like to go to university but you’re not sure how to afford it, you could consider applying for an education degree. It could provide entry into a career in music, teaching young people in schools. With the added bonus that education degrees often have lower fees than many other degrees (including degrees specialising in music).
Plus, it’s a good idea to contact the AMTA directly and see what advice they can offer that could help you to become registered.
If you’d like to read more about Music Therapy as a career, here are a few more resources that could be helpful:
Explore other careers in music and health
If you’re thinking about a career in music and health, there are lots more options to consider too.