Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Brian L. Wilson

Second Advisor

Edward A. Roth

Third Advisor

Dr. David Smith

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


An invitation to participate in a survey was emailed or sent to 503 self-employed/ private practice music therapists. As this study focused on describing current music therapy business practices, only music therapy business owners were asked to participate. Responses were received from 29% (n= l47). Results indicated that the typical business owner is a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) with a bachelor's degree who has most likely owned a sole proprietorship for less than 9 years. They typically work 30-39 hours each week and maintain 10-19 hours of contracts (primarily consisting of individual sessions). Most of the respondents work in schools, group homes and assisted living facilities with children, those with autism or developmental disabilities. Gross income ranged from below $10,000 to over $300,000 with the majority making $10,000-$20,000 per year and private pay accounted for the largest source of business income. Fees varied greatly depending on the setting, type of service provided, the number/hours served and other factors. Relatively few businesses hire subcontractors (22%) or employees ( 16%).

Conclusions of the study indicate the need for educational opportunities to assist music therapy business owners in establishing successful businesses as well a need for further research and development of music therapy business resources.

Included in

Music Therapy Commons