Last week, prompted by a question from a Maven reader, I shared with you my list of the top 10 best things about being a music therapist. This week, it’s time for that “other” list. Strangely enough (or maybe luckily enough?), this one took a little more thought and time to figure out…
Top 10 Worst Things About Being a Music Therapist
- All the documentation involved.
- Feeling like a jack of all trades (“I sing and can play the guitar, piano, hand percussion, autoharp, AND flute”)…but master of none.
- Being referred to as “the entertainment.”
- Feeling surprised when someone actually “knows” what music therapy is…and having to gently correct them anyway.
- Bookkeeping—my least favorite part about being in private practice.
- That to many people, our sessions just look like “fun.” This means there is an almost constant need to explain the “therapy work” that is happening.
- Feeling like I never know enough songs.
- At times feeling like I don’t know the “right” thing to do or say to a client.
- Not having many opportunities to work with someone who really understands what I’m doing and why (i.e. another music therapist)
- Constant pressure to justify what I am doing and why.
Luckily, I’m not alone! Here’s what others have to say about the worst part about being a music therapist:
- Worst thing – working with people who devalue the work we do. – Sheri
- Worst is working alone most of the time. – Valerie
- The worst thing is realizing that your client isn’t really responding to an experience and totally blanking on what to do in the moment to alter it. – Freddy
- Worst is explain why listening is no more music therapy than showing exercise is PT (physical therapy). – JoAnn
- Worst thing-not having enough financial resources to work with the kids that need music therapy to be able to work through their trauma. – Lauren
- Worst thing-trying to make (enough money) at it so I can pay my bills. – Stacey
- Worst thing: Having to argue what we practice is a legitimate, research based field and we are highly trained, knowledgeable professionals. – Amanda
- Worst thing: others thinking it’s a lark and all we do is create frivolity. – Linda