What does a music therapist do in a week? Well, each music therapist will probably tell you something a little different depending on where they work and the populations they serve. However, each music therapist’s schedule should have at least these three things on their weekly agenda: sessions, prep and planning time, and documentation.
I am a full-time board-certified music therapist employed by Music Therapy Connections, LLC in Springfield, IL. I provide group and one-on-one music therapy services, teach private lessons, early childhood and preschool music classes, and have some online presence through blogs for MTC and Listen & Learn Music.
Here is what my weekly schedule as an MT-BC looks like:
I start my week at one of our contract sites, The Hope Institute, which serves students with multiple disabilities (most prevalently Autism Spectrum Disorder). On Mondays, I see about half of the 75 students I serve during group music therapy sessions, one-on-ones, and a sing-along. Documentation typically takes place in the 5 minutes between each group. My final group ends at 1:30 pm, and then I make my way over to MTC. I take a half-hour lunch and then prepare for the rest of my evening, which consists of 3 one-on-one music therapy sessions, documentation, teaching a voice lesson, and receiving a guitar and piano lesson of my own!
I am back at The Hope Institute to provide music therapy services to the other half of the Learning Academy. Then I head over to MTC at around 1:30 for a quick lunch, followed by an hour of supervision time. Supervision is one of my favorite times of the week, as the whole MTC music therapy team gets together to support one another. Afterwards, the rest of my day includes 1 one-on-one music therapy session, teaching 2 piano and voice lessons, and leading an early childhood music class, with documentation and prep time interspersed throughout.
Wednesdays are full of Listen & Learn music classes! I teach 2 classes in the morning, and then have a large chunk of time to work on documentation, blogs, and preparation for sessions. My direct contact work starts back up mid-afternoon with a music therapy session, followed by 2 piano and voice lessons, and a Listen & Learn class. After all of my sessions are completed on Wednesdays, I get instruments together for my Thursday morning groups and head on my way!
I begin my Thursday mornings at a local daycare and teach 3 shorter versions of our Listen & Learn classes to their students. Then I do a bit of traveling for a hospice music therapy session. I enjoy the time in the car, as it gives me a short break to rest my body and prepare my mind for the next session. After the hospice session, I head back to MTC. I then have about 3 hours dedicated to Listen & Learn work, finishing up blog posts, and completing any documentation or tasks I have left for the week. The rest of my day flies by as it is full of 2 music therapy sessions, a Listen & Learn class, and teaching a guitar lesson.
I am so blessed to have Fridays off, as I work four 10-hour days during the week. I do my absolute best not to bring work home with me so that I can use the weekends to relax, spend time with loved ones, do some self-care, and plan my wedding :)
That’s my week as an MT-BC! Every music therapist will have a unique schedule depending on where they work and who they serve, but we all have a few things in common. Other MT-BCs out there: what does your typical week look like?