Music Psychology is a psychology subspecialty that focuses on the music’s ability to have a profound physical and psychological impact. The field seeks to determine what those impacts are and if certain psychological conditions can be altered or created by the application of some forms of music.
Music Psychology can have a significant impact on the health and wellness of a person. Just consider how dance therapy is helping Alzheimer’s patients. The human mind is often capable of far more than you might expect, and through interesting new advancements in the field of music psychology good things could await those suffering from mental stress, disease and disorder.
What Does a Music Psychologist Do?
Many of the advancements made in music psychology come as a direct result of the intensive research involved. Understanding the culture of human behavior, particularly as it relates to music, is the driving factor behind the work that a music psychologist does. Administering surveys, observing and engaging in research-based practices are all part of day-to-day responsibilities.
You will also demonstrate a deep understanding of various genres of music and how they impact the human psyche. It can be a tough field if you don’t like research, so make sure that you get a taste for it before pursuing music psychology as a career.
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Careers in Music Psychology
Music psychology professionals tend to find a home within the clinical psychology and research-based psychology communities. Since the focus is on how outside stimuli affect brain waves and behavioral patterns, there isn’t a lot of need for music psychologists in the marketing and industrial-organizational fields.
As a result, it may be difficult to reach the higher end salaries within the psychology field, but it is not uncommon for those with a music psychology degree to earn as much as $60,000-$70,000 annually.
Obtaining a Music Psychology Degree
Much of the advancements coming out of the field of music psychology are focused in the United Kingdom, though there are some great programs stateside at larger schools, such as the Universities of Missouri and Minnesota. Music education coursework as well as specialization in behavioral neuroscience are productive areas of focus.
The field of music psychology is usually encompassed within a broader research or clinical based area of psychology, and will likely be held to the same licensing standards. See your state for further details.