Music Therapist MSc – Advanced Clinical Practitioner - Level 7


Music therapists use the power of music to help people deal with feelings they cannot put into words. You'll use music to help their clients achieve therapeutic goals through the development of the musical and therapeutic relationship.

Skills and knowledge

To become an Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Music Therapy you will need:

  • a high level of musicianship including improvisation skills
  • excellent communication skills
  • creativity, intuition, and imagination
  • an ability to relate to people from all backgrounds and to provide A safe environment
  • flexibility, adaptability, and openness
  • resourcefulness
  • a non-judgemental approach
  • emotional strength and resilience
  • sensitivity and maturity and to be able to reflect on their own emotions


You will need a postgraduate qualification in Music Therapy, accredited by the British Association of Music Therapists / Psychotherapist MSC and be working as a dramatherapy practitioner.

Routes into this job

You may be able to do an arts therapist degree apprenticeship.

You'll usually need a qualification and experience in art, drama or music to apply.


To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

a degree in a relevant subject for a degree apprenticeship

You'll need to do a postgraduate course in music therapy accredited by the British Association for Music Therapy.

You should have a degree in music, although a degree in education or psychology may be accepted if you've got a high standard of musical ability.

You'll also need 1 or 2 years of paid or voluntary work experience in a health, education or social care setting to apply for a postgraduate course.


You'll usually need:

a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

To get paid or voluntary experience of working in a health, education or social care environment you could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

You can also find volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

Career progression

Some music therapists choose to specialise in a particular clinical area of interest such as child development, neuro-disability, mental health or palliative care. Dementia is an increasing area of specialisation for music therapists. Other music therapists choose to work in two or three clinical areas depending on their interests. New developments in the UK for music therapy include working with children pre-operatively and in special care baby units.

Music therapists hold both employed and self-employed posts, with some choosing to work both for an employer and at the same time offering a private practice.

As an experienced practitioner, there are opportunities to develop your skills and take on more managerial roles such as consultant music therapist, where a key task is managing a team of music therapists. Music therapists also hold posts such as head of arts therapy, managing a team of therapists including music therapy as well as other therapists such as art therapists or dramatherapists. In some contexts there are opportunities to take up lead roles within a multi-disciplinary team.

Experienced music therapists may choose to train and supervise other practitioners and students or develop their academic and research interests by undertaking further study through a PhD.