While I was studying music therapy at Western Illinois University, my professor, Dr. Jennifer Jones, MT-BC, would say on a regular basis, “My goal is to learn EVERY song EVER written”. Though that is probably an unrealistic goal (as there are millions of songs and a constant stream of new material) it is a wonderful mindset to have as a music therapist. The more music we know and the more we are dedicated to learning, the more resources we have to pull from when in sessions and the better we can meet our clients’ individual needs!
As MT’s we are always learning new songs, new techniques, and new instruments. Each client is different so we are also learning their needs and adapting what we already know or learning new material to meet those needs.
On top of learning new songs and new music, MT’s are required to participate in continuing education courses in order to maintain the title MT-BC. Each year, MT’s must complete 20 Continuing Music Therapy Education (CMTE) credits for a total of 100 CMTEs every 5 year cycle. In each course, MTs have the opportunity to take a more in depth look at specific parts of music therapy. CMTEs may focus on working with specific populations, working on the business side of MT, MT ethics, new MT research, etc.