We get this question quite often! If you are interested in training to become a qualified music therapist, there are a few options you can consider. All music therapists received training in tertiary institutions and receive their professional registrations after they graduate. Currently there are no tertiary institutions that offer music therapy courses in Hong Kong. Interested candidates must apply for universities overseas or enrol in a distance learning program with an overseas university. The 60 odd qualified music therapists practising in Hong Kong presently all received their music therapy training in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom (UK) and United States of America (USA).
In Australia and UK, music therapy courses offered across different universities are at postgraduate level, whilst in Canada and USA, both undergraduate and graduate programs are available. To enrol in a masters level course, the usual prerequisites include a related undergraduate degree (music, psychology, nursing etc), a certain level of music abilities, basic credits done in psychology and an audition/interview. To enrol in a bachelors level course, the usual prerequisites include an audition/interview.
After finishing your degree, you will need to apply for registration with the various registration boards in the respective countries. Some countries such as the USA will require all applicants to pass an examination before granting the professional registration. The easiest way to access comprehensive information on music therapy training and registration requirements is to visit the music therapy associations of each country:
- Australian Music Therapy Association: https://www.austmta.org.au/
- Canadian Association of Music Therapists: https://www.musictherapy.ca/?
- UK British Association for Music Therapy: https://www.bamt.org/
- USA American Music Therapy Association: https://www.musictherapy.org/
In 2018, the first blended-learning masters of music therapy program started in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong University (Space) in partnership with The University of Melbourne (Australia). This course offers students the chance to receive music therapy training (masters degree level) locally. All course contents are taught by the academic team at The University of Melbourne, who meets with students in person for intensive lessons every few months and for tutorials online. Students will do their clinical placements with local music therapists. Interested candidates will need to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Music Therapy at HKU Space to be eligible to apply for this course.
As music therapy becomes an increasingly established allied health profession all around the world, the need to receive quality training and maintain professional standards become increasingly important as well. Feel free to contact any of our qualified music therapists currently working in Hong Kong if you have serious considerations of becoming a music therapist! Our contact information can be found on the directory at Hong Kong Music Therapy Association website
Quick recap of things you will need to prepare for if you want to enter a Masters’ Degree in Music Therapy (overseas):
- Undergraduate Degree in music/psychology/allied health
- Music CD for audition
- Basic knowledge in psychology (pre-requisites differ across universities)
Quick recap of things you will need to prepare for if you want to enter a Masters’ Degree in Music Therapy (locally):
- Post-graduate diploma in Music Therapy at HKUSpace
- Interview/Audition (online)
Registered Music Therapist (Australia)