4 Points to know about Course Application + Interview if you want to be a Music Therapist

“If you realize you hate ____, maybe you have to think again about pursuing a career in Music Therapy.”
“We had ____ with other applicants during the group interview session. Engaging wholeheartedly in the process is recommended.”

Seriously? Reconsidering to be a music therapist? And what do I have to engage in during the group interview?
Having understood the basic admission requirements for the Master of Music Therapy programmes, two IMTC music therapists Angela and Michelle, who registered in Australia and the UK respectively, were invited to answer questions about the interview process and content. They also provided us some preparation tips! If you want a well-performed and confident interview, work hard and be well-prepared!

A: Angela; M: Michelle

1- What are the requirements on instrument of your school?

A: They required applicants to have knowledge on singing and guitar accompaniment.

M: We were required to have the knowledge on keyboard/piano and basic singing skills.
For those who intend to apply the programme, noted that there are different requirements on instrument for each institution!

2- Can you tell us about the interview process at that time?

A: My interview was pretty standard, items included:
1- Talked about the reasons of becoming a music therapist;
2- Played the primary instrument;
3- Sang a song accompanied on guitar; and
4- Answered some scenario questions and improvised on the way you sang based on the scenario

M: I got two interviews in the UK schools. There were both group and one-to-one interviews.
Group interview: We had music jamming with other applicants during the interview session. Engaging wholeheartedly in the process is recommanded. We were told to share our feelings afterwards and it is alright to give your real response.
One-to-one interview:
1- Answered questions related to myself and music therapy;
2- Played designated songs with the instrument, and sang a song with instrument accompany;
3- Was asked to use music to improvise and interact with the interviewer, who played the role as a client, in a designated situation.
I had also ben arranged to meet with a psychologist/psychotherapist for one of the schools. The content focused was personal which mainly wanted to know any treatment receiving experience, self-cognition and -understanding, etc. 😛

Please be noted that the above is for reference only since some universities have already arranged online interviews for applicants, the process might have been changed accordingly.

3- How did you prepare for the interview? What preparations are recommended for those who are interested?

A: I was preparing for the application right into my bachelor days. Besides learning the guitar and taking psychology units in my undergradate studies, I also approached the registered music therapists to shadow or volunteer with them to see firsthand what they did.
This really helped me during the interview because I actually got asked some actual therapeutic scenarios. It also helped me realize the actual work of a music therapist is similar to what I’ve read up about and that I really wanted to do this job.

M: It is quite important to have the opportunity to observe or assist the music therapists. I was asked about the experience of getting in touch with people of all ages, including children, adults, and the elderly, better to have art or music related experience for sure! I was also asked if I had read or done research on books/articles about music therapy, so it is suggested to have “revision” in advance (😆).

4- Apart from the requirements on instrument, what else should I pay attention to when applying?

A: We were required to hand in a psychology paper as part of the application and we applied and expanded on a lot of related knowledge in the course, so make sure you really take your psychology units “seriously” (😛). If you realize you hate psychology, maybe you have to think again about pursuing a career in music therapy.