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October 2021

A survey of professional music therapists concerning entry level competencies

Journal/Book: Journal of Music Therapy. 1987; 24: 114-145.

Abstract: Discusses the need to develop a multidisciplinary, scholarly tradition within creative arts therapies. The need for quantitative research is emphasized, as well as historical analysis of the creative arts therapy profession. Cautions are made concerning the disadvantages of certain research methods, and the work of R. Arnheim (1962, 1972, 1974) and J. Hillman (1975, 1978, 1983) is presented as exemplary for future directions in research. The stated goal is to apply psychological theory to the practice of artistic expression. ABSTRACT 2: This project suggests that intended therapeutic outcomes should determine the professional competencies needed to achieve those results. Competency identification literature reflects use of presage, process, and product criteria, expert consensus, job task analysis, and practitioner testimony. The present project was completed in two phases. The Phase I survey contained 150 competency statements to be rated on an 8-point necessity scale by all responding Registered Music therapists's. Phase II contained 100 items that were rated by Registered music therapists and Certified Music therapists. Findings show a preference for an eclectic approach to treatment, the psychiatric hospital as the most used setting, and the developmentally disabled as the largest client group. Over two-thirds of all responding therapists had a bachelor's degree with less than 5 years experience. Most competencies obtained average ratings in the uppoer half of the scale and were placed in similarly rated groups. Very few items had ratings that reflected differences in respondent characteristics.

Note: multidisciplinary quantitative research in creative arts therapies

Keyword(s): Empirical methods; art therapy; dance therapy; music therapy; experimentation

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