Job type

Music therapist

£32k - £46k

Typical salary

37 – 39

Hours per week

Music therapists use music and sound to help improve people's emotional well being, relieve stress and improve confidence.

More info

  • Use music to help people improve their mental health and wellbeing
  • Combine your musical ability with a love for helping others
  • Progress into leadership and team management roles


As a music therapist, your daily tasks will vary depending on where you work.

You may:

  • Help clients with expressing themselves
  • Develop insight and create ways of relating to other people, becoming aware of their feelings and interacting with other people more confidently
  • Bring about positive changes in their lives
  • Write case notes
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of therapy

You might hold group and one-to-one therapy sessions with clients who have learning disabilities, emotional, behaviour or mental health problems, speech and language difficulties, an injury or illness, or are recovering from an addiction. 


If you're working in the NHS, you'll work closely with other healthcare professionals like nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and speech and language therapists.

Many music therapists work in the NHS, although there are opportunities for work in private practice. You could also be self-employed as a freelance music therapist. 

You could work in a therapy clinic, in a prison, in an NHS or private hospital, or at a school.

You'll need

For this role, you'll need counselling skills, knowledge of psychology and the fine arts, sensitivity and understanding, the ability to work well with others, patience in stressful situations, flexibility and openness to change, and customer service skills.

You'll need to do a postgraduate course in music therapy accredited by the British Association for Music Therapy. A music degree would be helpful, but a degree in education or psychology may be accepted if you've got a high standard of music ability. You'll also need 1 or 2 years of paid or voluntary work experience to apply for a postgraduate course, in areas such as education, mental health, special needs, or social services.

An arts therapist degree apprenticeship might help you get this job. To apply, you'll usually need a qualification and experience in art, drama or music.

You'll need paid or voluntary experience of working in the community, in youth work, or with people with disabilities or mental health issues.


With experience, you could become self-employed and build up your own practice, or move into teaching. You could also become a senior music therapist and manage a team of therapists or music therapy unit.