Written by Nina Stecker, MM, MT-BC
In the field of music therapy, small businesses such as private practice are constantly opening. The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) reported that five new private practices were opened and one practice closed in the year 2020. AMTA (2020) asked participants if they were a business owner. After gathering 1,826 responses, 419 participants reported that they identified as a music therapy (MT) business owner (AMTA, 2020).
There is limited current research regarding the responsibilities and activities of music therapy private practice owners. Choices concerning such responsibilities include finances, marketing, supervision, advocating for the field, face-to-face client interaction, and many more. These responsibilities influence the model of the practice and how it is administered.
For my Masters thesis, I conducted a survey with 3 main research questions:
1. What were the demographics of current AMTA private practice owners?
2. How was weekly time allocated by music therapy private practice owners?
3. How was revenue generated and is it differentiated by region of the United States? The results of the survey showed that the majority of music therapists who owned their own private practice were new to the field within the most recent decades (70.2%), devoted the most of their time, on average, to direct client interaction, and offered their services to a variety of populations.
Differences in average annual income varied from each region of the United States. New England had the highest average annual income at $97,500. There was a notable outlier, reporting an annual income in New England of $290,000. This survey did not inquire about practice expenses, so net income cannot be determined. AMTA (2020) reported that the average salary range for music therapy business owners was between $28,000 and $490,000. Information obtained in future surveys could include location of the private practice within the region, cost of rent and utilities if the practice had an office space, and other expenses that affected the financial responsibilities of the private practice.
Overall, the data collected was beneficial for visualizing an idea of how different private practices are managed and how the responsibilities of the owners are reported. Such information may be useful to help future music therapy entrepreneurs.
American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). (2020). 2020 AMTA member survey and
workforce analysis. Retrieved from: musictherapy.org
Hello, AMTAS! My name is Tess Vreeland, and I’m your secretary for the 2023 year. The purpose of this blog is to provide updates on AMTA regions, provide informative tools and information for furthering music therapy student careers, and promote collaboration among music therapy students across America. If you have any questions or any proposals regarding the blog, feel free to email me!
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