The 4 Character Traits – Key Elements to Become a Music Therapist
Music knowledge is undoubtedly important to a professional music therapist. On top of that, we cannot neglect the 4 character traits inspired by the related body parts, as they are also the important elements for being an excellent therapist.
1. Eyes (observe carefully)
Pay close attention to client’s behavior, expression, posture, etc. in the therapeutic process. For example, eye contact may reflect parts of his/her personality, and the selection of instruments may reflect his/her current state. Every tiny action could be a message to us that we need to observe carefully and adjust the treatment in time.
2. Ears (listen carefully)
In addition to the observation, music therapists should listen carefully to the singing, vocalization, and speaking of their clients. Take the clients with aphasia as an example, by listening to their intonation and pronunciation, music therapists can identify the progress of the therapy and make adjustments accordingly. The clients’ singing and speeches are also important ways of self-expression.
3. Mouth (Speak carefully)
As a competent music therapist, we must speak cautiously and be aware of the way we communicate with clients, to ensure they can express themselves in a safe and comfortable space. It is such an important topic of how to communicate well and to gain trust from clients, as well as to provide care and encouragement at the right time.
4. Hearts (Feel carefully)
Nevertheless, having an empathetic heart is important to a therapist. Recovery is a journey, therefore patience, love, and care from a music therapist can mean a lot to the clients. Music therapist has to design the most suitable treatment plan for clients in a professional and ethical way; understand their needs and willing to grow with clients wholeheartedly.
As a music therapist, a.k.a. the supporter of clients, the above traits are indispensable to establish a therapeutic relationship with trust and rapport. Still, the most important element is the determination of offering selfless help and contributing to others.