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Music as an Alternative Therapy in Nursing

Music as an Alternative Therapy in Nursing

Music therapy is a health profession involving the use of music interventions within a therapeutic relationship to address the social, cognitive, or physical needs of an individual. A professional music therapist is required to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in music therapy. These are offered in over 80 AMTA-Approved college and university programs. The bachelor’s degree program curriculum is designed to impart entry-level competencies and principles as specified in the AMTA Professional Competencies. These competencies include musical foundations, clinical foundations, and music therapy foundations. The bachelor’s degree requires 1200 hours of clinical training, including a supervised internship. This is not to be included as part of the academic coursework. Graduate degrees focus on advanced clinical practice and research. Music therapists are eligible to sit for the national board certification exam to obtain the credential MT-BC (Music Therapist – Board Certified). This is done upon the completion of the bachelor’s degree. The MT-BC is necessary for professional practice. The purpose of board certification in music therapy is to provide an objective national standard that can be used as a measure of professionalism by interested agencies, groups, and individuals.

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) documents dictate that music therapists should adhere to specific standards for clinical interventions and ethical conduct in professional practice. These documents include the Scope of Music Therapy Practice, Music Therapists’ Standards of Clinical Practice, Music Therapists’ Code of Ethics, and AMTA Professional Competencies. The Scope of Music Therapy Practice defines the range of responsibilities of a fully qualified music therapy professional with requisite education, clinical training, and board certification. The Standards of Clinical Practice for music therapy are the rules for measuring the quality of services. These Standards are designed to assist practicing music therapists and their employers in providing quality clinical interventions. They undergo periodic revision to remain current with advances in the field. The Code of Ethics defines tenets of professional conduct for practicing music therapists and is applicable to AMTA members. The AMTA Professional Competencies provide a definition of the current entry-level skills of a music therapist who has completed a bachelor’s degree in music therapy.


American Music Therapy Association. (n.d.). Professional Requirements for Music Therapists. Retrieved October 31, 2020, from


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Music as an Alternative Therapy in Nursing

Music as an Alternative Therapy in Nursing

Music as an Alternative Therapy in Nursing

Tell us about the education and national, state, or local professional regulation for practitioners of either music therapy or biofeedback.

Additional resources beyond the text are needed to address this question. (Several students may choose this question to address different areas of interest).

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