Complete 4 Prerequisites, Take The First Step As Music Therapist
In order to become a registered music therapist, taking the relevant courses is undoubtedly the first step among all. Most music therapy programmes offered around the world are at postgraduate level, only a few undergraduate programmes remain. So, what are the basic entry requirements for getting into a master’s programme? And what music knowledge is needed? Here are the 4 prerequisites one has to fulfil before applying for the programme.
1. A Bachelor’s degree
Each institution has different major requirements. Some require applicants to be awarded a bachelor’s degree related to music, while some do not specify; some also specify the major related to healthcare, psychology or education. Be sure to pay close attention when looking into the requirements.
2. A designated level in a Music Instrument and Music Theory
To understand the music knowledge of applicants, most schools generally rely on related qualifications. Qualifications awarded by the ABRSM and Trinity College (UK) would be recognized for the Hong Kong applicants; ABRSM Grade 5 in Music Theory is generally the basic requirement and the level of instrument proficiency required depends on each institution. If the applicant has not attained any music qualifications but with considerable knowledge, more proofs might have to be submitted and the interview performance might carry a heavier weightage.
3. Undergraduate credits in Psychology
As the knowledge in music therapy involves psychological theories, some institutions require applicants to have relevant knowledge for easier understanding to the course content.
4. Vocal, instrumental accompaniment and improvisation skills
Applicants are required to provide a short video with singing and piano/guitar accompaniment during the enrolment, and it is one of the crucial factors in getting an interview chance. They may be asked to sing and play, or even improvise during the interview to show their flexibility in using different musical skills for therapeutic purposes.
Piano seems to be the must-have instrument for students in Hong Kong and it is a piece of cake for them to take videos and performing. Although piano is a commonly-used instrument in the therapy sessions, guitar and vocal are in fact as commonly used tools used by music therapists as the piano/keyboard. Therefore, it is recommended that for those who are interested in studying music therapy should practise guitar, vocal, and piano/keyboard at the same time. Several songs of different age ranges are suggested to be equipped with, so that the applicants could then handle the interview with confidence. Be well prepared!